Seeking a board game with a clever concept, engaging game play, and 3D printed figures? “The Game of Art and Death” starring Leonardo da Vinci is your jam.
Currently doing the crowdfunding tango on Kickstarter, Leonardo | The Game of Art and Death | Plague Edition is a beautiful looking board game with 3D printed pieces and gameplay that looks like a Renaissance-era twist on Monopoly.
Having only just launched, the game has already been earmarked as a Kickstarter Staff Pick and is a featured project in the board games category. Doubtless this exposure was also helpful in pushing the campaign to nearly half of its $48,000 goal.
The game takes you through the life of Renaissance artist, inventor, and ninja turtle Leonardo da Vinci in an Italy teeming with political intrigue, war, and the dreaded plague. And looking a bit closer, perhaps the comparison with Monopoly is unjust:
“Choose your figure, and with money in hand, enter the game at Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo. As you travel through 15th century Renaissance Italy, you are faced with strategic decisions: Do you buy the Mona Lisa or invest in one of Leonardo’s brilliant inventions? Do you acquire a Palazzo in Firenze, or aspire to be the Pope in Roma?
Suddenly, the tension mounts as Death appears! It’s the Black Plague, a fact of life in these dangerous times. Continue your journey, collecting Art and Property, amassing a fortune to ruin your opponents! You must have both luck and skill to succeed, for your position in the game can switch in an instant!”
Exciting stuff, right? Suitable for two to six players from ages twelve and up, each session should take up to two hours.
Leonardo da Vinci: The Board Game
Leonardo | The Game of Art and Death was developed by a father and daughter team from Switzerland, Dent-de-Lion du Midi and Soleil Zumbrunn du Midi.
Dent-de-Lion already has remarkable experience in the world of toys and board games: “I was Director of Research for the LEGO Corporation, and founded Project Darwin, the 100+ person team whose work paved the way to Mindstorms, The LEGO Movie, and VR game environments,” states his bio.
“We designed Leonardo with two specific goals in mind : One, to have a fantastic and fun-filled gameplay experience, one that grows in enjoyment with each encounter, a balanced blend of luck and skill. Two, to be an absolute delight to the hand and eye, and true to the Mind and Spirit of Leonardo.”
The game also features Florentine “bank notes” as currency, a 12-sided die, and a variety of cards. As you journey through Leonardo, players can amass property and art treasures, and engage in all kinds of nefarious skulduggery — even becoming the embodiment of Death — to overcome their opponents.
The actual board game pieces look incredibly stylish, each of them based on Leonardo’s own iconic works. The team explains:
“Each figure begins life in research, where we find out everything we can about its provenance. After choosing a Leonardo original design we then get it properly modeled in 3D at a very high quality. We then send the tested and checked 3D model to one of two high-end 3D print companies, and they return the finished prototype, first in an ultra-high resolution plastic, and later, when everything checks out, in a special metal alloy.”
The list of pieces made with 3D printing are lengthy, including: Death, based on Leonardo’s rendering of a skull; busts of Leonardo and Mona Lisa; The Horse statue made for the Duke of Milan in 1482; The Tank and The Mortar, based on war machine drawings created for patrons from the Medici and the Sforza families; and geometrical jewel The Rhombus, from an illustration from Leonardo’s The Divine Proportion book in 1509.
For fans of Leonardo da Vinci and the historical period, the board game is going to be a must-have item. The price-tag is $149, with estimated completion for pledges in August 2016.
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