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Keystone: North America is the next big board game for nature lovers after Wingspan

Co-designed by the co-creator of Dead of Winter.

Grow and nurture ecosystems in Keystone: North America, an upcoming board game about the importance of protecting fundamental species.

Keystone: North America sees players becoming biologists attempting to build and develop new ecosystems of animals across the western continent. In a similar fashion to the popular tabletop title Wingspan, Keystone: North America revolves around the theme of wildlife research and how different creatures interact with each other in a shared environment. The more interconnected the ecosystems that players create, the more points they’ll be able to gather throughout the game.

In the board game, players will draw and play cards into their ecosystems, with each species being better suited to sharing environments with certain other species. Players will need to carefully chain each card they play together to ensure that their ecosystem remains balanced and healthy. When players are struggling to find a species card to place next to an existing one, they can use wild cards to help bridge any gaps they might encounter. Every player will begin the game with their own set of secret objectives that require them to have particular seasonal patterns - completed secret objectives are rewarded with additional points.

Cover image for YouTube video

Once players have built their ecosystems up, they can begin to perform research on the species found therein which can unlock species outside of their respective fields, as well as provide opportunities for claiming winning victory points. As well as a competitive mode, Keystone: North American comes with a co-op game mode in the form of narrative adventures found within an accompanying book - which will contain puzzles and information about the various species that call North America their home. There is also a solo game mode included in the book.

Keystone: North America was co-created by Isaac Vega - the co-founder of Rose Gauntlet Entertainment, the publisher responsible for putting out the game, and co-creator of horror title Dead of Winter - and Jeffery Joyce, a wildlife conservation enthusiast whose debut design is Keystone.

Keystone: North America box

Rose Gauntlet Entertainment is a publishing company that was founded earlier this year by Vega and tabletop designer Lindsey Rode, after Vega departed Plaid Hat Games in 2020. Besides Keystone: North America, Rose Gauntlet is set to release several titles including an upcoming RPG called Life After Dungeon and a game called Gone to Gaia - which will be the first video game to be designed by Vega.

Keystone: North America is set to be launched on Kickstarter sometime soon, with the official campaign dates or pledge amounts yet to be confirmed.

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.