One Key – Libellud – Review

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This is game is now on the top 10 of my party games.  It is quick, fun, and brings people together.

Heather Swanson

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Theme and What is it?


One Key has a theme about keys.  No, scratch that.  It is about creatures escaping a box.  No, that’s not it either.  Geez, what is the theme?  Weeeeell, there are lots of pictures and one of them is the one you need to find.


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Gameplay Mechanics


There are 4 rounds in which you are given the opportunity to find the correct picture – the One Key.  There will be one clue revealed each round.  However, there is a ticket that can be used once for an extra clue.

In the first round you have no choice for a clue.  The person who is officiating the game will randomly pick a card from the deck and make a judgement call on how much it relates to the picture they know is the One Key.

The clue will then be laid down next to the red, green, or yellow sign.  If it is next to the red sign it means the person feels is has little to nothing to do with the One Key.  If it is in the yellow section it is fairly neutral.  Laying the picture next to the green card indicates something about that picture strongly relates to the One Key.

There is an app for the game that keeps track of which is the correct answer and timing the rounds.  Once the clue has been revealed for the round, the timer on the app is started.  Players have 3 minutes to eliminate pictures they believe are not the One Key.

At the end of the first round players must have eliminated 1 picture.  At the end of the 2nd round they have to get rid of two pictures and so on through the 4th round.  Since 11 cards were placed out at the beginning, only one will be left.  Hopefully, if all has gone well, the one image left is the One Key.

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Initial Impressions


I loved the art on the box and was immediately drawn in.  Once I opened the box I was so impressed with how everything was organized.

The box holds everything exactly in its place.  Pieces won’t fall around or move about when shaking the box.  There isn’t any game I can think of that holds the components so perfectly.  Funny thing to be taken by but I loved it.

Another thing I noticed in the box was how spectacular the artwork was.  It was so refreshing to see the cards had been individually cut to match the art work.  It really made this game pop for me.

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Game Build Quality


The components are wonderful.  Did they need to make such a cool stand?  No.  Does it make a huge difference to have it?  YES!  A resounding yes!  Presentation is this game is wonderful!

The only tiny ridiculous draw back is how hard it was for us to pick up the cards when they were on the table.  They are thin and we couldn’t get our fingernails under them.  

We are resilient.  We are tough.  We adapted and overcame.  The work-around is easy.  Slide the card to the edge of the table.

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Artistic Direction


Wow…just what can I saw to explain to you just how magnificent the art is in One Key?  There aren’t words.  You will just have to see for yourself.

If I had to relate this art to something I would look back on Dixit.  It is ambiguous which makes it all the harder when trying to guess the One Key.  I love what the artist has put together.

Sometimes the images have deep thoughts behind them.  Sometimes they are clever.  How about the picture of the ‘Witches Brew’ I’ve posted here?  All of them have double meanings. 

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Fun Factor


This game really works with any group.  It incites interesting discussions while debating what the clues could be indicating.  It always leads to trying to climb into the mind of the one person giving the clues.

The discussions are interesting.  “Did she mean for us to think the subject is showing fear?”  “I think it has to do with the fact all these cards have people playing or doing a hobby.”  “No, it has to do with the shape.”

Meanwhile, the person giving clues is drawing 3 new cards to place on the special stand.  They are rating them as yellow, green, or red but keeping it hidden.  At the end of the round, if the participants have not ended the game by eliminating the One Key, they will get to chose which of the 3 new clues to reveal.

More discussion happens at this stage over which clue should be chosen.  “We should pick the one we believe is more like what we think is right.”  “No, we should pick the one that matches the other red clue.”

One Key is huge on player interaction.  It can bring a group of strangers together or strengthen already established friendships….unless you get in a fight of course.


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Age Range & Weight


The recommended age is 8 and up.  I would say this is correct depending on the kid.  The problem is the abstract thought.  That doesn’t form until an older age.

When a younger kids is providing they clues you might have to adjust to more literal interpretations.  They may struggle when an adult is providing clues unless the adult adjusts as well.

The concepts in the game are incredibly easy.  It doesn’t take much at all to learn.  The weight of the game is really light.  It is only difficult because the pictures are so varied.

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The art in One Key makes it the stellar game that it is!  I could not imagine finding the one correct image with anything less.  It is the perfect mechanic with the perfect art.

This is game is now on the top 10 of my party games.  It is quick, fun, and brings people together.  It is a little tough on the brain but even so, the art is so wonderful you keep coming back for more.