Top 10 Best Artwork Games
If you are a fan of admiring the beautiful artwork on your game pieces while playing, then this Bandit blog is perfect for you, keep reading!
Board Game Bandit has put together a list of the board games we think feature the best artwork and graphic design. Despite there being so many beautiful games to choose from, we've limited this list to our top ten favourites.
|Number of Players||2-6|
|Designer(s)||Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Peter Olotka|
|Publisher||Gale Force Nine|
Dune illustrator Ilya Baranovsky produces beautiful work with a talent in redesigning games, such as the reprint of the 1979 board game Dune.
This game holds such a great color scheme in its art, with a box cover stunning enough to have you displaying it front and center on your game shelf!
What if you could control the forces of a noble family, guild, or religious order on a barren planet with the only source for the most valuable substance in the universe?
Welcome to the celebrated 40-year-old board game which lets you recreate the extraordinary world of Frank Herbert’s DUNE.
In DUNE you become the leader of one of six great factions. Each hopes to control the most valuable resource in the universe - melange, the mysterious spice only found on the planet DUNE. It can’t be manufactured, only mined on Arrakis. It’s unique and it has true geriatric properties. Without melange space travel would not be possible. By consuming the addictive drug the Guild Steersman can experience visions of the future, allowing them to plot a safe path through hyperspace.
|Number of Players||2-7|
|Designer(s)||Oleksandr Nevskiy, Oleg Sidorenko|
The artwork in Mysterium by Igor Burlakov and Xavier Collette is essential to the game play. Mysterium needs to have great artwork because players need to give and get clues based on the card’s images. The artists did an awesome job creating these surreal images full of details that look amazing on their own while also creating puzzles for players to solve.
In Mysterium, one player takes the role of a ghost while everyone else plays a medium. To solve the crime, the ghost must first recollect (with the help of the mediums) all of the suspects present on the eve of the murder. Suspect, location and murder weapon cards are placed on the table, and the ghost randomly gives one of each secretly to a medium.
Each hour (game turn), the ghost gives one or more vision cards face up to all mediums, refilling their hand to 7 when they share vision cards. Vision cards offer dreamlike images to the mediums, with each medium first needing to determine which suspect matches the vision cards received. Once the ghost has given cards to the final medium, they begin a 2-minute timer. Mediums then place tokens on each others suspects, showing they agree or disagree with each Medium.
When time runs out, the ghost discloses to each medium whether the guesses were correct or not. Mediums who guessed correctly advance to guess the location of the crime (and then the murder weapon), those who did not guess correctly, keep their vision cards and get new ones related to the same suspect.
If one or more mediums fail to identify the correct suspect, location, and weapon before the end of the seventh hour, the ghost has failed and disperses, leaving the mystery unsolved. If, they all succeeded, the ghost has regained enough of its memory to recognize the culprit.
Mediums group their suspect, location and weapon cards on the table and put a number with each group. The ghost then picks one group, puts the matching culprit number face down on the epilogue board, selects 3 vision cards — one for the suspect, one for the location, and one for the weapon — then shuffles these cards. Players flip over one vision card randomly and secretly vote on which suspect they believe is guilty; players with additional points then flip over a second vision card and vote; then those with the most points see the final card and vote.
If most of the mediums identify the right suspect, the killer has been identified and the ghost can now rest peacefully.
|Number of Players||1-5|
Artist Rom Brown is responsible for the extremely detailed sculptures in Tapestry. These beautiful pieces are so enjoyable to play with! Artist Andrew Bosley is a freelance illustrator game designer and writer specializing in the board and video game sector. He is responsible for the game's artwork, along with quite a few other popular games (including another titles in our top ten!). We love how his cover work for Tapestry illustrates the degrees of evolution and development of civilization working from the front to the back of the picture, it captures the game's theme perfectly!
In Tapestry, create the civilization with the most stories in history, commencing at the beginning of humankind and extending into the future. The pathways you select will vary greatly from people or real-world events; your civilization is unique!
In Tapestry, you begin from nothing and advance on any of the 4 advancement tracks (science, technology, exploration, and military) to receive increasingly better benefits. You can focus on a particular track or take a more balanced style. You will also enhance your income, build your capital city, leverage your asymmetric abilities, gain victory points, and obtain tapestry cards that will tell the story of your civilization.
