If you want to be the next top artist around, you’re going to have to work for it! The Abstract Academy is no joke. The art is fierce, and so is the competition. If you want to impress your professors, and earn top marks on your assignments, you’ll have to outplay your opponent, and really make your shared canvas your own!

What Is It?

An abstract game where 2 players are building a 4×4 grid throughout the game by placing their canvas cards one at a time. Once the players play enough cards in a certain direction, it will set the play area, and players know which areas they will be scoring, since they only score the 2 rows closest to them. They are trying to fulfill objectives based on assignment cards or professor cards, which differ each round, and a hidden inspiration card they each have. They fulfill these by building certain patterns in the grid, making certain sized groups or sections of colors, and more. After 3 rounds, the player with the most points wins!

Who Is It For?

  • Ages 8 and up
  • 2 Players – There is a 4 player variant, but it seems to shine more at 2
  • Fans of abstract games & pattern building


4 Player – I was surprised when I saw that this was for 2 or 4 players, that the 4P variant wasn’t just a team-mode, but glad to see that it retained the unique game style. In this, it changes the grid to a 5×5. Players still score the 2 rows closest to them, it just has each person share the corner cards with their neighbors. I thought it was a little too chaotic, and harder to try and plan for where you’ll be scoring. I definitely prefer it with only 2.


  • Aesthetics – Looks good on the table
  • Quality – Nice finish on the cards
  • Rules – Small rule set / quick to learn
  • Variety – There’s a bunch of different assignments, professors, and inspiration cards to increase variability
  • Theme works with the mechanisms
  • It’s cool that you build the board as you go, so you can try to block your opponent from having the better scoring cards on their side


  • I wished more of the cards had lines to define the sections. It was often hard for me to count the quadrants because the same color blended together, but the few cards with defined lines were helpful, so I wish more were like that
  • Though there is card variety, the game felt very same-y play to play, so I’m not sure how much replayability it has

Final Thoughts

Overall I thought this was a pretty unique game with a nice look, and smooth gameplay. For me, it did just feel a little bit too same-y with each play, so it didn’t make me excited to go back to it time and time again. But, I think if you’re looking for a small, fairly simple 2-player game about abstract art, then you should check it out!

Additional Information:
My Final Rating – 5/10
Designers – Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich
Artist – Dann May
Publishers – Crafty Games; Flatout Games
MSRP – $9.95
Crafty Website
Flatout Website

*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*

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