Time travel is a reality in the future. During a routine mission, players find themselves in a rupture in spacetime and left you stranded. Can you refuel your ship to make it back home before the other players, or will your efforts come up short and leave you behind in the rupture? Control is the first game from Keymaster Games. As a designer and a fan of good art, this game has satisfied the creative side of me, but could this card game satisfy the gamer in me?
The Struggle is Real
The basics of Control are pretty simple. Players are working to play cards that equal a total of 21 points or more to refuel their ship to leave the rupture that everyone is trapped in. You’ll see cards numbered between 1 and 10 points with various special abilities printed on the card. That simple goal of scoring 21+ points gets very difficult when all the other players are keeping you from reaching that number.
On your turn you have a couple options. You can simply draw a new card, install a Fuel Cell, burn a Fuel Cell or defuse another players Fuel Cell. This last action is just one of the ways that you can setback another player from reaching their goal of 21+ points.
I really love the balance of how these actions play out. Drawing a card at the right time can be very satisfying as you plan your next couple actions. Installing a high numbered Fuel Cell might just take the other players by surprise and change the course of the game. Control plays very quickly which is something that our family has really enjoyed. You might play poorly in one match but at least you know that another one is just 10 minutes away.
The creators Mattox Shuler and Kyle Key did a great job balancing the card actions so that players always have a way to take out an opponent. The “Rift” card with a value of 1 can destroy a “Nova” card that is worth 10 points. The “Rewind” card can nullify an installed Fuel Cell and the “Exotic Matter” card allows you to play an additional card (6 points or less). It’s a challenge to decide whether you’ll add Fuel Cells to your own ship or keep someone else from escaping the rupture.
A Beauty to Play
I was really blown away by the quality of the components of Control. This game was funded through Kickstarter in the Winter of 2016 and the quality of this game is incredible. The box is beautifully designed with a gold shine that really stands out. The cards have fantastic illustrations and the two colors, bronze and silver, are simple and classy. The tokens that are given when a player wins are really high quality metal pieces that are perfect for this game.
The success of the Kickstarter pushed these components to be the best they could be. It’s really impressive to just open the box before playing a game. As a designer, I really appreciate the work that was put into this game from the font to the illustrations on every card.
Our Final Thoughts
When my co-worker introduced me to Control, I was so excited to share this with our family and friends. The game plays quickly and has enough depth to kick off any gaming night. The game plays 2 to 4 players but we’ve had the best time with 4 players.
We’ve been able to introduce this game to gamers and non-gamers and had a great time with both. The game is simple enough to teach in a couple minutes but complex enough that you’ll have to really think about every action. Control is another gem that I hope to see in more game libraries. You can order a copy of Control through Amazon today.
- Beautiful design and high quality components
- Card actions are well balanced
- Simple to learn and complex to master
- Some rounds can end very quickly with the right card combinations