Made for a Museum will be a periodic look at games based solely on their production values. I will do my best to not re-direct the page to Cool Mini Or Not’s homepage. Now, let’s take a look at our first game that goes beyond game functionality and approaches a work of art.
Xia: Legends of a Drift System
I had been into board games about a year when I first heard about Xia. As a then-big fan of Eclipse and space themes in general, this kind of sandbox-y take on outer space looked incredible. I had missed the Kickstarter, but I tracked down a copy on the Board Game Geek Marketplace. It was out of print at the time and commanding a pretty penny, but I had just sold my house that I had bought 2 years before, and this was going to be a little “Hooray Me!” present for myself.
Just look at this nonsense:
- Individually painted ships
- Player boards
- Ship blueprints
- Tetris-like ship pieces
- Metal coins
- Crystal shards
- Lots of cubes
- Big ol’ stack of cards
- Blank “Designer Edition” pieces for customization.
If you stick around this site long enough, I’m sure you’ll see me say, “I’m a sucker for production.” This is the game that started that fetishization of thick cardboard and lots of bits. It’s a conversation starter, when I would have it out people would rubberneck to get a glance at what was taking over the table. And to the best of my understanding, this is the vanity project of one guy! That’s incredible! It’s spawned some cool home-craft of expansion tiles, cards, and even 3D printed ships so that people can do better paint jobs on the miniatures.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had great occasion to play it much. Gave it a couple of whirls early on, got some stuff wrong, and read about some issues with gameplay (although there are lots of clever house rules over on BGG). I also had a lot of big life events that impacted my gaming, so this and several Black Friday 2014 purchases started collecting dust on the ol’ Expedit. As we are going through games for Up With Meeple content, I’m hoping it’ll encourage us to get some games back to the table that deserve another look, but I thought this gloriously beautiful game should kick off our look at good looking games.