My oldest son lives and breathes fantasy.
Harry Potter. The Warriors. Guardians of Ga’Hoole. Spirit Animals. Anything by Rick Riordan or Brandon Mull.
He also adores magic. He studies books about magic tricks, puts on shows in his bedroom, and is constantly practicing his tricks.
Once, after an especially long Harry Potter kick (he reads and rereads Potter all the time), he took to wizardry. He found a book on the subject and I spent the next three weeks cleaning up spilled potions in various rooms of our home. This was the same year that he had a magical science birthday party. He and his friends mixed various kitchen ingredients together and delighted in their concoctions. (This was a backyard event!)
All this to say, the kid loves magic and wizardry and fantasy.
I have had a hunch that he would flip for fantasy games. We are a family of gameschoolers, and yet I do not have much experience with the fantasy genre. I plan to change this in 2017 and explore more fantasy games because I’ve always been curious and I know my kids will love them.
So when the opportunity came up to review a new game called Quest for Arete, I was thrilled. Perfect timing for my 2017 gaming goal.
Quest for Arete: A Magic Game for Kids Who Love Fantasy
*Disclosure: I received Quest for Arete Starter Set at no cost and was compensated for my time to write a review. I was not required to write a positive review and, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share products and resources that I would use with my own family and those that I believe others will enjoy.
We received the Q4A Starter Set, which includes everything needed for two players to begin their Quest for Arete. This set includes two identical starter decks and two different expansion decks. The set also includes two gorgeous play mats, a timer, and a beautifully illustrated game guide. All you need to begin is the starter decks and game guide.
The scoop on Quest for Arete
Quest for Arete (Are-a-tay) is a collectible card game of magic, duels, and spells for ages 12 and up. Arete is a Greek word for “excellence” and, in this game, players are sorcerer’s apprentices striving for just that.
In Quest for Arete, each sorcerer’s apprentice is on a hunt for excellence. Along the way, sorcerers must duel the other sorcerers they meet on their journey. Apprentices duel using the magical elements represented on the cards. These magical elements combine to make spells and potions.
Young players and those new to Quest for Arete can begin by playing Arete Rummy. The rules are simple and familiar, allowing for players to get comfortable with the cards, characters, and patterns.
Play becomes more complicated as players familiarize themselves with the cards and decks. Once comfortable, play can increase in complexity by using element stacking, spell interactions, cancellations, and time constraints.
Decks are custom-built by each player based on his or her chosen character’s strengths and abilities. Apprentices collect cards and build unique decks that match their character and play preference. As they do, they build their Arete.
Quest for Arete is beautiful, the illustrations are absolutely stunning.
This is one of those games that is easy to play, but that offers a lot of growth possibility and complexity over time.
The magic and history of Quest for Arete are drawn from the concepts of modern chemistry, but the game is not designed to teach chemistry. Some of the actions in the game defy chemistry rules, but Quest for Arete will familiarize your child with the names of elements, chemical symbols, valence electron counts, chemical formulas, math, and history. You will be creating a foundation on which to build later.
What did the kids think of Quest for Arete?
This is our first foray into the world of fantasy games, and my kiddos are younger than the age 12 recommendation, so we opted to get our toes wet with Arete Rummy.
I think the magician’s face says it all here:
Arete Rummy can be learned in minutes and is easy enough for even the youngest players to enjoy. My kids have been taking turns holding Arete Rummy tournaments. They delight over the names of spells and potions. We all adore the illustrations.
As a homeschool parent, I appreciate that my children are learning the names of the elements and becoming familiar with chemical symbols, and that they are acquiring a basic understanding of valence electron counts as well as an idea of what formulas look like.
In addition, the cards utilize roman numerals and this provides wonderful practice for my children. In order to score their spells, they have to add with roman numerals.
Finally, I appreciate the story element. My children have embraced the characters and storyline and I have a feeling the fantasy aspect of Quest for Arete is one of those games that will grow with us. That’s a win in my gameschooling book!
The following Quest for Arete products are available:
- Quest for Arete Starter Set
- Alchemist Expansion Packs
- Armorer Expansion Packs
- Sorcerer Expansion Packs
That’s not all! As a special thank you to My Little Poppies readers, Quest for Arete has created a unique coupon code. This code will enable readers to purchase expansion sets for only $5 each (a $20 value) with purchase of a Quest for Arete starter set. Simply use the code CF2016. This offer is open until December 20, 2016.
Me too! Check out these related posts:
- How to Choose Games for Your Family
- 10 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night
- How to Build Your Game Closet on a Budget
- Game Closet Organization
- Finding Time To Play: Tips for Gaming
- 100 Games and Picture Books for Play-Based Learning
- Best Family Games | Ultimate Guide
- Gameschooling is Fun AND Educational
Here are some of my son’s favorites:
Now, it’s your turn. What is your favorite fantasy or magic game? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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