We were sent Super Mega Lucky Box for review by the great people at Gamewright. Super Mega Lucky Box is a a game where you cross of numbers and try to fill rows and columns which trigger bonuses which can then fill more rows and columns. The game is easy to learn and takes about 20 minutes to play a game and everyone takes their turn at the same time. The game is ages 8+ but if your little ones can understand numbers and the rules they should be able to play along if they are a little younger (with maybe a little help). This a great example of a great game in a small package.
In the Super Mega Lucky Box… box you will find the rulebook, dry erase markers with eraser caps, Super Mega Score Cards, Lucky Box Cards, lightning bolts, moons and 18 number cards (numbered 1-9 twice). The components are easily stored and the cards are of sturdy quality and are easily erased (which is very important for a dry erase card). Being avid board gamers we always appreciate when a game is packaged in as little space as possible to save shelf space. The markers write well and the erasers on the caps are always appreciated, saves a little time and makes it less likely to accidentally lose wipes that sometimes come separately. The moon and lightning bolts are hard molded plastic and while you can see where the pieces are cut off the mold, it does not affect gameplay and is minor.
To play, everyone will take a Super Mega Score Card which you will fill as the game progresses and is easy to read. There are 4 rounds which have their own star points and completed Lucky Box Cards sections. At the end of the game you will fill the total star points, incomplete Lucky Box cards and Moon Token bonus/penalty. Everyone will then take 5 Lucky Box Cards and select 3 to keep and discard the rest. These will be your play area. Everyone will also take 4 lightning bolts. The number cards are then shuffled and 9 are taken to be used for the round. Someone will flip over the first card and gameplay begins.
The number that is drawn represents a number that can be crossed off on a SINGLE Lucky Box Card. It is very important to note that only a SINGLE box can be crossed off on a SINGLE Lucky Box Card. So if an 8 is drawn, you select a card that has an 8 and cross off a single “8” on that card. So even if you have multiple cards that have 8 you can only choose a single card. Within that card, if you have multiple 8’s you can only select a single 8. This will sometimes cause a little confusion during gameplay so be sure to understand this rule as it will lead to extremely high scores/cheating if not understood. So to summarize, only a single box on a single card may be crossed off per card drawn. Gameplay continues by drawing cards from the stack of 9 which triggers the end of the round when finished.
In between rounds you may complete a row or column which may trigger a bonus. Bonuses come in 5 flavors: number, question mark (?), star, lightning bolt, and moon. A number will simply allow you to fill a box as if you had drawn that card (i.e. a 9 will let you fill in a 9 on a card). Question marks are like wilds, they let you fill ANY single box on your card. Stars allow you to score points and progressively stack during each round with the 1st star counting as 1 point, 2nd as 4 points, and 3rd as 9 points. Lightning bolts allow you to modify cards that are drawn by +/- 1 for each token used. Numbers will also cycle around so a 9 can become an 8 or a 1 with a single token, or can become a 2 or a 7 with 2 tokens. You start the game with 4 lightning bolts and getting lightning bolt tokens will allow you to take either 1 or 2 tokens based on the icon (single or double lighting). Moon bonuses allow you to take a moon token which at the end of the game will let you score 6 EXTRA points if you have the MOST OR it will SUBTRACT 6 points from your score if you have the LEAST.
Once the 9 cards are drawn the round ends and the round is scored. If any cards are completely filled (i.e. all 9 boxes are crossed off) you will score them with the first round scoring the most per card and the final round the least per card. These completed cards are discarded once they are scored and 3 new Lucky Box Cards are drawn and 1 is kept for the next round. There is no limit to how many cards you have but some players will have more than others and that is okay. The 9 cards are shuffled again with the unused 9 cards and 9 more cards are drawn. Gameplay continues until the final round is finished and scoring begins.
Scoring is simple and is outlined on your score card. Points for completed cards, star points, points for unfinished boxes (1 point per 2 crossed off boxes) and any moon bonus or penalty. Highest points wins. The game is short, satisfying and can be a little hectic as you try to explain rules or someone asks you to make sure they “are doing it right.” The gameplay is very much like bingo in that winning is sometimes heavily dependent upon luck, but with a game like Super Mega Lucky Box that should be expected. There are multiple strategies that can be used and they all lead to similar points so any strategy is valid. Trying to fill in a single card is just as valid as trying to get a good spread. Trying to score more stars or accumulate moons will net you roughly the same points. Most games will have the difference between 1st and 2nd place be only a few points. Overall the game is easy to play and is a great family friendly game that can be played multiple times in one sitting. The game can also be combined with other copies to make the 1-6 player game up to 12 players with the only difference being that you only use a single deck of number cards.
Language Barrier Playability: Excellent. The gameplay is entirely dependent on Arabic numerals and symbols. We played this with our Spanish speaking family and once the rules were understood gameplay was easy.
Replayability: Great. This game is short and pretty quick. You may find yourself playing this game a few times in a single sitting. The game also has a few different strategies you can try so it also has a little variety with gameplay as well.
Artwork: Very simple. The box art is reminiscent of Schoolhouse Rock! The cards and symbols are very simple which in this case works extremely well for gameplay. The cards are not simply black and white bingo cards. They are bright, colorful and are easy to read without feeling like there is an overwhelming amount of information packed into a card.
Quality: Great. For being a game that relies on dry erase markers the quality of the cards is excellent. The markers wipe off easily and without a lot of smudging. The tokens do have some blemishes but by no means is their gameplay quality diminished because of this.
Strategy: Moderate. While luck does play a large role in gameplay, there is strategy in the game. You have to decide which cards you play with, you select when or if you’ll use lightning bolts, you can try to score multiple cards or focus on one. Trying to score more moons than others or trying to get as many stars as possible are just as valid as not worrying about moons and not worrying about stars.
Instruction Manual: Great. The manual does an excellent job of explaining the rules and includes brief examples that clear up any confusion. The explanation of the rules flows well and there are charts and artwork that make the rulebook pleasing to read as well.
Organization: Excellent. The cards each have their own section and there is enough space for tokens and markers to easily fit. There is also minimal shelf space taken so this game is a big game in a small package. I think we have all played games with an enormous box that should really be in a box the size of a soda can.