The 19th century saw an expansion and explosion of new artistic styles and expressions. Neoclassicalism, Romanticism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are just a few of the new artistic styles to spawn from the major societal and technological upheavals that were caused by the Industrial Revolution.
It is during this period of change that we find ourselves. We are running an atelier in Paris. Our goals are to create works of art that will stand the test of time. Our studios will be full of students excited to create and explore the world through paint and canvas. We have the obligation of showing them how this is done and, along the way, we hope that we can paint something that will one day be called “masterpiece”.
Atelier: The Painter’s Studio is a set collection/dice rolling game for 2-4 players.
Atelier plays over a number of rounds until a player has completed their third master painting. To accomplish this, players roll their dice and take actions based on the dice faces that are showing. Players can place students to gain influence over the paint supplies. They can collect paint from supplies where they have the most influence. They can move other player’s students from one paint supply to another. They can also paint paintings using the paint they have collected. Each of these actions are a dice face and can be used when the player rolls that face. The player can also discard a dice to gain an inspiration token. These tokens can be used in place of dice in case players are not rolling the die faces they need.
Paintings are worth victory points and also unlock new abilities or actions that players can use. Players also have Patron cards that they collect that will award victory points at the end of the game. Patrons give more points based on various attributes from the paintings.
Once a player has completed three master paintings, the game enters the final round. The player with the most victory points wins the game.
I was pleasantly surprised by Atelier. For starters it was very easy to learn and turn around and teach. It only took a few minutes to brief everyone and start the first round. The game moves at a great pace and plays in about 45 minutes.
I played the first game with Ally and my 8-year-old son. We all enjoyed it. We reset the game so when my daughter got home, we could play it with her. They both liked it and a few days later we all were still talking about it.
The quality of the components are very high. The cards are nice, the player boards are tough cardboard. Everything is done very well. The box and insert will hold up and allow players to store the game vertically if they want. The painter meeples are fun.
Players should be happy with the quality they find when opening Atelier: The Painter’s Studio.
The game looks great. I would expect that from a game that uses 19th century pieces of art that are all masterpieces. There is not too much in the way of original art in this game, which is how it should be when dealing with art of this magnitude. What is well done in Atelier is the graphic design. The card layouts are wonderful. You can get all the information you need to play the game without interfering with the artwork. Also, there are a couple of facts about the painting found on each card. The name of the artist and the museum it is located in currently. The graphical work stays out of the way and lets the real stars of the game, the art, shine
The thing that I liked most about Atelier was obtaining the paint to create the paintings. This process is great fun. For starters, you can only place students when you roll dice faces that allow for that action. Second, if you roll a three, you can move the other players students. This can help you and hinder the other players. I call that a win-win at being a meanie. If you don’t know that I love mean moves in games, then you haven’t read enough of my reviews.
Trying to collect paint and complete paintings before other players is a race that can feel like you are swimming through acrylic paint. You can see the painting you need and it only costs three paints, but it may seem like a huge uphill battle trying to get those three paint colors. That is not always the case, but it happens enough that you notice it. It makes the game intense
The recommended age for Atelier is 13+. This is very high. My 8 and 11 year olds both played it and did just fine. They were competitive and had fun with it. I would say that younger players will not have issues with this game.
The weight is pretty lite. People new to board games may enjoy this game because there are familiar elements with the paintings and there are not to many decisions that need to be made. But even with the lite gameplay, seasoned gamers will still have a great time with this game. There is wonderful strategy to be found.
Atelier: The Painter’s Studio was a big hit with everyone I played with. It has great pacing and very little downtime. The strategies to collect the right paint and get the paintings you need are challenging in a very good way. The aesthetics are very nice and it is great to have world class art all over your table.
Atelier can play 2-4 players and may be a very nice option as a gateway game. The art is accessible and well known, and the actions are based on what you roll on the dice, so new players will not feel overwhelmed. I would recommend it for seasoned players and for a way to introduce new players to the hobby.