Keymaster Games Control A Strategic Card Game
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- For 2-4 Players
- 5-15 minute playing time
- Ages 14 and up
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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In this quick and easy card game, you are a time traveler fighting to escape a rupture in spacetime. You must strategically refuel your time machine while stopping other players from refueling theirs first. Will you escape?
Safety WarningWarning! Not Suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts - Choking hazard
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|Item Dimensions||5.6 x 4 x 1.9 in||4.41 x 6.38 x 1.5 in||1 x 3.75 x 4.88 in||6.6 x 4.2 x 1 in||5.2 x 3.6 x 0.8 in||3.6 x 2.6 x 0.8 in|
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+ Polished presentation (box and card art are on point)
- 2 player mode is flawed
I suspect that 3 player and 4 player (2v2) won't have the same issue that 2 player has, but if you're planning on mostly playing 2 player I find it hard to recommend without modifying the rules (see variant suggestion at end). The problem with 2 player is that the best strategy is to play conservatively until the deck runs out. This results in long, uneventful games of attrition which can take well over 15 minutes (upwards of 30 minutes depending on how much thinking is done).
"But wait! Everyone else is talking about how fast this game is!"
Let me explain why playing conservatively is the best strategy which unfortunately leads to boring games. The 2 player version of control is all about *card advantage*. If you have more cards, you have more options which means more *control*. However, the only way to gain card advantage is by removing more of your opponent's installed bronze cards than yours with a Singularity or removing more of your opponent's installed silver cards than yours with an Anomaly. This means neither player should ever make a push with 2 or more of the same color card (silver or bronze) since that would open that player up to a negative trade and a loss in card advantage. As a result, players just go back and forth drawing cards or making 1 for 1 card trades without ever committing to a risky push. Eventually the deck runs out and whoever managed to construct the stronger hand at this point wins.
That being said, there is still plenty of strategy that factors into creating the best hand for when the deck runs out. While neither player can gain value trading 1 card for 2 cards, there is still plenty of value to be gained when trading 1 for 1 if you can consistently trade your weaker cards for your opponent's stronger ones. However, although skill is still important, this doesn't change the fact that you'll be drawing through the entire deck most games which takes too long and feels like it's dragging out more than it should.
Now, you may say "well maybe you should just take more chances then!" Perhaps, but I argue that this is a sub-optimal way to play. As soon as one player lets themselves get punished and loses card advantage (by having 2+ bronze or 2+ silver cards in play at the same time which get removed by a single Anomaly or Singularity for a 1:2 card trade), the best strategy for the player with the advantage is now to drag the game out until the end where their superior number of cards will greatly increase their ability to win.
2 PLAYER VARIANT
Since it's rarely advantageous for either player to push for a win until the deck runs out, perhaps a solution to this is to base the game around maximizing your end-game hand rather than trying to win early. In that case, the problem is how long it takes to get through the deck to reach that end-game. A potential way to address that problem could be to cut the number of cards in the deck in half (2 copies of each card instead of 4). That way even though players will draw through the entire deck most games, it doesn't take quite as long.