Spotlight on New Games: Pastiche

March 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

One of the greatest challenges in the gaming world is producing an educational game that truly entertains as it teaches. Virtually all games, of course, improve the mind on some level, but few are able to successfully incorporate knowledge about a specific subject. At Eureka we’re constantly trying out potential games for the store, and time after time a new title striving to introduce kids to the periodic table or world geography falls into one of two traps: either it completely divorces the gameplay from the subject (so that kids may have fun, but they won’t learn), or it twists the rules to demand endless memorization of facts rather than any element of strategy, imagination or fun (so that kids may learn if they can be persuaded to play, but they’ll be completely turned off the subject by the experience). As a result, we’re forced to reject games with the best intentions of letting kids learn while they have fun, because one element or the other is shortchanged.

We are therefore delighted to offer, for lovers of art and art history, a new game that triumphantly delivers on both levels. In Pastiche, your goal is to reproduce great works of art from the Renaissance to the twentieth century by recreating the palettes of the masters.

Pastiche, from Gryphon Games

The gameplay is interactive, strategic and innovative: players lay down tiles with dabs of color around the edges, blending the colors with those their opponents have placed on the table to create the secondary and tertiary colors they need to complete new projects. They then match the palette cards they’ve collected to works on display in the gallery, using the same colors the original artists required. In this way, the game makes direct reference to important works of art history without sacrificing a smart, strategic game of tile placement and set collection – experienced gamers might think of Carcassonne’s spacial elements with Settlers of Catan’s resource management. In the meantime, players will learn about artists from Botticelli to Paul Signac to Franz Marc, without being overloaded with minutiae.

Pastiche is that rarest of achievements, a game with enough educational content to hook kids on the subject, and enough clever gameplay to keep adults playing again and again. Stop by Eureka and brighten your game shelf with this colorful addition to our catalogue!

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