Thursday, February 23, 2023


My 6th favorite game of all time is Cartographers.

In Cartographers, players are drawing a map. Everyone has some graph paper and we are all drawing little symbols on the paper to make a map ... but, fun. Cartographers is really fun.

Cartographers has a set of cards that shows different shapes and symbols. The symbols represent different terrain types: farm lands, forests, water, villages, and monsters. The shapes are like Tetris type shapes that you have to fit on your paper. The symbols are simple and easy to draw even if drawing isn't your thing.

Each turn a card is flipped over showing either one shape and two symbols or one symbol and two shapes. You choose which you want to draw and add it to your paper. Everyone has the same score objectives. things like have farm lands next to water or have forests at the edge of your paper. Things like that.

We all have the same goals, but our maps won't look the same, and that's a big part of the fun! Scoring objectives are also shown on cards and can change every game. The game is played over four rounds, that are presented as seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. Each round scoring objectives change. There are four objectives on cards, A, B, C and D. In spring players score: A & B. In summer B & C are scored. In fall C & D are scored, and in winter D & A are scored. So, each objective gets scored twice.

In addition to the terrain, there are also monsters in the deck. Monsters work like other terrain shapes, but when a monster card is flipped, you hand your paper over to your opponent to draw the monster shape on your paper. Monsters score negative points for every empty space next to them. So, the way to deal with monsters is to fill in all the terrain spaces around them.

When we play Cartographers, Julie and I break out the colored pencils and go to town. I often call Cartographers, "coloring book - the game" and I mean that in the best possible way. There is just something so satisfying about sitting around the table with coloring pencils drawing and coloring little shapes. It makes me feel like a kid again and I love it!

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