Posted Thursday, 9-Jul-2015
A compilation of reviews for Keyflower.
Published in 2012 by R&D Games (Keydom, Aladdin’s Dragons, Fowl Play!) and Game Salute (Alien Frontiers, Acute Care, 9-Shooter Quick draw) and designed by Sebastin Blesdale (Black Fleet, Bicycle Race) and Richard Brees’ (Chameliquin, Aladdin’s Dragons, Fowl Play!) Keyflower is an auctioneering game mixed with civilization building and resource management elements.
Writing for Meople’s Magazine, Kai describes Keyflower’s style in his review as being another game in the “Key” universe, borrowing from European settlement of North America. Kai writes, “traveling across the oceans was not the biggest challenge these ‘keyple’ were to face, once they arrived in the new world they had to survive there, and that was no easy job, especially in that first year.”
Reviewers claim that Keyflower has a surprising amount of depth, and calls for players to keep a close eye on their opponents — so if you’re looking for a game where you can just ignore other players, Keyflower probably isn’t the game for you. However if you’re looking for a resource management with a lot of player interactivity, go ahead and pick up a copy of Keyflower.
For 2-6 players, with most reviewers suggesting 5 or 6 players for the best games, gameplay is divided into four seasons (rounds); the player with the most points at the end of fourth round (winter) is the winner.
Gameplay revolves around players managing bidding for tiles, production management, transporting your workers across tiles and upgrading tiles for better production output in order to gain the most victory-points by the time the fourth round rolls around.
While the game may appear simple on the surface, the finer points shine through within its rule’s subtler details. One such example of this is the rules surrounding tile activation.
Josh Edwards from Board game Reviews by Josh explains: “The next pro is that owning a tile isn’t always better than not owning it. Why? Because anyone can activate your tiles – not just you. And, when activating a tile, whoever activates it first selects what color is used for activating it…” In other words a player may render an opponent’s tile completely useless if they play it right.
Keyflower has a mixture of some really interesting and diverse mechanics, making it an interesting combination of auctioneering, civilization building, resource management and worker placement.
While the complexity of the rules sometimes makes things a little confusing but reviews seem to universally agree that this smattering of game mechanics definitely works for Keyflower.
Keyflower calls on players to have a solid game plan from the get-go, and doesn’t offer much in the way of adaptation or catch-up.
ISlaytheDragon’s reviewer Andrew states that Keyflower “has a somewhat unintuitive scoring system that introducing the highest scoring elements late in the game and requires players to know what they’re doing early on in order to succeed.”
Andrew goes on to comment that Keyflower “…is a tactical game that heavily rewards players for efficient play… I highly recommend Keyflower to fans of heavy Euros or anyone that wants a twist on traditional worker placement or auction games.”
If you’re willing to push through the rules and take some time to really learn the finer nuisances of the game, then Keyflower deserves a spot on your shelf.
Josh Edwards from Board Games by Josh sums his review up nicely:
“Overall, I give Keyflower a 9.0/10. It is one of the most pleasant surprises that I’ve found recently in gaming, and I think it will stay in my collection for quite some time.”
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