A board game can have the best mechanics ever crafted into a tabletop experience, but there's one thing that truly draws a player in from the start, and that is art. We're here to give you the run down on five games we think you will love the art of.
Dixit was unique when it first appeared in that it incorporated its art as a mechanic in the game. Through the use of the cards, you must use your interpretation of a clue given by another play to thwart your opponents and get your bunny across the line! By using the artwork as clues – it directly links the art to the gameplay, and makes you appreciate the game a lot more. It also means that cards can keep being added to the game, and you can enjoy the art over and over again. Dixit has allowed other games in the market such as Mysterium to make use of this technique with great effect.
One of the hottest games of 2016, Scythe impresses in more than a few ways. The board art, faction art, miniatures, it all looks fantastic. But it's taken to another level with the encounter cards. Each card depicts an individual scene in the dieselpunk world of Europa as you explore with your character, making decisions that affect your empire. That's 28 individual pieces of concept art that would not go astray in an art gallery and they help visualize just how interesting the world of Scythe truly is.
I can't wait to get my hands on the upcoming Wind Gambit expansion. Just like everything else Scythe, the box looks phenomenol.
Say what you want about Fantasy Flight Games, this behemoth of a publishers knows where to find some great Star Wars artists. From the Star Wars LCG, to the cover of the Imperial Assault box, and well into the RPG books, each FFG Star Wars product is litterred with absolutely stunning art.
Each card you play, every page you turn, every time you take the box off the shelf, the art of Michal Ivan and Tiziano Baracchi, to just name a few, jumps at you and makes you truly feel a part of the Star Wars universe.
Based on an ancient country in Japan, Yamataï blends bold colours with Japanese themes to entice you in its stunning island world. The game’s colour scheme reminds me of games such as Takenoko or Tokaido through the use of playful characters and picturesque setting. For those who enjoy a fun game of resource management and networking in a gorgeous setting, this is the game for you.
The best part is, you won't have to wait long to get your copy of Yamataï. It releases next week.
I have an artist friend who advised me recently that when a friend of his heads overseas, instead of collecting spoons, he picks up packs of cards that have beautiful or interesting artwork on them. As such, he now has quite a collection of games that speak to him through the art, rather than the gameplay (at least initially). Grimslingers is one of those games. It grips you with its stunning artwork at first, but then follows through with fun and innovative gameplay.
Many of the games we’ve described here are worthy of being framed. Have you ever framed cards from a game, or sought out the artist to see if you can purchase the game art on its own? Let us know!
The brand new expansion for Scythe, The Wind Gambit, is expected to arrive in Q4 this year! Make sure you reserve your copy today.