There are many good to very good board games, but there are usually few that are outstanding each year. With Flamecraft, Cardboard Alchemy has launched a title that is hotly traded as one of the best board games of 2022. You wouldn't have expected that from the Eurogame. 

There are also unwritten rules in the board game world. One of them: cats, birds or pirates - that's always a theme. And dragons are also popular when it comes to making a board game as suitable for the masses as possible. This has worked particularly well for the fiery flying lizards since the TV series House of the Dragon at the latest. Flamecraft has proven to be a success, with fans and critics alike celebrating Manny Vega's work. 

The perfect symbiosis

As a Eurogame, Flamecraft doesn't have it that easy on the way to becoming one of the top board games: Mostly bulky processes, a lot of monotony and often weak final phases make Euro board games usually rather solid fare. The fact that Flamecraft is different is not due to the playfulness alone. Manny Vega's idea works well, entertaining and enticing, but ultimately it's the visuals that take this title to the next level. 

Flamecraft is an impressive example of what the perfect symbiosis of gameplay and illustration can achieve. Flamecraft would not be the critically acclaimed board game it is without the artwork of Sandara Tang (formerly The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game or Descent). The trick can best be compared with Scythe: There, too, the graphic style allowed you to get more out of the board game than would have been purely playful. 

Flamecraft takes the debate about the themes placed on the gameplay framework in European-style board games ad absurdum. The fact is: it is precisely the combination of game, trend theme and visuals that makes Manny Vegas' work one of the best of the year. 

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Above all, the optics are a highlight at Flamecraft. Image: Lucky Duck

The game basically ripples along. There are no real conflict situations, players collect points, optimize their "engine" - and in the end, the one with the highest popularity rating in the Ghibli-like city wins again. Counting victory points is also a well-known and well-worn trick in Flamecraft. Flamecraft is no more board game than other euro board games are: you collect buffs and bonuses, maximize your personal score - but you do it all in a beautifully crafted setting around dragons. 

The creative-classic theme is always present. The playful look is the secret, and at the same time so obvious, star of the board game. It's not particularly complicated, Flamecraft is more of a kind of door opener to the world of parlor games. The title is attractive for families, for connoisseurs thanks to the interlocking engine building and the high variance due to the almost 80 kites and 30 shops. No two games will ever be the same. 

In a German version, Flamecraft appears via Asmodee, also in the deluxe version with dragon miniatures instead of small wooden figures. The board game is aimed at up to five players aged around twelve and over. Solo play is also possible. A game lasts about an hour. 

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Last updated on 26.01.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API