Control, a Great Card Game by Keymaster Games

I’ve written about the Control Card Game by Keymaster Games (check the January 2016 archives for it) before but that was back when the Kickstarter was still live. I predicted back then that I felt like we’d only just seen the beginning with these guys. Here we are almost a year later and I’d just like to say that I was right! The campaign was wildly successful. Their goal was $7,500 and they blew it out of the water, finishing at $73,615! They were successful not just because they had a great game but also because they ran a great campaign. Most of all, they had a great following from the begininng!

Control by Keymaster Games
These guys are so diligent the intro is a mini-comic!

I got a chance to go to their launch party at The Rook and Pawn in Athens, Georgia and the place was packed. I got to meet Mattox and Kyle, Kyle’s wife and kids, and a ton of their supporters. This game was popular even before it hit Kickstarter. I played several rounds of the game and, if memory serves, lost them all. But you all know my feelings on winning and losing tabletop games so I wasn’t overly chagrined. It was a great time despite my losses. I got to play a great game with complete strangers and drink a few beers by Creature Comforts so really, what is there to complain about? Seriously, if you’re ever near Athens. The Rook and Pawn is a board game café you don’t want to miss. Make sure you pay them a visit.

Out of Time (from the Intro & Rules)

Why do you think Father Time allows us to change him?

What do your studies say?

Some say it’s to right our past wrongs.

Others say it’s to build a better present day.

And you?

I believe he allows us to control our future among the stars.

Kid, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, we’re never in…


Control by Keymaster Games
Out of Time by Keymaster Games, the mini-comic.

Control by Keymaster Games? So tell me more.

Glad you asked. I backed the campaign and got a Control t-shirt designed by Keymaster Games. Doing so gives me the “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” cred that every nerd needs. I introduced the game to my children (ages 9 through 12 as of this writing) after the game shipped late last summer. They had no interest in it but it only took one round of the game to hook them. Now it is one of the first ones they request on game night. That’s children for you. Rarely want to try anything new but once they get a taste of it they can’t stop asking for more. What’s that old euphemism? “The devil made me do it the first time.” But I digress. The point is, I was able to show them how much fun the game is.

The hook is simple: you’re time travelers and the space-time fabric has ruptured and it’s up to you, or your partner if you’re playing a 4-player game, to build a fuel-cell charge of 21 or more to close the rupture. Oh, and leave your enemies lost to time.

Game Play

Control comes with a deck of 54 cards, 1 rulebook, and 5 timeline tokens. The box measures 5½” x 4″ x 1¾” and weighs right at half a pound. It’s about the size of AEG’s Love Letter game. Two of the cards are for reference and the other cards range in value from 1 to 10 with four of each. The mathematically inclined may have already done some quick arithmetic and be wondering what’s up. Don’t worry, there are two different types of 4, 5, and 6. You see, each card has not only a particular value—remember the goal is to get to 21—but also a particular power if you burn it to the discard pile instead of installing it. Am I being unclear? Here, why don’t we let Mattox explain to us how the game is played?

Sleek. Fast. So easy to learn that after one round you’ll probably be an expert on the rules. Keymaster Games recommends this to players 14 and up but like I mentioned up there ^…my kids are 9 and 12 and love the game and can hold their own. Given the kids’ enthusiasm for the game, the easy play style, stunning art, and number of requests to play this game, I rate it a 5 out of 5. You should definitely own this game. Unfortunately, all the copies that I know of are sold so you’ll probably have a tough time tracking this one down. But don’t worry, there is a silver lining just below.

Control by Keymaster Games
This review block was made with Fort Foundry’s “Rift” typeface that was awarded for being a Kickstarter backer. Nice, huh?

So, any new news?

As a matter of fact there is new news. In mid- to late winter Keymaster Games anticipates another Kickstarter for a new game called Campy Creatures. Check out their Facebook and Instagram feeds for more details. Full disclosure, I have not played this game or seen a prototype in person. But if Control is any indication of what Kyle and Mattox are capable of, Campy Creatures should be a hit. Plan for it now, you don’t want to miss it once the Kickstarter launches in a month or two. I encourage you to follow Keymaster Games on Facebook and Instagram (you can find the links in Campy Creatures caption below and the bottom of this post).

Campy Creatures by Keymaster Games
Campy Creatures by Keymaster Games (Facebook & Instagram)

Author: Patrick

Journeyman. Melancholiac. Stoic. A rebel and a runner. I think chocolate and caffeine are over-celebrated and I believe hot sauce pairs nicely with ice cream.

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