Skip to main content

Board Game Review: Artsee

Before the pandemic trapped us all in our homes, I spent many an hour at our local United Action for Youth center in Iowa City volunteering as a board game coordinator. Every month, I’d bring a few games with me and introduce them to the teens who hung out at the center after school. One of the games that got rave reviews from the group is ArtseeDesigned by J. Alex Kevern, and published by Renegade Game Studios, it’s an easy to learn, quick playing card game with a small table footprint for up to five players. Each player takes on the role of an art gallery curator, attempting to build the most prestigious gallery in order to win the game. Galleries are built from individual exhibits (cards) that depict two or three paintings from different categories (abstract, landscape, portrait, or still life). In addition to the paintings, each exhibit also indicates a featured category. Each time an exhibit is played to one of the four columns in a gallerist’s tableau, all opponents of the active player may deposit a meeple, representing a gallery visitor, on each exhibit in their gallery that has the same featured category as the exhibit the active player just laid down. Next, the active player scores points (prestige) for any visitor meeples that were previously located on the top most exhibit of the column they just added their exhibit to. The meeples are removed and returned to the active player’s general supply when this occurs. The active player also scores prestige for the number of  paintings in the column to the left or right (as indicated by the direction of the arrow on their exhibit card) of their just-placed exhibit that match the featured category of the exhibit card. If the player earns enough prestige during their turn (5-9), they may also claim a masterpiece painting token. These tokens are worth prestige at the end of the game during final scoring and also count as another painting of the chosen category when added to a column in the  gallerist’s tableau. Once a player has played an exhibit, earned prestige, and claimed a masterpiece token (if eligible), they draw a card and play passes to their left.

The gameplay continues until there are no more cards left to draw and all player hands are empty.  We found that turns progressed pretty quickly, with little to no analysis paralysis. Prestige bonuses are calculated at game end based on the number of masterpiece tokens accumulated. Each player adds their bonus to the prestige tokens they earned during the game. Don’t forget to also count the prestige on each masterpiece token. The player with the most prestige is the winner. 

While the components for Artsee  are nothing special, the artwork is well done (it’s comprised of reproductions of famous artwork with humorous twists). And it’s true that the art gallery theme seems to be just pasted on.  But at core,  Artsee  is a relaxing and fun little logic puzzle that doesn’t get boring, even after repeated plays. It’s especially fun to play with tween and teens and at under $25, makes an affordable holiday gift.


Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
Players: 2-5
Actual Playing Time (vs the guideline on the box): about 30 minutes per game
Game type: card game, set collection



Rating scale:
OUI: I would play this game again; this game is ok. I probably would not buy this game myself but I would play it with those who own it and if someone gave it to me I would keep it.
OUI OUI: I would play this game again; this game is good. I would buy this game.
NON: I would not play this game again. I would return this game or give it away if it was given to me.


Popular posts from this blog

Board Game Review: Lost Cities Roll & Write (A Comparison to the Original Lost Cities)

I really love the card game Lost Cities , designed by Reiner Knizia. When my husband Christopher and I were first getting to know each other, we used to meet up at Starbucks sometimes and play games. Lost Cities was one of our frequent picks. It’s a head to head, two player game in which both players are trying to outscore each other by laying down ascending runs of card suits on a small board between the two of them. There’s a theme laid over the mechanism (completing expeditions in the lost world) but it’s basically pasted on and so that is the last we will speak of it. So there we were, newly in love, eyeing each other across the table, smiling and flirting, and doing our best to beat one another at Lost Cities . It was awesome. And now, with the roll & write genre having made an impressive rebound a few years ago (let’s not forget the mechanism has actually been around since the 50s with Yatzee ), Knizia has ported his award winning game Lost Cities   into this format, releasi

Board Game Review: Hues and Cues

Last week we received Hues and Cues from The Op Games. We recently finished playing through Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion (a fantastic game in The Op Games catalogue designed by Jay Cormier, Sen-Foong Lim, and Kami Mandell that you should absolutely pick up to play with your family) and wanted to give another game from the same publisher a go. I picked Hues and Cues because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by other “test whether our minds think the same way” games such as The Mind   and Wavelength. In Hues and Cues , players gather around a large central board comprised of 480 graduating colors of the rainbow surrounded by an x-y axis and scoring table. White and black (which are technically not colors) are conspicuously absent as are shades (mixtures of color + black; e.g., grey) and tints (mixtures of color + white; e.g., cream).  On each player’s turn, they draw a card with four colors and the x-y axis codes of those colors depicted and they select one. They are in the

Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach. At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He