What do you want from an expansion? More of the same, a completely new way of playing, or maybe just some extra modules tagged on? With Canvas Reflections you are getting more of the same but in an excellent way.
It flew by me, and it wasn’t until early reviews started to appear that I stood up and paid attention. It seemed to have everything I liked in a game including drafting, a simple set of rules, shared scoring objectives, beautiful artwork and great components. I did the unthinkable and imported a copy from the USA as at the time it was not clear if the UK would receive a release. I was not disappointed and immediately loved the game.
The clever use of clear cards with unique artwork on each so that when 3 are combined and overlapped they take a new picture was brilliant. In reality, you only need to look at the colours and symbols at the bottom of the cards and make sure your picture meets as many as possible of the scoring objectives, however when you present your masterpiece to your opponent everyone wants to look at the picture you have made rather than the colours and symbols. It was a hit with friends and family alike and has proved to be an easy teacher.
I have now received my copy of Canvas Reflections and it does not disappoint. The box continues the beautiful artwork from the original and when both are placed side by side the effect is stunning. There are new scoring objectives, a new type of ribbon (Gold) awarded for collecting various symbols, more background cards, 30 new transparent (double-sided) cards and a folding board.
I would have preferred the board to be a canvas play mat like the original, but I know some people will like the folding board better. However, one thing everyone will agree on is that the double-sided transparent cards are a great addition and a lot easier to use than you would expect. In the original game, you had a choice of 5 cards to draft (as long as you had the palette tokens), but now you have 8 cards to choose from.
That is about all the changes there are in this expansion and for me that is great. I didn’t want this to reinvent the wheel, nor did I want it to make a simple lightweight game into a monster. I have new cards, new ways of scoring, more choices each round, but it is still an easy teach and one that will draw the crowds in as it looks stunning on the table.
If you did not enjoy the original Canvas, then the expansion won’t change your mind. However, for those of us that did enjoy it, the expansion is highly recommended. The only negative point I would make is that the box could have been bigger to incorporate all of the components from the original and expansion. Also, player interaction is minimal and is relegated to just drafting from the same pool of cards.
The game still plays from 1 to 5 players and the box says it is suitable for players ages 14 and up. The game length is 20 to 30 minutes, but you will definitely reshuffle for a second or third game before you put it away.