Alfie Dix, 16, reviews board games that he plays with the family and subsequently with groups of friends.
There are many hurdles people may encounter when trying to get involved in a new trading card game (TCG) such as the price, difficulties in learning the game, or even finding people to play against. That’s why I think there is one game that could rule over them all, Keyforge. I have been playing different two-player fighting games for many years now and perhaps the most famous of these major TCG’s is Magic The Gathering (MTG). Wizards of the Coast, the publisher, have been making MTG cards for over 25 years. Magic has a long history and a deep customer base and is by far the most popular TCG out there, but at what cost?
Perhaps the most greatest appeal of Keyforge is its price tag. At only £8 for a whole deck, the savings are huge and because all Keyforge decks are pre-made, the game doesn’t have a ‘pay-to-win’ aspect. Decks have similar power levels. Different cards have different abilities, but as Keyforge has only recently been released, it’s easy to discover what each one means; it is all superbly accessible. The straightforward set of rules are expanded on their website. The website also includes ways to find other Keyforge players near you. I highly recommend this game for anyone new to TCGs or for players looking for relaxed one on one gaming.
Now for some a possible flaw. While I have been calling it a ‘trading card game’ there is no collectable (or trading) element to the game. When you buy a deck, it comes with a list of cards that form the deck and you cannot change them or trade them for better cards. This eliminates the ‘deck-building’ that is a large element of regular TCGs, which many players, including myself, find enjoyable. Therefore, you are also unable to draft cards, as there are no supplementary booster packs, just the decks. This is both a bonus and a fault in the game as it stops the ‘gamblers addiction’ to cracking open a booster pack but seriously reduces the way in which Keyforge can be played.
That being said I believe that Keyforge is a game that shouldn’t be ignored by players already deep within the TCG archetype. The lack of deckbuilding decisions and generally equal power level of the decks means that your victories can be attributed to skill, rather than to expensive cards, which is a rewarding experience. Furthermore, every game is different as the brand brags that every single deck printed is unique! This means that gameplay stays diverse rather than playing against the same deck over and over which happens far often in other TCG’s.