Gameday First Play – Artifacts, Inc.

Posted on by Jesta

Dice placement and discoveries.

Is it my turn yet?

New York, 1929: A frenzy of interest in antiquity is sweeping the nation! With museums hungry for mysterious and exotic artefacts— and you hungry for adventure — you start up your own archaeology company. Untold wonders await within dangerous jungles, harsh deserts, and wind-swept mountains. Will you gain a reputation as the most intrepid and famous adventurer of all time?

This is a nice easy one…

All players start with an identical set of cards in front of them which allow them to take actions but also show how many Adventurers they have.

This number of Adventurers is how many dice you roll.

Artifacts Inc Player Area

With these dice you take actions. Your own starting cards let you gain certain Artefacts which are represented by a cube of your colour on the card. Your other starting card lets you buy stuff.

You can buy from stacks of cards in the middle of the table or you can upgrade cards you have by paying their cost again and flipping them over. This obviously leads to them being better either improving its ability, or adding more spaces on the card for you take the action multiple times in a turn.

It also leads to them being worth more Reputation which is the point of the game.

There are also actions you can take on the board. There are 2 generic ‘make money’ actions that let you sell any Artefacts or just gain 1 money.

You can dive to search for treasures underwater by placing any number of dice that equal or exceed the value of the card on top of the stack. When you take one it gives you Rep and an artefact that certain cards you can buy will give you bonuses for.

Artifacts Inc Board

The last thing you can do is sell to the Museum. Here you sell specific Artefacts to each museum, gaining 1 money per Artefact sold plus a bonus amount of money each time this action is taken.

You also place a cube of your colour on a number on the Museum cards matching the number of Artefacts you sold. This is used for end game scoring.

When someone gets 20 Reputation, this triggers the end game with everyone having an equal number of turns.

Players score bonus Rep for having a majority in a Museum then most Rep wins…

It’s a very nice simple game that is actually quite fun. It competes with Nations: the Dice Game and while I think nations has more, there is still room for this.

The one issue comes from turns taking a while and in a 4 player game you can be waiting quite a bit. It can be solved by only playing 3 player, buying extra dice so players can start to plan their turn earlier or by trying this Official Variant. The Variant seems like the best idea and I think I’ll give that a go some time.

But still, nice game but I’m not sure it will be sticking around for a long time.

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