FTW Staff Picks - Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

Genre: Tile Placement

Designer: Christopher Chung

Player Size: 2 to 4 Players

Game Length: 30 minutes

For fans of: Carcassonne, Splendor, Jaipur

Board games as art is a real thing. There are Instagram accounts dedicated to showcasing the beauty of tabletop gaming. Among those that evoke genuine inspiration is Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. 

At times, Lanterns is such a light fare that you forget you're even playing a game at all. Where Carcassonne gets a pass on its dated aesthetic because of its gameplay, Lanterns makes me feel more like I'm working on a collaborative art installation more than I am competing for points. That's not to say its mechanics are a slouch. Lanterns plays very similar to other FTW favourites like Splendor and Jaipur. Collect and score, while considering what assist you may incidentally be giving your opponents. 

In some ways, I wish Lanterns was a cooperative game. Thematically, it feels similar to Hanabi, but playing Hanabi is no where near as serene as it should be. Painting a blank canvas with an array of coloured lanterns just seems like it should be a peaceful and collaborative affair. 

Over the last few years certain stigmas and stereotypes that exist about board games and its consumers have been diminished. Not every game has to have orcs, zombies, magic and sheep. The hobby has become more diverse in its players and its creators. More than ever before, you can really look at and consider board games as art. 

Earl OliverosComment