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Curators... Museum Management

You've each been hired as the curator of a local museum, tasked with bringing the place up to standard ready for the 'Museum of the Year' awards. You'll need to manage your staff well as you expand the museum, curate inspiring collections of artifacts, negotiate loan contracts and encourage visitors to your museum. All of this just to be in with a chance of winning the award!

Curators board game set up

I've not played a board game quite like it before, the description drew me in and intrigued me to find out more about the gameplay. It's from Indie Publisherand Designers Worldshapers which naturally piqued my interest to see what their game was like as I have a passion for giving these indie publishers a try, you never know where you might find a diamond in the rough!

First Impressions

The box is nice and bright with eye-catching artwork and although it doesn't immediately scream 'Museum' to me, it did suggest that the game would be historical related. The components are of a really nice quality and are all well designed. The card insert seemed practical and the rules are clear and well written. The set up of the game excited me and I was keen to jump in and give it a try.

Game Play Overview

Curators board game player area mid game

Curators is played over a series of rounds, whereby players take it in turns to activate a single type of employee, carrying out their associated action. This varies between building new wings, bidding at auction for new artifacts, excavating items, displaying objects and collecting money from visitors. New wings are taken from the spiral in the centre of the play area, with each skipped wing costing you $1000. Excavating artifacts will gain one for you and one for the auction. Once you have activated an employee, you flip their tile over to reveal a new member of staff and if you ever have multiple staff from the same team, you can double activate them to take their action twice.

Once all of the wings have been built into players museums, the round will be completed and then 2 further full rounds will be played before the game ends and final scoring takes place. You'll earn points for completing contracts, completed wings of the museum, objects on display and money in the bank. The player with the most points is the winner.

Pros and Cons

This game was great fun to play and had a lovely puzzle element to it and plenty of opportunity to strategise if you wanted to but without needing to lean heavily into a strategy if you didn't want to. It did feel quite an independent game with limited interaction between the players, aside from potentially taking the one wing you need. Where the game ends by building all of the wings, we did find that we often ended up dragging the game out for longer than needed because neither of us could make the most of the last tile available. The artwork is really lovely, however some of the components are quite small and therefore it's not always the easiest to work out what each artifact is or what the visitors look like!

Final Verdict

Overall, I enjoyed this game, however I did feel that the end condition wasn't always the best depending on which tile ended up being the last one left. This could easily be set up to ensure that the last tile was either a 1 or 2 room wing making it more of a viable option to end the game. I can see us playing this game again as it was enjoyable and didn't take too long to play.

In conclusion, we would rate this game an 8.2/10


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