original German edition
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from 17 customer reviews
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Going once... Going twice... Sold! Congratulations! You're now the proud owner of a fine work by an aspiring artist. Who knows... he could become the next Picasso! Of course, he could also be the next Trueba. What, you've never heard of Trueba? Don't worry, no one has. He all but disappeared after his first painting sold for... oh, about the same price you just paid. Not to worry though, I'm sure yours will be worth... something.
In Modern Art, players compete to gain the most money by buying and selling paintings at auctions and reselling them for profit. The game consists of four rounds--in each, works by up to five Artists will be offered for sale, and auctioned off in various ways. Players take on the roles of art dealers / collectors. It is their decision which artworks to sell, and how to sell them. So, successful players must balance two aims, firstly collecting the best artworks for their own collections, forwarding the careers of those artists from whom they have most to gain--and at the same time, raising as much money as possible by successfully auctioning off those works that don't fit their own strategy, and picking up their own fancies as cheaply as possible.
All players take turns running the auctions, which come in many different styles. Whoever offers the top bid owns the painting and sells it at the end of the round. The price the painting fetches is based on the popularity of the artist and how well his paintings have sold in the past. The player with the most money at the end of four rounds of buying and selling wins.
These Art Dealers dream of fame and riches, but dreams can vanish in an instant, leaving the player with a gallery full of last year's art, unwanted and valueless. Only those with a nose for tomorrow's tastes today will rise to the top of the Art world!
Of Knizia's auction/bidding games (Modern Art, Ra and Medici), Modern Art stands out as the finest. On every turn, every player is involved. There is player control not found in other bidding games and so opposing players may foil your plans.
The bidding is much more controled and logical than in Ra so it is easy to teach a new player the rules.
The only drawback to the entire game is the artwork itself (it is nothing you will ever find hanging in my home).
For a great 'beer and pretzels' game with strategy you need to get Modern Art.
Several people here have described Modern Art as 'weak' or 'dry.' I'd like to tell you a way my game group has found of making the game very enjoyable and very funny. We've introduced a standing rule that you must first 'pitch' your artists to the artworld and then secondly, name the paintings. It often produces uproarious laughter and quite a bit more enjoyment to the game. i.e. 'New York Galleries would like to intoduce you to an up and coming artist we feel is going to be very hot on the art scene this year.' or 'Paris Galleries would like to bilk you of all of your money on the most pretentious garbage to ever be described as painting.' Then, you must come up with an original title like 'Lipstick or Dog D**k?' or 'Untitled #7372b.' Try it! If you have a creative group, you'll be in stitches!
Most of the reviews have said it all about the game and mechanics. I think the best thing about this game, is that it is accessible to people who are not 'board gamers'. People who might play Yahtzee, hearts, spades, etc. Of course, the more boisterous your group, the better the game, but having everyone involved all the time is a key factor in the game as well as the short play. So far, I have introduced 7 people to this game and they have all enjoyed it. 4 of those people would not normally play board games with us, so I consider this an unqualified success. I plan to unleash it on some neighbors that we play Bridge with and see how it goes. This is an excellent, elegant game.