Boxed Culture: Drawn Out Theme


Drawn Out Theme

I just got my Kickstarter pledge from Mr. B Games for the game called Posthuman. This is a fantastic game about surviving a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland in a journey to find the last bastion of humanity called The Fortress. The game takes a bit of time to play but in the end it is fantastically thematic and does a great job of making it feel foreboding and tough to survive. This game also has some fantastic art on the cards, components, and boards. This got my mind racing about how a game’s theme does not necessarily only come from the rules but also from the artistic design of the game. So today I am going to talk about my favorite 10,000 lb. turtles with the the best thematic art.

Eldritch Horror

EH-Stuff

No surprise here that this is the first game I mention as I am a huge Fantasy Flight Games fan and I have written a few articles mentioning this game (here and here). Each part of this game has beautifully horrifying art. It does a great job of differentiating between specific encounter areas, the Investigator/Old One cards have fully illustrated portraits, and the asset, condition, spell, and artifact cards give you the feel of actually having unique and strange accompaniments during game play. It makes you feel a lot more immersed when you see Joe Diamond as a person who now has been infected with poisoned by Yig’s endless serpent army.

Fortune and Glory

Fortune-and-Glory-Africa-close-up

This game is one of the Flying Frog games that uses real actors to do the art much like Last Night on Earth and A Touch of Evil. They hire actors to do photo shoots for their game art. Seem a bit odd at first but the first time you see your character on the Cliffhanger cards getting into the shit, you are pulled in. This is one of the games where I will talk about the component design as well. The fortune chips, glory chips, character models, and even the evil Nazi zeppelin flying around the board make you feel and see all the action as it is happening. This game is Indiana Jones mixed with the best kind of pulp fiction stories you can remember.

Firefly: The Board Game

firefly components

I have also talked about this game before but this one cannot be passed up for artistic theme! Gale Force Nine (other article here) has the right to use the art for all the franchises they have games for. Firefly has tons of awesome stills from the show. Also they took the time to make an amazing ‘Verse board showing you all the locations of the planets you like from the series. Small plastic ship miniatures also help build the immersion via theme. Lastly most people dislike the paper money but really I love it, especially since they took the time to make it look really good. Nothing like having a fist full of credits to make you feel like you are in your favorite show’s canon.

Posthuman

Posthuman

I feel like it would be a bit silly for me to not mention the game that spawned this very article. The art in this game gives you the feel of tension that is perfectly appropriate for the setting. There is never much hope in most post-apocalyptic style games, especially here. Each turn starts with an Event card and the art on these cards give you a solid feel for how the world is changing and affecting you. Each time you encounter an enemy, it is not a faceless meeple or a stat card (read Warband: Against the Darkness). Each item and weapon helps you visualize exactly how you are interacting with the world. The board is also very good however the terrain tiles are pretty generic. Make sure you have a bit of imagination for those but otherwise let the art carry you deeper into the apocalypse.

That is all for this week folks. Let me know if you have a favorite game which has art that adds to the theme in the comments. See you next time!

-Kyle

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