Gamday First Play – Locke & Key: The Game

Posted on by Jesta

“Keys turn both ways. You can lock something away… But you can also throw a bolt and set something free.”

~ Joe Hill

Locke & Key tells the story of the Locke family and Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion that is home to fantastic keys that transform all who dare to use them…and a hate-filled creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all.

This is a neat little trick taking game…

Each round there is a challenge card revealed that has a colour and a value as well as rules for ‘Second Place’.

Players have a hand of cards, these also have a value and a colour along with an ability.

In turn order, players have the option to either play up to 3 cards face down to try and overcome the challenge. (Which is to have cards of the correct colour played by all players meet or exceed the value on the Challenge) Some cards are played face up due to the ability they have activating at this point.

Or they can discard 2 cards to draw a Key card, I’ll get to those in a bit.

Once everyone has done one of these, players reveal their cards in turn order, activating abilities as they go.

Then everyone has a chance to play a Key card, they’re shiny.

These keys have a few different abilities, some one shot, some permanent.

Then you see if you beat the Challenge, if not you flip over the next one and start again.

If it’s defeated, the player that played the highest value in cards of that colour keeps the card for scoring. You also score for who came second which is different for each challenge.

Near the bottom of the Challenge deck is card that says ‘Game Over’, when that is revealed the game ends, most points wins.


Fun game, does this blind trick taking mechanism very well.

Second place is sometimes worth more than first place so you have to pay attention.

The art is fantastic and the weird images on the cards are great fun.

The key cards have a nice shiny metallic effect.


Turns can be a little slow for a light game.

Challenges hardly ever failed…


A very nice, good looking game with great art and fun game play.

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