Saturday, January 30, 2010


Wizard Junior
The 4 color-coded suits are shown .
The cards are numbered from 1-8 making 32 suited cards plus 2 Wizard and 2 Jesters for a total of 36 cards in the deck.

Wizard Junior is a simplified version of the regular Wizard Card Game.

History of Wizard Junior:

Why did Wizard Junior become a reality so late in the day? I never saw any need for a Junior version of Wizard because I always believed the game was simple enough in concept to be learned and played by players aged 7 and up. My experience with youngsters tells me that 7 year-olds can learn and play chess so they can certainly play Wizard. What then was the motivation for the introduction of the Junior version? The most frustrating part of our effort to market Wizard has been our failure to interest the Major USA chains...Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R Us, etc. There are many reasons for this which I will not attempt to explain here. The creation of Wizard Junior rests with one particular incident. One of the big US chains buyers said that "Wizard" was not a family game. It was too sophisticated for younger family members and suggested we needed something with bright colors, simple graphics with more family appeal. I never did agree with this analysis but if a simpler, friendlier, less expensive version of Wizard would get us into a major chain then I was prepared to give it to them. Hence Wizard Junior was created. "US Games System" and I did not agree on the graphics that were required to market the Junior Game. "US Games Systems" had the final say on this issue because they pay for the production run and market the game. If you have a copy of the Junior version you can compare the graphics with those used on the Wizard site and reach your own conclusion. Unfortunately the chain still did not take on the Junior version and sales have been slow. However, actual play of the Junior game by new, young players was very positive. I had always felt that we needed to offer young players of UNO a more sophisticated game as they matured and Wizard Junior introduces concepts such as TRICK and TRUMP in a simple yet enjoyable format. Consequently it was in an attempt to raise the public profile of the Junior version that it was programmed for online play. However for the online version I chose to use the graphics that I had preferred for the original retail version as the default cards. The Junior version is what it is. I see it as a valuable tool to introduce young players to new card-playing concepts that they have not experienced in card games such as FISH and UNO. I would expect that the time lag between learning Wizard Junior and graduating to the Regular version would be a short one.

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