Updated: May 26, 2020
We are tasked to channel our inner Indiana Jones and find the unique artifacts for Sotheby’s, then carefully hide them in storage at the museum for restoring whilst the gorgeous wing is finished and next to be precisely added to The National Gallery, and the world will be saved!
……. Ok, some may say that this is not saving the world.
However, our favorite worlds have collided, museums and tile placement games.
Curators – Collection Conundrum by Jacob Westerlund is a euro-style, tile-laying game, where players take the role as Curator for their museum. It is streamlined, very well thought out, and the art is idyllic.
It’s very rare that everyone in our group likes the same game, but EVERYBODY liked this one!
The game will be on Kickstarter April 21st,2020, and we received a prototype for an honest review. The creators, Pablo & Tove Jomer, are owners of a Swedish indie publisher called Worldshapers, and their goal with Worldshapers is to create engaging, inclusive games made with as much sustainable sourced components as possible. Hopefully a trend for the gaming future. What’s not to like about that.
Won’t You Visit My Museum?
Players are chief curators at a museum, and the job is to fill the museum with interesting exhibits, fulfill loan contracts, and attract visitors. The end goal is to have most Visitor points. You start with five two-sided employee chips, allowing doubling to allocate their duties on a turn, the museum entrance, one visitor, and four thousand dollars. The end game token is in the middle of the table, and the room tiles are placed in spiral around it. You are given a single contract each from the complicated and straightforward decks, and they are hidden from other players.
The turns consist of employee action; the Carpenter can purchase tiles (wings of the museum), the Archaeologist get objects and adds them to auction house, the Collection Manager who buys objects from the Auction house and placed in your museum storage, the Restorer that exhibits the objects in your acquired wings and the financial manager who collect the monies per the count of visitors you have in your museum. The wing tiles have five available each turn starting at the outermost, relegated from free to four thousand. Once purchased, the spiral diminishes, and when the tiles are all purchased, that triggers end game, and two rounds remain.
Just like Doctor Jones, the Archaeologist brings the object to the Auction house and it can be taken. You won’t have unlimited freedom to buy those objects, other players can purchase them on their turn. One excellent mechanism is that the Auction has infinite objects to buy in the final space of the board. This handy if your financial manager has been working hard because they cost three thousand a piece versus the one or two thousand-dollar options. This may not seem like a huge difference, but while multitasking building wings to fulfill contracts, money can be scarce.
The contracts are a brilliant mechanism in the game. Evolving the tile placement into a puzzle construct is a clever addition to gameplay! You do get an opportunity to get another contract if you build your visitor count.
You score Visitor points for money, completed contracts, completed wings, and the number of objects in the wings. The player with the most Visitor points has the most Prestigious Museum and wins!
Bits and Bobs
In the box, you’ll find:
End Game Token
Starting Player Token
4 Museum Entrance Boards
4 Sets of 5 Employee Tokens
26 Wing Tiles
72 Object Tokens (3 colors)
36 Visitor Tokens
30 $1000 Tokens
25 $5000 Tokens
14 Standard Contract Cards
13 Complicated Contract Cards
3 Advanced Rule Cards
Curators is an astute game that combines straightforward mechanics with a hefty amount of depth that takes a few plays to appreciate this charming game fully. Some games may shoot for a total goal of tile placement or maximizing bonus point, but Curators weighs an effective balance of both mechanisms.
The exacting complexity of the puzzle dynamic in the contracts adds a considerable dash of juggling to your strategy while surveying the diminishing resources. The flipping of Character tokens is effective and crowd-pleasing action.
We can’t wait to play the finished version of the game.
If you like tile placement games, puzzles, and astute art, we enthusiastically recommend this one.
Curators – Collection conundrum
Release date: 21st of April 2020
Designer: Jacob Westerlund
Artists: Emilie Vaccarini & Niklas Wallén
Playtime: 15min / per player
Age: 14+ Kickstarter