Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Frank Bebenroth


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Guessing what someone is drawing on your back is a popular children's game from time immemorial. The German publisher DREI MAGIER SPIELE, specialized in games for smaller children, now has adopted this theme in their new game Der geheimnisvolle Spiegel, but with the small difference that the drawing is done on the back of a mysterious mirror (the name-giving main feature of the game) with the help of a magical wand. Basically, the mirror is a standing frame of semi-translucent material with one reflecting side, and the magical wand is nothing other than a small flash-light, but for children the game is simple fun. Due to the semi-translucent material of the mirror, the children sitting on the other side of the mirror can see what is painted, but not the wand itself. So - as with drawing on one's back - you must remember the lines to guess the shape that is painted in the mirror.

For children - as for the grown-ups - the story plays a major role in a game. So, DREI MAGIER SPIELE has set us into a mystery world and each player takes on the role of a young magician. We are asked to explore a mysterious house where we have to find out what we see in the numerous mirrors. This seems to be some sort of an apprentice examination, so the one who is fastest guessing what is inside the mirror collects the tile with the image in a "magical ladder".


Apart from the mirror and the wand, we find 46 tiles in the game box, showing different symbols of quite familiar and child-oriented items like an umbrella, a spider or a house. At the beginning of the game all these tiles are placed face-down on the table. The starting player takes one of them and secretly looks at the symbol. He then begins to draw the image on the back of the mirror. All other players simultaneously begin to guess what is being drawn. The first player who guesses right may take the tile and add it to his magical ladder, a container that holds up to five tiles, but which does not reveal how many tiles are already inside. Additionally he takes the magical wand and becomes the next player to draw a tile and paint the symbol on the back of the mirror.

This procedure is continued until the first player finds out that his magical ladder is full, which is the proof that he is the best magician at the table and - naturally - the winner of the game!


As with a lot of other games of the last years, DREI MAGIER SPIELE really knows how to fascinate younger children. The simple magical wand alone is a guarantee that smaller children will be fascinated by the game. In my testing rounds the game seemed to be perfect for children between 4 and 6 years old. Older children like it, too, but they tend to lose interest after the first two or three games. Of course, the game can also be played without the given symbols on the cards, giving the young players room to imagine a symbol of their own and draw this image. This will make the game more difficult, but it works the same. Finally the game can also be played with two players. Then it is a cooperative game, as you play together against an imaginary player. This also works pretty well, but with 3 or 4 players you definitely have more fun. When the different symbols of the game are known to everybody, the game normally lasts about 15 minutes.

The final question is: Is the a game which hides a simple mechanism behind an interesting gadget a must-have, especially since the basic mechanism has worked in many other ways like drawing on the back of people? The answer is: no, it is not a must-have, but in our times you often need more than just fingers and a back to distract children from all the dazzling electronic devices available around them. Old playing concepts need more pep in order to fascinate children nowadays, and Der geheimnisvolle Spiegel fulfills this purpose rather well, because it does not suppress the creativity of your children. To the contrary - it even encourages them to alter the rules and create new games with the game material!

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Copyright © 2014 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany