Bad Art in Good Board Games

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I think I side with most board gamers when saying that the mechanics and the theme are the two most important parts of any board game. That being said, why are there still good great games that still have such poor graphic design and/or illustration? The game I'm going to talk about, in particular, is Terraforming Mars. 

Terraforming Mars is a great game and has some awesome mechanics! I own it for that reason, but the graphic design and illustration is not up to speed. Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the quality of materials, I understand why they're lower quality than they could be; in order to maintain a lower price point for the game. My issue is with the aesthetic design of this game. Below you'll find some images that demonstrate this:

 There is not enough contrast in this illustration, so it appears flat. As for this dude's face, can't you tell how wonky it is?

There is not enough contrast in this illustration, so it appears flat. As for this dude's face, can't you tell how wonky it is?

 Look at the "Effect" box, see anything wrong? Here you can see that "...1 step.)" is running into the frame and this is a silly graphic design mistake that should have been found and fixed early one. We could also talk about all the gradients used everywhere or the Clipart-looking icons, but these things are a little more opinion-based.

Look at the "Effect" box, see anything wrong? Here you can see that "...1 step.)" is running into the frame and this is a silly graphic design mistake that should have been found and fixed early one. We could also talk about all the gradients used everywhere or the Clipart-looking icons, but these things are a little more opinion-based.

 My last complaint: the inconsistency of art used on cards. Some are completely illustrated in Photoshop, others are just photographs, and the worst ones are the photographs with poorly Photoshop items in them.

My last complaint: the inconsistency of art used on cards. Some are completely illustrated in Photoshop, others are just photographs, and the worst ones are the photographs with poorly Photoshop items in them.

There are so many boring, flat, and just very unflattering graphical elements in this game that I could talk about, but this blog post shouldn't be a book. Just to reiterate: this game is awesome, which is why I want every facet of its design to be as good of quality as its mechanics (Scythe is a great example of making every aspect high quality).

We need to talk about this in board games more often. I feel that once people love the play style of a game, they all look over the art with "rose-colored glasses". These huge companies, cranking out all these "evergreen" games, should be held to a higher artistic standard.