Parker, one of the most beautiful games of the last decade, is loved for its complex, well-balanced game. But like many European-inspired board games, it can be a bit also complex for families and newcomers. Hence the design publisher Keymaster Taurus, a game inspired by Parker but streamlined for a more general audience. The pint package is due out June 20 for $ 19.99. Polygon has the exclusive first look at Taurus, plus an interview with Keymaster Games founder Kyle Key.
Parker turned heads in 201
Which Parker, Taurus uses beautiful artwork from the Fifty-Nine Parks project, a print series celebrating America’s national parks. The series has a bold visual style from a fantastic collection of artists (and even better, part of The National Park Service’s sales advantage).
Player Taurus together with my own family I was surprised by the simplicity of the system. When players move their hiker to the end of the trail, they can submit their resources for badges. These marks again act as a small engine to generate victory points. There is another way to score bonus points by spotting the most birds along the way. The sessions lasted no more than 20 minutes each (play Parker ran between 40-70 minutes), and the rules were simple enough that I could easily explain them to my seven-year-old daughter.
Kyle Key said his team could have made a game about the art and science of hiking; pack your cargo, choose a route and find shelter along the way. Instead, Taurus Designer Henry Audubon chose to focus on the more inspiring aspects of being outdoors. The game’s low level of complexity also allows room at the table for conversation, and to create memories with those closest to you.
“We’re only there to help you connect with the people around you,” Key said. “If we made a super heavy game, they would go away and say, ‘I really do not want to play it again.’ “I find some of the most fascinating Parker, Parkminner, [and] now, what we hope for Taurus, is that people can not avoid sitting there and sharing stories together. ”
While the original Parker Focused on the National Park System, many fans wondered if it could also be extended to include the National Trails System. That was the seed of inspiration Taurus. As luck would have it, Fifty-Nine Parks has expanded to include unique images of the Trails System, so Keymaster was able to dive right in. The three big ones included in the final game, Key said, are the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail – all of which are part of the National Scenic Trails collection.
Key said finding the right balance between complexity and design is a big part of his new company’s journey.
“People play multiple games together,” Key said. “Finding the game, the theme and the experience that makes the nearby table experience for the family, is something that is important to us. Art is as important to us as games. So we want to make sure that these games have a place on people’s shelves, because they are also beautiful, and that’s one of the most important things that draws people around the table to start sharing experiences. “
You can find Taurus for sale in Target stores nationwide later this month.