Artistic style is definitely one of the primary things that attracts me to games as a medium, and Indie games in particular. It fantastic to see a computer or board game take off into left field and embrace an art style and celebrate it.
Yet, one thing I’ve never seen embraced is tattoo art. For such a widespread artistic style and medium, it’s not something that has been embraced by games as a medium as quickly as other distinct artistic styles.
Tattoo! The Game of Ink is a card game that not only focuses on tattoos, but celebrates the art style and diversity it brings.
Tattoo! The Game of Ink®is a card matching and placement game for 2-4 players, ages 10+, which takes about 40 minutes to play.
In Tattoo! The Game of Ink, players will strategically buy, place, and score tattoo Designs on their individual Arm Boards to gain Reputation Points. Whoever has the most Reputation Points when the Design Deck empties is the winner! Chaining similarly themed Designs together across the Arm Board leads to big bonuses, along with matching the “In” Style each round and placing Designs on Prominent Locations. However, players must carefully manage the limited spaces on their Arm Board to keep scoring points throughout the game. Choosing when to Laser off and replace Designs versus keeping them on your Arm Board to chain off of is key to becoming the best-inked!
Easy to learn for those new to tabletop gaming but who love tattoo art, while offering multiple strategic options for more experienced players as well! Will you go big and prominent with your Design purchases, or aim for many smaller, similarly themed designs? Save your Reputation Points for victory, or spend them to buy ever-more impressive ink?
Tattoo! The Game of Ink features card art from actual tattoo artists around the country, and is meant as an homage to this ancient and unique art form.
It’s an utterly unique idea to treat tattoos as playing pieces, and it’s an absolutely fantastic idea to showcase the medium. Additionally, there’s a massive potential for further expansion by featuring rising tattoo artists, showcasing new styles, or even having thematic expansion packs.
There’s also an incredibly well put together instructional video teaching the rules of the game, and showing an entire round in action, which give you a fantastic idea of how the game works.
We reached out to creator Michael Epstein to find out where his love of tattoos came from, and a little bit more background on the development of the game:
Tattoo! The Game of Ink was born out of my desire to bring awareness to the skill and beauty that exist in the world of this ancient and unique art form. It is probably the only form of art I know of that’s as much a product of the artist’s skill as it is the person getting the art’s body. The two combine to create something truly one of a kind, special, and meaningful. As such, Tattoo! The Game of Ink is about connections. Connections between designs on the Arm Board, connections between a client and their artist, connections between a point in time or a specific frame of mind and a design, and connections between me, the game designer, and the player.
As a student at Northeastern University, one of the classes I took in pursuing game design was a 2D Art Foundation course. In this class, we explored various mediums of expressing art in two dimensions, from painting and digital collage to tattoo art. The professor had a tattoo artist from the area come in to lecture, and this opened my eyes to the type of work that goes into crafting a tattoo. From there, I started designing Tattoo! The Game of Ink in 2014 as a game that was always meant to feature the work of real tattoo artists, showcasing the talent and passion in the communities around this art form.
And no, I don’t currently have any tattoos. I live vicariously through my game.
To be clear, we didn’t ask that last question, though we were definitely thinking it.
Tattoo! The Game of Ink is currently on Kickstarter, with $2,995 raised already of it’s modest $35,000 goal, with 32 days remaining in its funding period. If you’re interested in the available backer rewards, or want to support the project, check out the funding page here.