“This is not game as art, this is art as game.”
Designer: Alexey Konnov
Designer: Alexey Paltsev
Designer: Anatoliy Shklyarov
Artist: Paulina Wach
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 13+
Expected Playtime: 30-45 mins
Number of Players: 2-4
Game Type: Card Drafting, Engine Builder
Theme and What is it?
In the Great White tundra of the north, are the people referred to as the Inuit. I have to be honest, I did not really think about their world or culture previous to seeing this game. This is and was probably unfair of me.
Inuit aims to rectify that ignorance, not with a hammer, but a beautiful card at a time. Not all knowledge need be presented in such a way that it is hard to understand. Sometimes, art can open our minds to something that was previously closed.
Does Inuit: The Snow Folk succeed?
This is a card drafting game, simply put. You will draw a card, and draft a card every turn. You may draw more than one and draft more than one as your tableau builds, but that is where the engine building comes into play, literally.
As you upgrade the scout, through drafting you will be able to draw more cards. As you upgrade the other members of the tribe, you will be able to hunt more, draw more spirit, make more weapons, and other abilities. Each thing you do, is generally speaking worth victory points. I have not seen anything worth zero VP, but if you draw people from another tribe (different color entirely) this will be counted at the end as negative points, unless you can turn them into weapons.
The game mechanic is SO simple and elegant that it baffles me why it doesn’t remind me of any other game. I knew within 1 minute of playing the game, that this game was hugely accessible. I also knew it was my type of game.
The game name told me nothing about what the game mechanic would be. This is no Dice Settlers, a game also by Board&Dice. This is something unique.
The art made me want to know more, but even the art, did not prepare me.
The game name, and art, seems to have a specific discord between what they are, and what the game will be. It intrigued me enough to setup a time to play it with the folks at Board&Dice at GAMA.
Game Build Quality
The game is basically a card game. It has player boards, that are nice, and the symbolism is helpful.
The one thing that bothers me about the game is the box is very big (big box), and the game is not. Now, I understand the game is a very good value, just due to the following section (art), but I expected more goodies in the box for the size of it.
The why of the box size being irrelevant comes next, stay tuned.
Good art is expensive. The reason for that is good artists charge a lot.
The art in this game is hands down the art I have been most excited about to this point in 2019. Everything makes sense, and is also beautiful. This game could be hung on a wall in a decorative manner, and feel perfectly at home.
This is not game as art, this is art as game.
I am by and large not a fan of card games. I know, it is sacrilege in the hobby. However, it still proves true. Most games that are cards without a “board” do not excite me.
Inuit largely changes that opinion.
This game will get a lot of use, even for me, that is not drawn to card games. The why is simple, it is simply great fun.
Age Range & Weight
13+. I think this age range may have missed the mark. If you were to get rid of the score multipliers, the game is easily playable by a much younger player, and I think even enjoyed, by the child and adult.
This is such an accessible game, I think every parent should teach their child, as soon as possible.
This review is glowing, and notably it was not even on my radar. It will be coming to stores in just a few weeks, and should be an immediate buy for anyone that likes card games, drafting games, art, fun, or breathing.
Do you remember the guy in high school that was just a great sportsman, but also a genuinely nice person? We had one, and he made everything look so easy. Inuit is that guy for me.
Inuit is immediately being put on the top shelf. I also imagine it will be there a long time, well not too long, I plan on playing it.