7. Trickerion: Legends of Illusion
|Number of Players||2-4|
|Designer(s)||Richard Amann, Viktor Peter|
While Trickerion may be a more intricate game to play, it’s artwork is too! Artists Villő Farkas and László Fejes bring you it’s intricate board, cards and tokens to enjoy with it’s sophisticated and parchment like design.
Trickerion is a competitive strategy game taking place in a fictional world motivated by the late 19th century urban life and culture and embellished with a bit of supernatural.
Players are competing stage illusionists, each with their own strengths and characteristics. They are struggling for fame and fortune in a competition held by a legendary magician, seeking a replacement worthy of the mighty Trickerion Stone, which is said to award supernatural powers to its owner.
Using worker placement and simultaneous action, the Illusionists and their teams of assistants — the Engineer, the Assistant, the Manager, and a handful of Apprentices – gain blueprints and components for more and more complex magic tricks, increase the team and set up performances by visiting the Downtown, Dark Alley, Market Row and Theater locations on the game board portraying a late 19th century cityscape.
The tricks are kept and prepared on the Magician's Workshop game board, while the performances take place at the Theater as tile placement mini-games with loads of player interaction. The performances generate Fame points and Coins to their owners based on their tricks.
The game presents 48 different Tricks from the Optical, Spiritual, Mechanical and Escape categories, 90 plus character abilities, and 40 Special Assignment cards that influence the actions taken at various game locations. The base game also expands with 2 optional rule modules to bring more strategic depth.
6. Skulk Hollow
|Number of Players||2|
|Designer(s)||Eduardo Baraf, Seth Johnson, Keith Matejka|
|Publisher||Pencil First Games|
Artists Dustin Foust, Sebastián Koziner, and Helen Zhu bring a variety of skills and interests together to develop the artwork in Skulk Hollow. Helen, the artist/biologist with a special interest in monster and creature design, Sebastian who has a hand in both boardgame illustrations as well as videogames, and is in the process of publishing his own game, and Dustin, an artist who specializes in character design with over 15 years of experience with games, toy designs, and TV shows. Together they present the comic book/graphic novel style of illustrations to Skulk Hollow.
Over generations the ancient woodland of Børe flourished and grew. The world was granted a great spirit, that lifted the animals of the land to new heights. Over the years these clans lost touch with the spirit and wars started. The Foxen Kingdom of Skulk Hollow in the South, The Mischievous Mice of Multon in the West, The spiritual Red Pandas of Cupboard in the North, and the colony of Blackheart Bunnies in the East. As clashes broke out, lives lost, there was a massive shake and then The Great Return. The Guardians have risen - but not the nice, life-giving Guardians of spiritual legend. Dark, fierce, versions that are now attacking the kingdoms of the land.
In Skulk Hollow, two players take the roles of a towering behemoth of a Guardian attempting to abolish the clans of foxes who cause chaos in the countryside, or a band of foxen heroes to overcome the evil beast that has been terrorizing the land and unite the four kingdoms of Børe.
The Guardian wins the game by either destroying the Foxen King, or by gaining enough Tribute.
The Foxen Heroes wins by eliminating the Guardian.
This 2-player, asymmetric, tactical, combat game, uses action cards to move units, summon, and utilize special powers. Taking down a guardian involves the Foxen player to jump onto the Guardian player board and take out various parts of the character.
|Number of Players||2-5|
The board and cards in Tokaido provide a minimalist art style with a unique personality to the game. Game illustrator Xavier Gueniffey Durin has rich artwork with bright and vibrant brush stroked hues. The artwork in this game will put players in a peaceful zen mood when playing!
In Tokaido, players travel the "East sea road", one of the most stunning roads in Japan. While traveling, you will meet people, eat fine meals, gather beautiful items, discover great panoramas, and visit temples and wild places however at the end of the day, at the end of the road you'll have to be the one who discovered the most interesting and varied things.
The action spaces are placed on a linear track, with players moving down the track to take actions. The player who is currently last on the track takes a turn by moving forward to their preferred action, so players must choose to advance slowly to get more turns or travel quickly to beat other players to their preferred spaces.
|Number of Players||1-4|
|Designer(s)||James A. Wilson|
The cards in Everdell are packed full of detail, and with so many to enjoy. Artist Andrew Bosley brought his best to the game table with the artwork found in Everdell. Everdell is widely thought to have some of the best artwork in all 2018 board games. If you think the illustrations look familiar in nature, you are not wrong. Andrew and the team, including art director Dann May took common inspiration from the whimsical characters from the Redwall book series by Brian Jacques.
