Release Date: 2022Players: 1-5
Designer: Manny VegaLength: 60-75 minutes
Artist: Sandara TangAge: 10+
Publisher: Lucky Duck GamesComplexity: 2.0 / 5
Plastic (by weight): < 10%Air (by volume): 50%

Once upon a time in a magical village where artisan dragons worked at the butcher’s to sell meat, the ironmonger to make metalware or in enchanting shops to bake bread, it was your role, as a Flamekeeper, to find the perfect shop for each dragon. You would visit these shops to gain items or enchant the shops to grow your reputation. Only the best Flamekeeper could become master of the Flamecraft by Manny Vega from Lucky Duck Games.

Happy Dragons

The game doesn’t only have a wonderful setting, but its whole presentation is simply enchanting. As you roll out the neoprene mat, which makes up the shared game board, place the starter shops along with their corresponding starter dragons along the edge and complete the rest of the setup, you immediately feel transported into a fantasy version of a quaint chocolate-box English village. Flamecraft‘s appearance lures you into a wonderfully idyllic small town where everyone knows each other by name. Everyone just goes about their daily business and works happily alongside one another.

To be honest, the gameplay pretty much matches that expectation. The game is a very friendly version of action selection. You place your dragon in any of the shops. If other dragons are already there, you have to give each of them one of your resources. So there is no blocking of other players, unless you’ve completely run out of items to give out. Even then there are plenty of shops for you to visit. It’s impossible to not have anywhere to go. Already it’s clear that this is a very friendly game, even though Flamecraft is definitely competitive. So while you are giving other players some of your resources, you do want to make sure you don’t give them anything that would give them too much of a benefit.

The next level of positive player interaction comes when you enchant a shop. It’s basically a way of upgrading the shop by paying certain resources and gaining victory points as a reward. So while you get the benefit of enchanting the shop, everyone gains the additional resources when they visit it. Again, it’s about ensuring you get the bigger benefit out of it.

one of Flamecraft's shops with a number of artisan dragons
one of Flamecraft’s shops with a number of artisan dragons

Hate Drafting

Yet, not everything is hunky-dory in the Flamecraft village. There are two card rows where you get additional dragons or spell cards to enchant shops. Given that a lot of the information in the game is public knowledge, it is possible to hate-draft here. If you can see someone working towards a specific spell, you can try and stop them by using it first. If someone might benefit from a specific dragon, you could get it for yourself before they get a chance.

Mind you, it’s not quite as simple as that. You can’t just take a spell. You do have to have the required resources for it. So unless two players are competing for the same spell, it’s impossible to stop someone from getting the card they need. It’s more of a race to collect what you need before someone else.

Similarly, there are so many dragons of the same type available that it is unlikely that you will be able to take one that another player desperately needs. Even if you take the last one from the offer row, the one that replaces it could easily be of the same type.

So, even though there is the potential for negative player interaction, it is really very limited. Flamecraft definitely does all it can to be a fiercely competitive game where players have to help each other along the way. Everyone races to get the most points, but everyone is forced to give other players some of their resources at some point in the game.

Yet, it’s not a multi-player solitaire game. Even though nobody can really stop you from doing what you need to do, you are still encouraged to compete and not allow someone to get their points without any work.

one of the spell cards surrounded by heart-shaped victory point markers
spells allow you to enchant a shop in Flamecraft and gain heart victory points

Lovely Flamecraft

It’s really lovely to see a game promoting positive player interaction. It’s rare in our hobby to see players being forced to share their resources with others. Competitive games so often are very cut-throat. Unless they are multi-player solitaire, competitive games encourage everyone to negatively affect the other players’ game. So Flamecraft is a really lovely exception.

It’s a really great family game as well. It’s not only relatively easy to learn, but its cartoon-style presentation and fantasy setting with cute dragons in a world where everyone is friendly to each other really appeal to younger players. They also learn that they sometimes have to share with others to get what they want. The level of competitiveness is just right and doesn’t lead to tamper tantrums – neither from the younger nor the older people around the table.

S0 if you’re looking for a game for all the family, where younger players are enthralled by the lovely artwork and older players are entertained by the gameplay, then Flamecraft is definitely worth a look. If you add the little plastic dragon miniatures as well, you will elevate the enjoyment for the kids even further. Mind you, even I love moving my little red dragon through the village from shop to shop. It’s the perfect game for a fun afternoon when you want something a little lighter. In fact, I would even go as far as saying that Flamecraft is on fire!

Useful Links


Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
  • The publisher gave me a discount to purchase this game for review.
  • At the time of writing, neither the designers, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the game supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

Sound Effects: – © copyright 2024 BBC

Music (CC BY 4.0): Evacuation by Sascha Ende


These are the songs I listened to while I was writing this review:

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