Keepers: A Gorgeous Party Game of Nature and Photographs | Casual Game Revolution

Keepers: A Gorgeous Party Game of Nature and Photographs


Which one of the photos in your hand best fits the word ‘sweet’? Maybe none of them do, in which case which one least fits it? Because that could earn you a point as well.

Published by Van Ryder Games, Keepers is a 15-30 minute party game designed for 3-8 players.


The mat, with numbered spaces for up to eight cards, is placed in the center of the table, and each player draws seven cards into their hands. Players will take turns being the curator. On your turn as curator, you look at your cards and then say one word that is not a noun. You can choose a word that you feel fits one of your cards or you can choose one that you believe does not. Everyone then selects one card to play. Without looking at them, the curator takes everyone’s card, shuffles them together with his own, and lays them out in a row on the numbered spaces on the game mat.

Each player then uses his dial to secretly vote for one card, either the card he thinks best matches the curator’s word or that least matches it. You may not vote for your own card. All votes are revealed simultaneously.

You check which card got the vote for most in line with the word. The person who played that card takes it and adds it to his score pile. You then check which card got the most votes for least in line with the word, and the person who played that card takes it and adds it to his score pile. In the case of a tie, in either category, all tied cards are taken by their respective players and added to their score piles. Any cards remaining on the mat are then discarded, everyone draws back up to seven cards, and the next player becomes the curator.

The game ends once everyone has been curator once. The player with the most cards in his score pile wins the game.

If playing with 3-4 players, everyone chooses two cards to play instead of one, everyone has two votes but must vote for different cards, and you play until everyone has been the curator twice.

Keepers Components


Keepers is a gorgeous game with the artwork on the cards being nature art photos by photographer Byron Jorjorian. They’re really beautiful and are a treat in and of themselves to look at while you play the game. They also do offer plenty of different words to consider when you have the role of curator. In addition, the fact that both the cards that match that word, as well as the cards that do not, score points, is a great change to the mechanics and makes up for the fact that the artwork is not as abstract as you would find in similar games.

Sometimes in this type of party game, you’re just left with no good options based on the word and the cards in your hand, but there’s a valid strategy in leaning towards the card that will least match the word, while also opening up your options. Even the curator can specifically choose a word that doesn’t match the cards in his hand as a way to set himself up for points, so there’s some strategy in choosing whether to lean into the word or not.

The game definitely works better at a higher player count. While there are those extra rules in place to make it work with 3-4 players, it’s more fun to have a wider range of photos that you can vote for.

There are several games out there with similar mechanics; Dixit or Detective Club come to mind. The uniqueness of the artwork used here, however, makes Keepers well worth exploring, and the scoring system is great. The components are also top-notch, with the cards being oversized and nicely printed, and the mat and dials well designed to make it clear which card you are voting for and for which category.

Pros: Scoring system, artwork and components

Cons: Better with a higher player count

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.