Great game mechanics, rules and components are important to any game and the artwork shouldn’t really matter. Who needs great, colourful drawings in a build your own adventure book or a living card game with thousands of cards? But let’s face it, we all appreciate amazing artwork as it not only helps to bring the story to life but also is the perfect medium to bring all components together and to make it a cohesive experience.
But what exactly is amazing artwork? We all have a different taste and different styles trigger the “wow, I love this artwork” reflex. We went through the archives and picked our top three card games, which love to play and especially love to look at.
Top 3 – Card Artwork
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Star Realms – The more I play Star Realms, the more it creeps up in my personal Top 10 of card games. But fast and fun gameplay aside, the dreadnoughts, bases, cruisers, carriers, fighters and support ships (to name just a handful) of the warring factions blow you away when it comes to artwork. There is a comic book edge to the art, which completes the theme of fast-paced galactic war. Lay down that stunning battleship with a barrage of fighters and cruisers in a devastating strike. Boom.
T.I.M.E. Stories – Technically this is not a pure card game, as it has a board and meeples, but the main components art cards and I think it fits this category 🙂
What I like most about the T.I.M.E Stories artwork is the clean, white design paired with cards which create maps, rooms and other story parts of the journey. And once you reveal them (flip them over), they become hints, items, information or even fights. A very clever and beautifully designed way to tell a story.
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Legendary Encounters – Marvel – Who didn’t want to be a superhero when they were a kid? The Marvel addition to the Legendary series, in my view, boasts the best artwork, evoking the excitement and adventure of the comics and movies. Yes, much is taken from the comics themselves, but it honestly wouldn’t be the same it was illustrated any other way. There’s nothing like seeing Spiderman team up with Iron Man and to take on Doctor Doom’s robotic army, or battle Venom and save the innocent bystander he has snatched.
Valeria Card Game Series – Villages of Valeria, Quests of Valeria and Valeria: Card Kingdoms are great, quick to setup and play games. The bespoke and detailed artwork style across all three games and their expansions is perfect to attract kids with its playful design and adults with its details and sometimes a little sinister looking characters. Each design represents the individual character perfectly.
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Arkham Horror the Card Game – Fantasy Flight Games can always be relied upon to produce absolutely stunning artwork that nails the theme. It would be easy to put FFG titles in all three entries, but it wouldn’t be fair. Instead, I’ll nominate Arkham Horror the Card Game, which has incredible art that draws you into the dark and dangerous Lovecraftian world of the 1930s. Characters, monsters, events and items are all lavishly drawn, bringing the peril and excitement of the game to life.
Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game – I am a huge fan of fantasy worlds and characters and while Gloom of Kilforth isn’t the typical high-fantasy setting, I love the gritty and mature style with all its details! The characters look like proper badass heroes, the map cards are creating a detailed world with mountains, plains, woods and swamps and the variation of enemies and locations is awesome. The final touch are the ancients, which couldn’t look more evil and deadly.
What is your favourite card game artwork? Leave a comment!