Calvin’s Commentaries: Parks

If you are a sucker for great looking games then you will be blown away by Parks a brand new release from Keymaster Games.

Parks is quite simply gorgeous.

The game is a collaboration between Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series and Keymaster Games. The artwork in this game comes from the print series which features more than 40 artists around the world. The illustrations highlight 45 national parks found across the United States.

The art on the cards is thus outstanding.

To see the full collection of national park illustrations and to purchase prints in the series, visit

But, what about gameplay?

“Players take on the roles of two hikers as they trek across different trails during the four seasons of a year. Each trail represents a different season, and as each season passes, the trails change and grow steadily longer. Each turn, players send one of their hikers down the trail. While on the trail, hikers will see beautiful sites and perform an action when they arrive. When a hiker reaches the end of the trail, they can spend tokens they have received to visit parks and earn points. Your goal is to have the most points from your parks, photos, and personal bonus at the end of the year,” notes the rulebook.

In many ways, this game reminds very much of Tokaido in terms of the play. Tokaido is a great game with a more minimalistic art style with of course a Japanese theme, but how the games played are most certainly similar.

There are a few additional aspects here, but frankly, you could toss the ability to gain gear that plays a small role, and not really change Parks at all, leaving the core again very much like Tokaido.

In fact, at the end of the day if you have Tokaido I’m not sure you gain anything, past the art to look at, by adding Parks to a game collection.

If you have neither game, then I can easily recommend that you add one, the game mechanic of rather leisurely meandering down a path toward victory points is a laid back, yet fun mechanic. Whether Tokaido or Parks is likely a choice made based on the art, both have merit.

Living in North America where you might visit some of the American parks highlighted in the art, and the recent release might tip the scales toward Parks for many.

Certainly, if you chose parks you will not be disappointed. A game in contention for a top-10 review game of 2019.

Check it out at

Thanks to fellow gamers Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.


About Author