AttrAction Mini Review

A neat looking little dexterity game that I've wanted to try for a few months is AttrAction (sorry, no Amazon link).

In AttrAction, the players are shooting magnets in order to cause them to cluster.  Each turn, the current player takes one of his previously collected magnets (or a magnet from the table if he doesn't have any), and uses it as a "shooter" and flicks it towards the magnets on the table.  If he successfully causes a cluster (or several clusters), then he is allowed to take the largest cluster that he formed.  Otherwise, his shooter remains on the table.  If any magnets are knocked off of the table, then the player to the current player's left gets to collect them.  Play continues like this until there are no magnets remaining on the table - at which time the person with the most magnets wins.

AttrAction game in play
Forming a small cluster
Obviously, the unique thing about AttrAction is that it is based on magnets.  Simply put, this game wouldn't exist without the magnets.  If you did the same thing with little wooden discs, it would be impossible to make them attract each other - so, all you could do is shoot them off the table (thus giving them to another player).  And, frankly, it's really fun to shoot your magnet into a giant pile of magnets and see how many of them you can attract, or to see what kind of chain reactions you can cause if your magnet is repelled by some of the magnets that you shoot at.  (In case you missed it, "it's really fun to shoot magnets into a giant pile of other magnets" is the first pro.)

However, there are two sides to playing with magnets.  (That was a pun - did you get it?)  When you flick your shooter into another magnet, if the wrong sides are facing each other, then they will repel.  And, this can be fun to watch, but can also be frustrating when playing the game.  Early in the game, when there are still a lot of magnets on the table, this doesn't matter especially much - if you are repelled by one magnet, you will most likely be pushed into another magnet, and there will be a chain reaction that causes a cluster to be formed.  But, late in the game, the magnets repelling each other can become more frustrating, and sometimes causes the game to slow down considerably.  When there are only a few magnets left on the table, and they are not anywhere near each other, then each shot is basically an attempt to secure a single magnet.  If they attract each other, then this comes down to a skill challenge, but if they repel each other, then your shot will increase the number of magnets on the table and lead to more turns being needed to complete the game.  (Oh, and that can also be frustrating.)  I wish the magnets had been marked in some way so that you could know which sides would attract and which would repel.  This would allow the game to be more skill based, and would prevent this luck element that occurs towards the end of the game.

AttrAction setup and ready to play
The early stages of the game (the best part)
So, ultimately, in AttrAction, the game has two phases - the initial phase where the game is incredibly fun, as you shoot your magnet into a large pile of magnets, and then a slower "cleanup" phase where you are taking turns shooting at individual magnets and hoping that they don't repel.  And, the game supports 2-5 players.  If you are playing with two players, then the number of magnets might be about right to make sure that the faster paced section of the game lasts quite a while, but as you play with more players, you will have very few turns where you get to try to collect a lot of magnets in a single turn.  After thinking about this issue, I realized that I really do enjoy the first part of the game quite a bit.  So, one thing that I'm considering is buying more copies of AttrAction (its MSRP is only around $15) and combining them to have more magnets.  If I do this, I might also change the end of the game to be triggered when there are only five magnets on the table, or something similar.

Overall, I give AttrAction an 8.0/10.  I spent quite a while looking forward to this game, and it is exactly what I expected it to be.  Now, I just need to decide if I'm going to buy more sets, or if I'm going to be content with the 25 magnets that I have.

If AttrAction sounds interesting, you might also check out Sorry! Sliders, Crokinole, and PitchCar.

I would like to thank R&R Games for providing me with a review copy of AttrAction.


  1. You might also enjoy Polarity, which is another fantastic game entirely dependent on magnets.

  2. You could get some nail polish and paint a plus sign on the positive side of each magnet!

  3. Mary - actually, that is a really good suggestion. Unfortunately, I don't know that I can convince myself to intentionally mark my game. But I may eventually try it.