Submitted by Green Fairy
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: Approx. 1 hour
Cost: $44 on Amazon
Ease of Play:
The concept of the game is simple, complete ‘commissions’ by painting famous works of art. Easy, right? Well, the execution of this goal is where the real gameplay lies and it definitely has a learning curve. Each ‘commission’ requires you to have in your supply certain colors. Your supply are your ‘palette’ cards and they range from primary colors to secondary, tertiary, black, white, grey and bisque. Still seems kind of easy, right? Not so fast. You now need to acquire the correct ‘palette’ cards. In the center of the table are three hexes joined together. Each player will always have a hand of two individual hexes. Each hex has a large ‘dab’ in the center of either red, blue, yellow or a half and half combo of two of the three. At each corner of the hex there is another ‘dab’ of one of those three primary colors.
“Each ‘commission’ card has a famous work of art on it from the Birth of Venus to the Mona Lisa.”
So now you have your hex and must place it on the board with the other hexes. When you place your hex, you must look at every place that your hex touches another hex. You gain ‘palette’ cards based on how the ‘dabs’ on the hexes line up. Have red and yellow touching? Congratulations, you now have orange. The first you thing you notice after opening the box is that it is very high quality. The pieces are thick and don’t look like they will wear out or break anytime soon. The artwork on the pieces is also just stunning. Each ‘commission’ card has a famous work of art on it from the Birth of Venus to the Mona Lisa. There does seem to be a period bias however and you definitely won’t find any Warhol’s in here. As I mentioned before, the game does have a steep learning curve.
Based on my experiences playing this game, it takes most people most of the first game to get the hang of it. Subsequent play-throughs are usually much easier. If you want a game that challenges you to think and look at the board differently, I would definitely recommend this. If you want something that is a little less crunchy*, I’d stay away. There does not seem to be a lot of interaction between players in this game which could be a good thing.
Crunchiness: A crunchy game is a game that is heavy into rules and mechanics, and is often very much about numbers, calculating odds, and coming up with strategy. Crunchy games tend to not rely on blind luck or social manipulation.
Crunchy games often pit player vs. player and can be chesslike (or just chess) in their ability to become more complicated and deep depending on the skill of the player, but become very imposing to new players, as somebody with decent experience at a crunchy game will invariably defeat new players.