You are a painter in an art competition you have to make 3 masterpieces to win and take home the prize. Will your art stand up to the competition or will you be a starving artist? The 2021 hit Canvas from R2i Games will help you find out. Last year over 16 thousand people backed the kickstarter for Canvas raising over 700 thousand dollars. There is a reprint and expansion Kickstarter that raised just short of 800 thousand dollars and if you hurry you can get in on the late pledge. Today I am reviewing the original Canvas.
When you hold the box for Canvas you will realize how deep the theme runs in this game. The game has a hole in the back of the box so that you can hang it on the wall like a proper work of art. As you open the box and get you hands on the beautiful an easy to understand rule book you will notice the linen finish that really brings home that you have an true work of art on your table.
The primary game mechanics in this game are card drafting and set building. There are only two actions that you can choose to do on your turn. The first is to draft a card. There is a row of 5 cards for the players to draft from and if you want a card that is not the first one in the row you may place one of your inspiration tokens. The second action you can take is create a painting. To create your artwork you will need three cards that you have previously drafted. You slide the cards into the sleeve holding one of your background cards (a beautify abstract card) . The cards you draft in this game are transparent with a bit of art, part of a title and symbols across the bottom.The symbols and colors are what scores you points based on the four scoring cards that have been chosen for the current game.
This makes the subjective art judging an objective scoring mechanism.
Each game you have 4 scoring cards, these represent different aspects of art like proportion, space, symmetry and style. This makes the subjective art judging an objective scoring mechanism. The cards can be randomly drawn for each game or there are some preset scenarios in the rule book. Each card has a set or pattern to match and how many points the ribbons worth at the end of game scoring. Every time you create a new painting you take ribbons for each artistic style that you have achieved in your painting. If you had 4 Triangle symbols in your painting you would get 2 yellow ribbons. At the end of the game if you had received 2 ribbons for your painting from the "variety" scoring card you would score 8 victory points.
The game play is easy and the strategy in depth enough to keep me entertained. That with the random variety of the scoring and art cards will keep me coming back for more. I hope you are able to explore your creative side more with a game of Canvas. Don't forget to have a look the new expansion now in late pledge on kickstarter.
Designed by: Jeff Chin, Andrew Nerger
Published by: Road To Infamy Games, GateOnGames
Year Published: 2020
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 30 minutes