I was first introduced to DPH Studioz’ games when I had a chance to sit down with designer Darrin Horbal and play his Star Guard prototype. KhromaZones is a departure from the last game, containing only an unthemed deck of cards with squeaky-clean design.
The game isn’t available for purchase yet but will soon be via The Game Crafter.
The goal of KhromaZones is simple: have the most points at the end of the game. The game can end two ways: when a player needs to play a card and can’t or when a player has captures 4 zones in a row. The latter is an automatic win for that player.
Before play seven zones are laid out across the table. Each player takes a set of cards, either the light deck of the dark deck. Both decks contain identical cards. These are shuffled and placed in front of the players as their draw decks.
Each turn a player must take the follow actions:
- Play a card
During the Draw phase, the player must declare how many cards they’re going to draw. 1, 2, or 3 cards may be drawn, but no more than 3 cards be a player’s hand at once.
During the play phase, a player will place on of their cards down on their side of one of the seven zones. The goal is to claim zones by having 3 different color gems down in front of a zone. If this happens a claim card of the player’s color is placed in front of the zone. A player can also negate an opponent’s card by playing a gem of the same color across from it. If this happens both cards are removed from play.
One a player has played their card they may choose to keep 1 card in their hand until their next turn. Any other cards in their hand are discarded. A player doesn’t have to hold and may discard all the cards left in their hand.
Play continues until a player has claimed 4 zones in a row or there are no cards to play. Once the game ends scoring begins.
Scoring in KhromaZone has several layers.
- A player’s largest group of claimed zones earns 100 points for each claim.
- Other claims are worth 10 points
- Individual gems on the board are worth 1 point each.
The player with the most points wins.
For the full rules, including solitaire rules, check here.
You can also check out Darrin’s awesome how-to video below:
KhromaZones’ cards are of typical Game Crafter quality. For those who are unfamiliar, they’re sturdy and resilient, but not quite the level of a standard playing card. The design of the cards is another matter. While the game has a very minimal design, it’s impeccable. The gems pop off the cards and everything is laid out in a way that makes it easy to see what you need to know at a glance, even if the cards are stacked on a zone.
KhromaZones is exactly what it appears to be on the surface, a light, abstract card game. It’s quick to play, extremely easy to learn, and while the box says it’s for ages 12+, younger children will have no problem picking it up. To be honest, KhromaZones feels like the card of card game you could walk into your nearest big box store and snag off the shelf, though much better thought and entertaining.
If you’re looking for an excellent filler game that can easily be setup and played by 2 players, look no further than KhromaZones. There’s certainly a bit more strategy than meets the eye here. Do you rush in aggressively trying to claim zones, or work on foiling your opponent’s every move? Do you slowly make your way through the deck trying to make the most out of your cards, or burn through in hopes you can end the game before the other player has a chance to capture more zones?
KhromaZones should be available on The Game Crafter soon, and it’s one you should certainly give a try.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.