In Der verflixte Zaubertrank players are magician assistants who need to bring together the ingredients needed to complete potions – but to do this, they can use a little magic of their own to double up on ingredients they already have.
Each player has four cauldron tiles – two with slits in the top, two with slits in the bottom – that can be assembled into two cauldrons; a player also has two fireplace tiles on which the completed cauldrons sit as well as eight firestones. To set up the game, 22 magic ingredient tiles that show mushrooms, spiders, frogs and the assistants themselves are shuffled, placed into two even stacks, then covered with a "book" cover.
To start the first round, the book cover is "opened" so that four ingredient tiles are revealed (the "recipe"). Players then race to assemble their cauldrons and place them on their fireplaces; after doing so, they then rotate the fireplaces and mark the locations from which they can see the ingredients needed to complete the potion. The cauldrons tiles have mirrors on half of them, so a mushroom on one tile might be reflected in the mirror, thus giving a player two mushrooms for a potion. Similarly, a half mushroom can be made whole with a mirror.
Once a player thinks he has marked exactly the number and type of ingredients he needs, he ends the round. If he created the potion correctly, he moves his pawn two spaces on the track; otherwise everyone else advances one space on the track. Players then disassemble their cauldrons, flip over two ingredients tiles (thereby showing a new recipe), and start the next round.
If an assistant shows up on an ingredient tile, that player advances two spaces after cooking ends that round. At a certain point in the game, a mouse comes to aide the player in last place, providing all the mushrooms that player needs.
Der verflixte Zaubertrank ends when all recipes have been used or a player reaches the final space on the track. The player who advances the farthest on the track wins the game.