Cartouche is a 1-4 players drafting and polyomino-laying game in which you play as an archeologist working on restoring the erased murals related to Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s reign. Except the museum has hired an AI to do so with deep learning techniques, so you must now prove that your skills and erudition cannot be entirely replaced by a machine. The campaign for the game has launched on August 3 and will be live for another 23 days.
The game is played over 10 rounds. You will lay polyomino tiles featuring an animal (cat, crocodile, snake, human) on a “mural” grid to fulfill objectives displayed on the so-called story cards. In each round, two story cards and three animal tiles are dealt. You then draft two of these, and the others go to the AI. You can place the animal tiles so that they are adjacent to already placed tiles or to the bottom of the board. You are allowed to save one in your reserve for the next round. On your mural, some squares have a drawing of one of the four animals depicted on them. If your tile is adjacent to one of these drawings and matches it, you collect a token of the corresponding kind.
Next, you go to the scoring phase of the round in which you try to fulfill some of the story cards that you drafted. Some story cards require you to collect animal tokens, some that you enclose specific drawings on your mural with animal tiles, some that you build specific patterns with these tiles. On top of this, you can try to claim achievements, which are special, public objectives. This will grant you wild tiles or wild tokens, among other possibilities, depending on the reward you choose. However, you have to compete with the AI for these achievements. The AI will get achievements by discarding story cards and animal times you left over during the draft phase.
At the end of the game, your final score will be given by the points brought in by your story cards, and by the achievements you successfully claimed. The AI will also score points for all achievements it claimed, and all story cards it did not discard to get achievements. If you score higher than the AI, you can keep your job!