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GTM #203 - Junk Art
Reviewed by Jane Trudeau-Smith & Philip Smith

Do you remember when you were young and creative? You took a bucket of blocks and built something so cool you had to show your Mom? You can feel like that all over again by playing Junk Art! The first thing you’ll notice is that the game’s pretty heavy, not only because it’s crafted of wood, but because of all the awesome wooden pieces inside! When we first opened it we were not sure what to think... This is not a typical “board game” that we play, but once we got into it we were laughing so hard we cried! We really had a good time playing it.

Was this Game Easy to Learn?

This game is so easy to learn, you can set it up and play within minutes. Each city card – which we will explain below – makes the game play different. It is important to have the rules handy to see what you need to do in each city, but again, it's not hard to follow or learn at all.

How is it Played?

The premise of the game is you’re an artist that, literally, makes art out of junk. You’re on a world tour, and in each city you’re trying to acquire the most fans.  After the tour, whoever has the most fans wins the game.

Each player begins with a small wooden base to start their art creation.  There is a deck of “Junk Art” cards that are shuffled – these cards represent all of the wooden pieces you use during the game. There are 60 wooden pieces in four different colors, shapes, and sizes that are used in the game. Some pieces are harder to place than others, as you can imagine!

Fifteen “City Cards” are shuffled, then three are selected to represent the world tour for this game. In each city, you are trying to earn the most fans based on the art you create. Then, you’re ready to play.

You start with the first city and follow the game play rules. Here is an example for Montréal:

  • Each player is dealt three Junk Art cards to start
  • Each player chooses one card and gives it to the next player
  • Each player finds the piece that the card shows, and places it on their structure
  • Each player refills their hand to three cards
  • You do that again two more times until each player has placed three pieces, and THEN...
  • YOU SWITCH – each player physically moves to the other person’s structure and you do it all over again, until...
  • There is only one person’s structure left standing – OR all players have been eliminated -- OR all cards have been played from the draw deck

In this particular city, you are eliminated if two or more pieces fall off of your structure. Whoever wins the round gets five “fan” tokens. If there’s a tie or all are eliminated, each players gets three fan tokens each.

Once you are done with that city, you move to the next city which has new rules and a new structure. When all three cities are played, the player with the most fans wins the game. You could make a longer game and just have a longer world tour - you may choose to play as many cities as you want.

The best part is trying to keep your structure from collapsing when you place your pieces! This could be nerve-wracking at times, but also really funny. We kept looking at each other while waiting for something to fall, and during one turn Jane’s structure fell and hit Phil’s!  So that can happen, too!

Timing of the Game

This game takes about 30-minutes to play or less with two players.  We actually played twice in a row because we wanted to play more!  So, if you are looking for a fast, fun game with lots of laughs we highly suggest picking up Junk Art!

Fast Facts:

  • MSRP: $50
  • # of Players – 2-6
  • Age Range – 8+
  • Time to play – 30-minutes
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