Crystallo – Zafty Games – Review





The quality of the game is exactly as it should be for what it attempts to accomplish. 

Josh Hale



Publisher: Zafty Games

Designer: Liberty Kifer

Artist: Liberty Kifer

Game Type: Set Collection

Game Type: Abstract

Initial Year of Release: 2019

Age Range: 8+

Expected Playtime: 20-30 Minutes

Number of Players: JUST YOU

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 1

Theme and What is it?





I cannot see Crystallo without thinking Sonic the Hedgehog. You will be freeing 6 friends from the black dragon. You will eventually use their powers to trap the black dragon. 

You know how when you busted Dr. Robotnik’s robots? Your furry friends would emerge? This is similar in Crystallo, you are helping your forest friends to escape the evil mastermind, in this case, a dragon.

Ultimately, this is a solo abstract game that you are matching like and unlike symbols to get treasure, unlock friends, and ultimately trap a dragon. How does it stack up?

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 2
Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 3

Gameplay Mechanics





You will match or not match in a very precise way three symbols and a gem. Here, above you can see orange is matched, but each gem is slightly different. You could also match exactly, or more exactly mismatch things. 

Three gems of a single color, means you unlock a friend. Unlocking six friends means you can try to lock up the dragon. Oh… did you forget to get treasure during the first half of the game? Yeah, that was poor planning… Our first game we scored like 200, out of a possible 2000 or something crazy. We thought we did well. The Black Dragon had other plans…

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 4

Initial Impressions





The marketing of this game on Kickstarter was very nice. When I was given the game for review, it was the black satchel, and nothing more. I did not realize it was one and the same with the Kickstarter that I thought looked cool. 

This is a common theme for me. I judge before I have actually seen the game. I really should get a new vocation. This is because I have this bad habit of pre-judgment. 

Though, I can hardly be the only one out there that does this. A game needs a table, as a family, needs a home. Packaging alone does not make a game. I often forget this, as I am a box art nerd. This may not be fair of me, or perhaps of you either. This game deserves to be seen on a table.

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 5

Game Build Quality





Cards and aquarium rocks. This game though simple, looks fantastic on the table. The quality of the game is exactly as it should be for what it attempts to accomplish. 

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 6

Artistic Direction





Liberty made a game that is simple in execution, which required simple art. She did that fantastically. 

The animals and dragon are very nicely done in such a way that they add to the game rather than distract from it. Purple and dark blue were a bit too close for my eyes in the lighting I had, but that could simply be a production issue. 

The crystals make up for that however, and as such, it is a hollow complaint, as it does not affect gameplay, as there is also color-blind symbology. Though that is not an issue for me, when colors are close, it does help.

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 7

Fun Factor





Abstracts are my jam.

This is because jelly don’t jiggle like my jam. I love a game that feels gamey, but also allows or even forces solo play. 

This was a game that was petitioned by one of the MeepleGamers writers, and it just did not find its way into the box for shipment. Sorry Mary. She may have to pick a different game… this one might stay in my travel bag.

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 8

Age Range & Weight





8+. I would say the gameplay is accurately 8+.

Doing well… that may be a different discussion entirely…

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 9






I really like Crystallo. I am surprised by how well I like Crystallo to be honest. It was not on my radar, as I don’t generally look for solo games. 

This was my mistake, and could be yours as well. This game fits in your pockets and could be a great travel companion. If you are tired of Freecell, or solitaire, maybe you owe yourself something new that will attract the eyes of random people while playing in a coffee shop or airport.

This should fill that void for you, it has for me. Again, sorry Mary.

Crystallo - Zafty Games - Review 10

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