Author Topic: Junk Art  (Read 3171 times)

Offline Decar

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Junk Art
« on: May 29, 2017, 08:33:41 AM »
I'm a snob.  When I first saw Junk Art at Essen, I just thought it was a silly stacking game about making the tallest tower.  I'm right in a way, but that doesn't make this game any less charming.

This is where Junk Art shines.  In principle, it's about building works of art; and the cities you visit dictate how to win over fans and score points.  There are some universal rules about piece placement; but beyond that, it's up the the city you're in.  For example, you might take it in turns to place pieces onto a communal work of art; or you might be racing to find pieces and balancing them into your tower.  Each city you visit changes the draft and some of the objectives.  That's smart bit about this game, you don't have to just be good at building tall, stable structures to win.

All 60 wooden blocks fit inside a lovely wooden crate.  The blocks and colourful and tactile. The whole production oozes quality.

One of the things I love about wooden components is their natural variation.  The pieces are all constructed with each other in mind.  The groves in one block will happily house the axle-block and round pieces will contain flat edges leaving opportunity to place other flat pieces on them later.  Some pieces have holes ready for spherical or circular bits to slot into.  For those of you who heard about 'Beasts of Balance' at Essen; where it seemed like none of the pieces were particularly good at balancing; here in Junk Art, everything works!  The rule books i very clearly laid out, each city is given a good description the artwork is lovely too.

Here's my wife, carefully placing a flower-pot into a doughnut.  Steady now!

I did notice one thing, which I was quite surprised about.  Though the colour choices are vibrant, they're not colour-blind safe.  For those with Deuteranopia the orange and green blocks are identical.  For those with Tritanopia the blue and the green are very similar.  For a game that requires people to dig through a pile of coloured pieces, I think a better palette could have been chosen.

Player Interaction
It goes without saying there is a certain etiquette recommended in this game.  One shouldn't be banging the table on another player's turn for example.  In fact the baseline rules mean you have to taken another player's fallen pieces as your own if they fall off their work during your turn!  The interaction in this game is brilliant.  Each of the oddly shaped blocks has a corresponding card, so certain cities you visit allow you to: draft cards for each other to play.  An alternative might be to pick one and pass the others.  As I said before the pieces are built with each other in mind, so even a bad-block might work out for the best.

At its heart Junk Art is just  a dexterity-party game, but the theme is remarkably strong.  The rule books is carefully written and Junk Art 'lore' (for lack of a better term), gives a vaguely credible reason for starting these works of art.  The work involved in creating your masterpiece and the vibrant colours of the pieces really do make you feel like a budding young Picasso ready to leave their mark on the world.

Our Game:
We played the introductory scenario of the following 3 cities:
Philadelphia: Deal 3 cards each, pick one and pass the other two.  One at a time play each card and place an item on your structure.  The last standing is the winner, you lose if you lose 3 or more pieces from your tower.

This was my winning structure - Jen's flower pot (above) caused a large collapse!

Monaco: Deal 10 cards each, one at a time race to find your piece and add it to the structure.  Any fallen pieces must be re-added!

This was a wonderful city, we're frantically adding blocks - I was really lucky with my draw and got lots of cuboidal pieces.  Jen wasn't so lucky and in the rush for the last piece caused another collapse!

Paris: Players Choose a card from your hand and play it in front of the next player, who must find the matching piece and add it to the common structure.

Building a communal tower, is really fun.  You want to hinder your opponent, but also make sure you don't scupper yourself in the process.

We started with a simple power structure, which progressed rather nicely.  I was rather proud of my flower-pot placement.

It didn't last much longer!

I started off by saying this game was silly - and it is; absolutely no doubt about it.  But it's fun silly, skillful silly and light-hearted silly.  You'll know whether you'll have time for this sort of thing and if you do, I'd recommend giving this game a go.  I'm very glad to have this in the collection.  Thanks to my Mrs Decar for selecting it!  I think it may be a coffee-table game for a few weeks (days at least) before it gets sent to the gaming shelf.


Offline Paul

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Re: Junk Art
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 11:16:39 AM »
Sounds a silly fun game we need to add to our board gaming club. I'll put it in the recommendation box. :D
World record holder for a single game of Carcassonne using 10 007 tiles!

Offline Maximilian587

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Re: Junk Art
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 06:06:29 AM »
Thanks for the detailed description of this great Junk Art Game. I am sharing with you an article that will supplement your review
It was from this article that my acquaintance with this game began.
 :blue-meeple: :red-meeple: :violet-meeple:

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