Everything starts somewhere. Sometimes finding that start is easy, but other times, not so much. My interest in gaming evolved over time, but it did have a few places that I would consider focal points that encouraged my interest. One of these things was a game called Magic Realms. This was a game that my dad owned, though I don’t remember ever seeing him play it. I remember being fascinated with it when I was in grade school, though I had only ever seen the side of the box which was where the name was at. Magic Realm. What could be in that box? To a pre-teen who like cartoons and comic books, the word “magic” ensnared my curiosity like nothing else. I mean, it’s a box, placed high out of reach, with contents unknown, and titled like that. How could I not be fascinated?
At some point, my dad let me check the game out. It was the first time I had ever seen the cover of the game and I was blown away. On the cover was a knight in armor, a dwarf, and some chick with a bow fighting a giant dragon, while in the background a badass looking wizard watched over it all. The cover alone was enough justify my youthful enthrallment in this item. If it was that awesome on the outside, what wonders would I behold once I opened the box. To be truthful, I probably didn’t spend more than a few seconds looking at the box before tearing into the contents, but these thoughts did get seared into my mind during the short time I had to process them. I was overdosing on pure, unadulterated awesome. Opening the box did not disappoint. Tons of cardboard counters, cards that read “Treasure” and featured descriptive names on the reverse side:
tiles that had colorful names of different forests and mountain terrains:
and large cards of different types of heroes with, to my young mind, some of the most amazing artwork in the world:
I was enthralled. But then the roadblocks came. Trying to read the rules was above my head. The rulebook was not the back of the box like I had been used to, but a giant book written in small font with a lot of words and technical phrases that I wasn’t familiar with. I quickly moved on from trying to decipher the rule book to looking at the game pieces and making up my own game for them. I made my own game maps and built little armies out of the game pieces and pretty much used them like I would my G.I. Joe figures, staging battles, pitting good vs. evil, and elevating heroes.
I played with the game like this for months, though I eventually lost many of the pieces and had to give up playing with it. The game always held a cherished place in my memory, but it wasn’t until I was much older that I had an opportunity to revisit it.
I couldn’t ever remember the name of the game a few years ago, but I had joined the site [url]www.boardgamegeek.com[/url] and was able to find the game once again. A trip to ebay and $80 later and I had a copy of the game once again. Opening it up brought the old memories back in a rush. I sorted through the contents, organized them, and sat down to read the rulebook. I figured that after teaching myself how to play Magic: The Gathering, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and the Star Wars CCG, I could handle this old game. Well, I figured wrong. The rules were still pretty complicated and there were few clear example of how to play in rulebook. This added to the fact that I wasn’t sure if the game I bought was complete, caused me to shelve the game. I have looked up different guides on how to play the game but I haven’t had enough motivation since I got it to try to play it for real. Maybe I will at some point, but for now, I think I will keep it as a reminder of my childhood and first foray into the fantasy game genre.