Should I Play Modern Art?

Is Modern Art fun to play?
Modern Art

Players: 3 – 5 players | Game Duration 40 – 50 mins |
Min. Age 10+ | Game complexity: EASY Genre: Card Games, Economy / Industry
Solo game mode: No | Co-op: No |
Online Version: No

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What is Modern Art about?

“Modern Art” is an engaging game of strategy, auction, and valuation, where players step into the role of art gallery owners. This game, immerses players in the competitive art market, where decision-making and speculation can lead to prosperity or financial ruin.

Gameplay and Mechanics

“Modern Art” is played over several rounds, typically four, where players auction paintings by various fictional artists. The goal is straightforward: earn the most money by buying and selling art. The game mechanics are centered around five different types of auctions:

  1. Open Auction – Players openly bid on a painting.
  2. Fixed Price – The seller sets a price for the painting.
  3. Hidden Auction – Players secretly choose their bids and reveal them simultaneously.
  4. Once Around – Starting with the player to the left of the seller and going around once, each player gets one chance to bid or pass.
  5. Double Auction – Two paintings are auctioned at the same time.

These auction types requires one  to adapt their strategies based on the auction in play and the behaviors of their competitors.

What Makes It Fun

The psychological play between players makes Modern Art thrilling and fun. Each player assesses the value of the art pieces, predict market trends, and gauge the other players’ actions and motivations. This makes each auction not only about competitive bids but also a mind game where bluffing and tactical retreats can be as effective as aggressive bidding.

There is also an economic twist. Paintings values are determined by how often they are sold during the round. This introduces speculation into gameplay, where players can influence the market by pushing certain artists more than others.

Ideal Audience

“Modern Art” appeals to players who enjoy games with a strong economic component and interpersonal interaction. It is perfect for gamers who thrive in scenarios that require negotiation, risk assessment, and strategic planning.

What are Modern Art players say about the game?

“Modern Art” players are overwhelmingly positive about the game. They highlight its broad appeal and engaging gameplay across a variety of player experiences. Key points are:

  1. Versatile Audience Appeal: The game is versatile and enjoyable for a wide audience. It’s straightforward rules make it approachable for newcomers.

  2. Engaging Art Components: The art on the cards are vibrant. The game has been praised for featuring real modern art, which adds a visual and educational layer to the gameplay.

  3. Dynamic Gameplay: The auction mechanics are diverse, leading to game replayability. 

  4. Social Interaction: The game encourages good amount of banter and table talk, which can make the sessions more engaging and fun.

  5. High Production Value: Good quality components and game materials are frequently noted.

  6. Longer Play Time: While generally seen as a positive aspect due to the enjoyment it provides, some reviews noted that the game tends to run longer than the box indicates.

Find out about Modern Art


Official Modern Art Rulebook

Modern Art Videos

Awards Won by Modern Art

2009 Tric Trac Nominee
2009 Årets Spill Best Family Game Nominee
2008 Vuoden Peli Adult Game of the Year Winner
2008 Vuoden Peli Adult Game of the Year Nominee
2008 JoTa Best Game Released in Brazil Winner
2008 JoTa Best Game Released in Brazil Nominee
2004 Japan Boardgame Prize Best Advanced Game Nominee
1993 Spiel des Jahres Recommended
1993 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner

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