In September 2021 Cardboard Alchemy achieved a great success. With Flamecraft and its artwork, which is strongly reminiscent of the films of the anime giant Studio Ghibli, the still young publisher convinced 29.476 people and was able to collect over 2 million dollars. With numbers like that, it's clear that Flamecraft is attracting a lot of attention. You can find out in this review whether the game is worth something or whether it lives purely on its beautiful appearance.
In the world of Flamecraft, potter and jewel dragons—smaller and magically gifted versions of the large and often destructive dragons—live alongside humans, delighting them with their flamecraft. With the help of these, they create a variety of helpful and delicious goods. We ourselves slip into the role of a flame keeper and are gifted at communicating with these dragons. We want to find the ideal place for them to live, cast enchantments, and lure them into making wonderful things.
Collect or Enchant
In Flamecraft we visit a shop with our dragon and use either the collect or enchant actions there. When collecting, we get all the goods that the store has for us, we are allowed to use a potter dragon in the store to get various bonuses, we can use a potter dragon's fire ability to perform various effects and use the shop ability that activates various effects or generates bonuses . Handydragons are the dragons that help out in the shop. These come in six types, each with their own firing ability. These can either lure more dragons into the city, generate more raw materials, exchange jobs with other dragons or generate victory points in the form of fame.
If we use the Enchant action, we may activate one of five enchantments that are on display. These are improvements for a shop and generate more resources when collected. For an enchantment you pay the specified number of resources and put them next to the shop you are on. Then you get a reward and can activate the fire abilities of all the potter dragons in the shop.
In addition to the two actions, we can still complete the tasks of the jewelry dragons to get additional glory. We have to fulfill these either during our round - recognizable by the sun symbol - or at the end of the game - recognizable by the moon symbol.
A game is played until either the pottery dragon or the enchantments draw pile is empty. Then each end of the game plays one more round. The person with the most glory at the end wins the game.
Peaceful against each other
So Flamecraft can be described as a worker placement game with small engine building elements. However, we don't build our own engine here, but work together on a city and its shops, improve them according to our wishes and thus build an engine for each individual shop that all players can use.
The mechanics don't invent anything new. You've seen a lot of it in other games in some form. However, Flamecraft runs smoothly and pleasantly peacefully for a competitive game. The artwork, the creative shops, the texts on the maps and the fact that you build an engine for each shop together add to the peaceful feel. Of course it can happen that you obstruct someone, but there are always ways to adapt your move.
The big plus!
… are the great components and of course the beautiful artwork. We tested the standard version of the game and are simply enthusiastic about it. The game mat in particular, as a replacement for the classic game board, makes a lot. In addition, the box has a simple cardboard inlay, with which we can sort all components in an orderly manner. We'd love to see this in standard versions of games more often!
If you want even better quality, you can also go for the deluxe edition. Here Flamecraft offers six well modeled dragon miniatures instead of the beautiful wooden meeples. In addition, there are metal coins in a cloth bag, wooden goods tiles and a sorting insert from Gametrayz, instead of the cardboard versions from the retail edition.
Lots of attention to detail
The German translation of the game is really impressive! The shops, dragons and enchantments have been treated with a lot of love. Each shop has a creative name, many of which are based on German pop culture. For example, we can carry out our campaigns at Joko and Glas or in the Tabalaguna.
In addition, Sandra Tang's drawings deserve a positive mention. Many small details and even smaller Easter Eggs have flowed into the pictures of the respective shops and kites. Also nice: All the people involved in Flamecraft have let themselves be incorporated into the game as dragons in the form of a small extension.
Information about Flamecraft
|Number of players: 1 to 5
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 60 minutes
Long-term motivation: medium
Classification: higher family game
Author: Manny Vega
Flamecraft not only impresses with its beauty, but can also convince playfully. Everything you do as a player you've seen somewhere else before, but that's not a bad thing. All mechanics work great and create a well-rounded feel. The game is easy to learn, easy to understand and has enough depth to think up smaller tactics for your next moves. With two smaller expansions included in the standard version, the game can be made even more difficult and slightly asymmetrical.
Flamecraft is particularly suitable for families who want to venture into slightly higher games. Due to the large number of shops, which offer different possibilities with each game, Flamecraft also has a high replay value. In our opinion, Flamecraft definitely has the potential to be awarded (expert) game of the year.
|Cardboard Alchemy | Flamecraft | family game | board game | 1-5... *||63,99 EUR||Buy|
Last updated on 27.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API