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Upcoming board game Canvas lets you paint your own masterpiece using transparent cards

A brush with depth.

Layer transparent cards to create a gallery of beautiful paintings in Canvas, the next title from the creators of beginner board game Crypt, Jeff Chin and Andrew Nerger.

Canvas is a family board game wherein players are artists competing in a painting competition to create the most aesthetically-pleasing masterpiece and impress a panel of judges. The panel is looking for specific traits in the players’ paintings that determine how many ribbons each canvas is awarded. These four traits - out of a possible 12 - are chosen by the players at the start of the game and can be freely mixed and matched for a different experience each time.

For example, the variety trait card means that any painting that includes all the elements of design listed on the bottom will score the player a ribbon. Trait cards vary in terms of complexity, providing a greater challenge the more complicated the conditions for scoring are.

Each turn, players can choose to take a card from the shared market, but they must be able to pay enough inspiration tokens in order to do so. The cost of a card is determined by its position in the market: the further it is from the left, the more expensive the card will be. These tokens must be placed on the cards to the left of whichever one the player wants, with any player that picks up those cards receiving any inspiration tokens placed on it.

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Whenever a card is taken, any cards to the right are moved along to replace the empty space and a new card is drawn into the rightmost space.

If a player has at least three cards in their hand, they can choose to use them to create a painting by laying the cards over each other and sliding them into one of their three canvasses. Depending upon how certain icons are arranged at the bottom of the finished painting, that player will then score ribbons by fulfilling the conditions listed on the trait cards.

Once all players have completed all three of their paintings, then ribbons are counted and scored - the more of a certain colour of ribbon a player has, the more those ribbons will be worth. Players can also score bonus points by fulfilling requirements listed upon individual paintings - for example, getting two points for every type of icon shown on the finished painting.

The player who holds the most points from the ribbons by the end of the game wins ‘Best in Show’.

Canvas designers Chin and Nerger have also worked together on party board game Cosmocracy and sci-fi negotiation board game Afternova. The two creators own the independent publishing company responsible for releasing the upcoming board game, Road to Infamy.

Canvas is live on Kickstarter until May 20th 2020. A pledge of $28 (£23) gets a copy of the core game, estimated to arrive in December 2020.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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