Context of the review – I am reviewing Curators during the current Kickstarter. I have played the game twice at the 2 player count, plus another time at the 3 player count. The copy of Curators is a prototype copy which was provided to reviewers by the designer.
I love museums and have since I was a small child. The idea of perusing objects that were sometimes thousands of years old always held an appeal to me, especially dinosaurs. This actually brings up a memory where I was with family, around 4 years old at the time, and using the fire escape/internal stairs to get from one level to another in the Brisbane (or was it Sydney?) museum. As we were descending there was a loud moan, like that of a cartoon Mummy, that rang out through the stairwell. I believe that this is the first time that a child has ever reached Mach-4 while running where I burst out on the street and had the outer door close on me, locking me away from my mother and siblings…
Anyway, I’ve been told that this isn’t the place to process my trauma, so on we forge…
What is it?
Sometimes I find it easier to compare a game to what it is like, rather than to try to define it by itself. So, what is Curators? If I were to give it a comparison, I would say that it is a little like A Feast for Odin or a family weight tile laying Uwe Rosenburg, but also with some other great little touches that really make it unique.
The goal of the game is to have the best museum which is predicated on a few things – whether you have completed wings, how many visitors you get, your cash and what achievement cards you have fulfilled.
If you have been living under a rock, there is currently a worldwide Pandemic (actually I should be in Paris at the moment in the Musee D’Orsay) so this has meant a lot of time at home with the kids and homeschooling. Curators has made it out of the box now several times with the kids and it really seems to suit a family play style. By that I mean that there is often just enough but not too much going on in a turn that keeps the kids occupied. Why is that important? Because as a family gamer I know that there is a very fine line between what will keep young players attention and what will have them wandering off mid game. Curators definitely fits into a great space for our family, it is quick enough (30-45 minutes) without being overly complicated or easy and will definitely be hitting our table again.
Each player will receive achievement cards at the start of the game (and throughout) which will outline some of the shapes that the players can make their museums to score additional points. Players will use their employees abilities to buy exhibits for their museums, to restore items to their proper places and also to ensure that they are buying and building the wings that they will need to fulfill their achievement cards.
Each player has five employees of varying abilities and when used this employee must be flipped to their alternate side which is another of the employees. By careful strategy, if you have two of the same employee face up you can take a double turn of their action meaning more benefits for you. I really loved this mechanism as it allowed a further depth of strategy and the ability to plan ahead and ensured that players did not just spam a single action over and over.
One of the roles, the Collection Manager, who buys items from the market seemed to be a little redundant, especially when the Archaeologist can so easily just select the items for free. However, in a more competitive game or with a different group, I may be proven wrong and the ability to buy specific items may actually be more benficial.
Overall, I am a really big fan of Curators and really dig (get it, like an Archaelogist) the game. If you are looking for a game for the family then I would highly recommend Curators as a great game to pledge for.
The Curators Kickstarter is still up for the next week, so make sure to check it out.