It’s no secret that Parks from Keymaster is a really special game. The system Henry Audubon designed is elegant and made even more beautiful by the art from the Fifty-nine Parks project and the components in the box. For their next act, Keymaster has put together a strategic memory game set in our beautiful world.
When you think of memory games, it’s hard not to think of the traditional matching games that have been reskinned a million times. Designer Kyle Key has taken this simple idea and built something special in Parks Memories.
Matching Parks and More
The game plays 2 to 3 players or teams of players. On the table you’ll have a 3 x 3 grid of parks cards laying face down. On your turn you flip over 2 different cards in the grid. Each card contains a gorgeous illustration along with an element like water, mountain, forest or sun. These are the same icons that you find throughout the original Parks.
When two icons match, the player earns a bonus ability that is associated with that element. These abilities are a great way to modify the board, swap cards in the grid or take a look at upcoming park cards from the three different draw decks.
What makes Parks Memories unique is the fact that after revealing the 2 cards, players will pull one card from the grid and place it in front of them. Even if the player reveals 2 identical park cards, they can only take 1. This puts it on the players to remember where the matching card resides in the grid. After choosing their card, the player then moves a token to the other face up card, locking it from being selected by the next player.
Players are working to collect 3 matching pairs of parks to win the game. This won’t be easy when people are using bonus abilities and trying to keep you from collecting matches.
After spending time with Parks Memories, we were surprised at how small tweaks to the memory game concept made such a great game. Players are working to match icons to get a leg up on their opponents while still looking for matching parks. The vibe of this game fits so well into the Parks “universe”. It’s chill, plays smooth and has enough strategy for families and casual gamers.
3 Flavors to Choose From
Parks Memories is coming to Kickstarter in 3 slightly different flavors on February 4, 2020. The sets are themed “Mountaineers”, “Coast to Coast” and “Plains Walker”. Each box has a curated set of 22 different park illustrations (44 cards) along with a unique set of bonus abilities. Jennifer Graham-Macht of Keymaster Games shared that these sets can be mixed and matched along with the bonus abilities being swapped out for your favorites.
Parks Memories feels like the game that every scenic Air B&B should be required to own. After playing a game of it with Erin and our friend Bob, I felt like I should head off to a mountain resort for some “reflecting time”.
I don’t expect Parks Memories to come out during game with your friends. Instead, this is the game that you’ll play to start the weekend with a pot of coffee and a loved one. Parks is a game that our family “visits” often and Parks Memories feels like a fantastic compliment to this world.
You can check out Parks Memories along with the Parks Nightfall expansion starting February 4, 2020 on Kickstarter.
We played Parks Memories prior to Keymaster Games’ Kickstarter campaign. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game. All photos in this review are prototype components.