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Beautiful Games

The last week of the school holidays and my colleague had to bring his daughter into work with him. It’s always fun to have little Holly running around, she is all smiles and giggles. This time she drew a whole load of pictures and made a lovely bat signal just for me. She took her inspiration from the internet and asked how her picture could go up on the screen for everyone to see. So Holly, just for you – your picture 😊
Hollys Batsignal
It got me thinking about the art in boardgames. Mike and I have been playing a lot of Above and Below, a game with stunning illustrations. I am not sure artwork makes or breaks a game. Boring artwork can always be forgiven for great gameplay – like the game Impulse. So what games do I think are easy on the eye?

Above & Below
One of the first games I purchased was Tokaido, and I totally judged the game by the cover, it looks stunning. Clean and sleek with gorgeous art. It works well with the games theme, taking a stroll through Japan, looking at the sights and taking in the local culture.


Tsuro is a favorite game Mike and I bring to the table a lot for new players. Everyone always comments on how pretty it is. The stunning Phoenix that covers the board with its russet tones is a great way to stylise a very simple game. They took something that could have been very generic and made it very pretty.

Elevenses is a game all about making the perfect tea party with a 1920s feel. I love how it keeps such a quaint tone with the watercolour images of cakes and silverware.

Takenoko is a game with a high cute factor. It is very much aimed at girlfriends of guys who play board games, with easy to learn gameplay and such a kawaii panda, no girl can resist! With a comic explaining the pandas backstory and a lovely pink insert for the box it is one of my prettier games.


Captain Carcuss is a game with multiple versions of artwork. I play the app version called Dead Man’s Draw all the time and enjoy it. However, when I found the kickstarter version was having such cute artwork I jumped at the chance to purchase it. Halfway through the campaign they agreed to release artwork to match the app, but I didn’t want this. Who could resist the cute diver looking through the porthole on the tin? I would have been happy with the app artwork, but the design I have is the one I love.

Captain Carcass


Flick Em Up was a game I got really excited about. Turns out I am a terrible shot and we don’t play it too often! Not that it has stopped me buying the expansions. The artwork on the boxes and in the rule books is gert lush as we Bristolians say! You can tell someone had fun with it as it really stands out. The graphic designer in me is so jealous 😆

Flick 'em Up
These days with so many choices in board games they really have to work to stand out. Beautiful artwork is one way to do it. Hey, it works for me, I backed Near & Far on Kickstarter, the follow up game to Above and Below no questions asked!
What games do think have the best artwork? Have you ever purchased a game on looks alone, all because it looked pretty? Let us know in the comments below.

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One Comment

  1. Nice post, is really cool check the collection and see some beautiful games there 🙂

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