Kickstart This! #220: Canvas
Designers: Jeff Chin (Cosmocracy, Crypt, Road to Infamy), Andrew Nerger (Cosmocracy, Crypt, Road to Infamy)
Artist: Luan Huynh
Publisher: Road to Infamy Games (Cosmocracy, Crypt, Road to Infamy)
Genre/Mechanisms: abstract strategy, card drafting, hand management, increase value of unchosen resources, melding and splaying, set collection
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Canvas is already fully-funded. In fact, pledges currently total almost 37x the initial funding goal with 4 days left to go on the campaign!
Player Count: 1-5
Solo Mode: yes
What It’s About: “Players are painters competing in an art competition, collecting Art Cards and layering them (a la Mystic Vale) to create paintings.”
How It Works: “You are painters competing in an art competition. Over the course of the game you will collect Art Cards and layer them to create paintings. Depending on which cards you choose and the order you place them in, you will reveal or cover icons that trigger various scoring conditions. Additionally, each card combination creates a fun, unique illustration and title for your completed painting. When all players have completed 3 paintings, the game ends and the player with the most points wins Best In Show!”
On a player’s turn, they must either 1) Take an Art Card, or 2) Complete a Painting. If a player ever has 5 Art Cards in hand, they must Complete a Painting. This is done by combining 3 Art Cards from their hand with a Background and sleeving everything together to create a completed painting.
Upon completing a painting, the player immediately scores points for each of the conditions met by the randomized Scoring Cards (in some cases, painting can score more than once per Scoring Card) as well as any bonus conditions.
Each time a player completes 3 paintings, all of their future turns are skipped until each player has completed 3 paintings. This puts the priority of gameplay not on finishing first, but on creating the highest-scoring paintings possible. Once all players have completed 3 paintings, players score additional points via the scoring cards for the amounts of ribbons collected previously.
Comparisons: The very obvious comparison here is John D. Clair’s Mystic Vale, and to a lesser extent, his Edge of Darkness and the gothic card game Gloom. Canvas plays like a simpler version of Mystic Vale with far fewer expansions to worry about (and a smaller footprint overall) as well as a more family-friendly theme. While the focus on the card art calls to mind Dixit and Mysterium, the creation of the variable paintings fuses the best elements of Mystic Vale with painting-creation games like Kanagawa and Bob Ross: Art of Chill Game.
What Should I Pledge?:
$28 Canvas: the base game with all stretch goals.
$38 Canvas + Mini-expansion: the base game with all stretch goals, plus the the Kickstarter-Exclusive Mini-Expansion with (10) transparent cards.
$43 Canvas + Premium Components: the base game with all stretch goals, plus 20 screen printed wood tokens and 5 wood easels.
$49 Canvas + Complete Bundle: everything in the Canvas + Premium Components plus, plus the Kickstarter-Exclusive Mini-Expansion with (10) transparent cards.
$28 Canvas (each additional copy)
$15 Additional Premium Components (the 20 screen printed wood tokens and 5 wood easels)
The Mini-Expansion is a Kickstarter Exclusive.
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $49 for the Canvas + Complete Bundle plus $7 in shipping for a total of $56.
Canvas completes its Kickstarter on Tuesday, May 19th and tentatively ships in December 2020.