KeyQuest PowerUp Tactics
I have played quite a few Key Quest games and closely watched the people with whom I have been playing. It is clear to me that many do not understand the advantages of using the Power Up cards they collect, or they are afraid of retaliation if they do use them, or they want to be nice to the other opponents.
First of all, let me say that you are not "being nice" by not using them. This is a competitive game against other people and the cards are available to be used. They would not have been released if you were not meant to use them. Also, do not fear retaliation. Really, what is the worst that's going to happen to you? You wind up with a silver or bronze key? Okay, you can redeem that one too. Play the game competitively; play to win.
Let's start with the Cards which are available in all the player games... two, three and four player games.
Rainbow Sticky Hand: The main tactic I rarely see used for this card is using your hand to steal someone else's Rainbow Sticky Hand. You will still have a Rainbow Sticky Hand after using it and your opponent will not be able to take your cards. Now obviously this will depend on what other cards are available to steal but remember, if they have a hand they can take or take back the card you just stole.
Rainbow Gummy Dice: Use it. Unless you have a very specific place you want to land and are holding onto it for that, use the Rainbow Gummy Dice on your next turn. Use it to roll that 6. After all, it is better to have a guaranteed roll of 6 and move farther around the board rather than chancing rolling a 1 on the dice and only having a one hop. And if another player has that Rainbow Sticky Hand, they may take it from you anyway.
Transporter Helmet: There are two main times to use this card. One, when your opponent has all their keys and is close to finishing. Two, when your opponent is close to a key you want. I do warn you, though, be aware of what other cards your opponent has. I have had several people use a Teleporter Helmet on me, to get close to a key they needed, only to have me use a Compass of Misdirection turning myself around and winning the game. Which brings me to...
Compass of MisDirection: You can use this one on yourself or on an opponent. Always pay attention to your other opponents and what they use too. I've had someone use this to turn me around, only to have another player turn me back around before my turn. Use the Compass of MisDirection to turn an opponent away from a key or from winning, but again be aware of their cards. If they have a compass too, chances are they will just use it to turn themselves back around.
Now, there are also three other cards which only show up if you have three or four people playing a game.
Catapult: Sends one player back to their home square. This can be yourself or an opponent. Most people don't think of using this on themselves, but it can be an advantage to do so if your home is nearer a key you need than your token is. Say, for instance, you started at the Haunted House, and you've gone and collected your Yellow Key. Use the catapult to send yourself back home and head out in the other direction for the White Key. This can work on several Keys/Homes and saves you time over walking all that distance.
Bottled Quicksand: Causes one player to lose a turn. This is a fairly basic PowerUp and doesn't require much in the way of tactics. Use it to stop a player from winning, to give yourself extra time to get that key or move, or just because you want to.
Key Grabber: Takes one key from another player and gives it to yourself. Use it to get that hard to reach key, saving yourself time and moves on the board. Again, though, be aware of their PowerUps. If they have a Key Grabber too, chances are you will just lose that key you took. In this case it might be better to take a key which everyone except you has already or take that duplicate key that someone else has. Chances are they will not go to the trouble of taking back a duplicate key. Often the er, key to this Power Up is when you use it. There is an advantage to holding on to it in case one of your keys is stolen by someone else.
There is also one more powerup described in the Tutorial which I have not seen yet.
Distraction Potion: Exchange a key of yours with one from another opponent. I have not seen this in play yet; however, I can extrapolate some good tactics. First of all, you will have to be aware of their keys and your keys. If they are about to win, take from them one of the hard to reach keys such as the Yellow or White, exchanging it for a Red or Green Key if you have it. In this case it is less about getting a key you need and more about taking a key that is difficult for them to get. Now if you are about to get a second key of one color, you might use this PowerUp to trade that color for one you need. If you win a Mini-Game, you could choose a color you already have (and your opponent already has) and trade that key for one you do not have, leaving them with a duplicate key and yourself with that hard to reach key.
So to sum all of this up, the best tactic I can recommend is to USE those Power Ups. They do not do you any good if you do not use them; they may do your opponent good if you do not use them. And if you are playing against me, I don't think you are being nice, I think you are being foolish to not stop my domination of Neopi... er, my winning of the game. Mwhahahaha. ;-)