Can artwork break a tabletop game?

We had an interesting discussion at our last game meetup and it was based around this question “Can artwork break a tabletop game”. This came about because one member mentioned a Kickstarter they were thinking of backing and another person said they’d seen it and didn’t back it because “the artwork put them off”. That was it, it was on for the next 20 minutes or so, a discussion about tabletop game artwork and whether that – and that alone – can turn you off a game to the point where you wouldn’t try it and definitely wouldn’t buy it.

Now the thing about art is, it’s subjective. What’s brilliant to one person might be truly awful to another, that is what makes art, well, art. With that in mind it was interesting to note how during the discussion most gamers would agree on those tabletop games they felt had great artwork and those that did not, there seemed to be a general consensus (other than “Dixit” which almost caused a micro tableflip, “it’s AMAZING!”… “No it isn’t!”).

Can artwork ruin a tabletop game

We’re not going to name the game that started the discussion, but it is one of those Kickstarter Projects where the artist box art impression, seems to not match the internal components in any way, which is also a bit odd.

So what do you think? Can artwork and artwork alone turn you off making a tabletop game purchase? Should we overlook bad artwork if the game is really great, or is it a deal breaker?

Image Credit: Tumblr