Beneath the towering trees, among winding streams and mossy hollows, a civilization of forest critters is flourishing and expanding, in the charming valley of Everdell, however, the time has come for new territories to be established and new cities created. You will be the leader of a group of critters focused on the task. There are buildings to erect, lively characters to meet, and events to host. Will the sunshine bright on your city before the winter moon soars?
Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement.
On a turn players take one of three actions:
Worker Placement: These are positioned on the board events, locations, and on Destination cards. Workers do several actions to further development: collecting resources, picking up cards, and other special actions.
Card Playing: Players are building and filling a city; a tableau of up to 15 Construction and Critter cards. There are 5 types of cards: Travelers, Production, Governance, Destination, and Prosperity. Cards produce resources (twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries), allow abilities, and score points. The interactions of the cards disclose many strategies and a near infinite variety of working cities.
Preparing for next Season: Workers are returned to the supply with new workers added. The game is played from Winter to the onset of the next winter, where the player with the city with the most points wins.
|Number of Players||1-5|
Take a hike through US National Parks, collecting memories and admiring the amazing scenery based on the Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series. If you are a fan of the Fifty-Nine Print Series, you will love them as miniatures in this card game.
Even the biggest outdoor enthusiasts will want to chill out at home and explore the parks with this beautiful game!
In PARKS, players take on the role of 2 hikers as they travel across different trails through the 4 seasons of the year. While traveling, these hikers will take actions and gather memories of the places visit. These memories are characterized by various resource tokens like mountains and forests. Collecting memories in sets allows players to trade them to visit a National Park at the completion of each hike.
Every trail symbolizes one season of the year, and with each season, the trails change and grow increasingly longer. The trails are represented by tiles, and get shuffled in between each season and laid out again for the next round. Resources can be difficult to come by particularly when someone is at the place you’re attempting to get to! Campfires let you share space and time with other hikers. Canteens and Gear can improve your access to resources in the game.
|Number of Players||1-5|
This awesome artwork by Jakub Rozalski perfectly depicts the mix of pre-industrial life and horrifying mechs. The combination of classic, historical portraits with science fiction is unlike anything seen before.
The artwork in this game is widely admired, so much so there is even a 105 page art book – 'The World of Scythe' available, showcasing the pieces Jakub created for this game.
Scythe is set in an alternate-history 1920s. It’s a time of farming and war, innovation, and bravery. Each player is a character from 1 of 5 groups of Eastern Europe who are trying to earn their fortune and claim their group's share of land around the mysterious Factory. Players seize territory, enlist new recruits, earn resources, obtain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.
Players start the game with different resources, different starting location, and a hidden objective. Starting positions are regulated to promote to each faction’s uniqueness and the asymmetrical nature of the game.
Scythe gives players almost complete control of their fate. Other than each player’s secret objective, the only aspects of luck or variability are “encounter” cards that players draw as they interact with citizens of newly discovered lands.
Scythe has a streamlined action-selection mechanism (no rounds or phases) that keeps gameplay going at a brisk pace and reduces time between turns. There is lots of conflict to seek out, but there is no player elimination.
Players man upgrade actions to be more efficient, build structures to enhance their position on the map, enlist new recruits to improve character abilities, activate mechs to discourage opponents invading, and expand borders to earn more resources. Additionally, the order players enhance their engine adds to the uniqueness of each game, even when playing a faction multiple times.
|Number of Players||1-5|
Among it’s many rewards Wingspan took home the Golden Geek Artwork and Presentation award and a nomination for Best Art from Dice Tower Awards. This is really no surprise when you see the endless deck of gorgeous birds in this game.
Artist Natalia Rojas focuses on commission artwork with Wingspan as her first big project as a freelance illustrator. Natalia teamed up with Beth Sobel (illustrator for games such as Calico, Viticulture, and Arboretum) and Ana Martinez to create the artwork for Wingspan. With 170 unique cards, each with their own art, players will never get bored looking at these beautiful birds from around the world, but hey, if I’m wrong, check out the Wingspan expansions Wingspan Oceania and Wingspan European to expand your deck even further.
Wingspan is a competitive, card-driven, medium-weight, engine-building game, designed by Elizabeth Hargrave.
You are bird enthusiasts seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird gives a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitats. Habitats focus on numerous key aspects of growth: Gaining food tokens via dice in a birdfeeder dice tower, laying eggs with egg miniatures in various colors, drawing cards from hundreds of unique bird cards and playing cards.
The game is 4 rounds, and the winner is the player with the most points at the end.