I know most of you are looking forward to the hotly anticipated L.A. Noir. And I am too, but to me there is more than one noir. I guess there’s that wine…a beer…and the film genre….ok well for me there is at least one MORE noir: Cargo Noir. This is the new board game from good ol’ Days of Wonder. You know, the makers of Small World and Ticket to Ride. I suppose Cargo Noir is their answer to other cargo/shipping games like The Speicherstadt. While I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy I’ve done my homework and I’m quite looking forward to this new cargo management game. Let’s take a look at what it promises to offer and what makes it stand out from the cargo crowd.
The most striking thing about Cargo Noir is the same thing that is always striking when dealing with recent Days of Wonder games: Art. When you look at the other euro econ games out there you tend to notice that most have sub-par themeing and ho-hum to terrible art. Sure, there’s Speicherstadt and Puerto Rico, but they are definitely not the prettiest games out there. Not so with Cargo Noir. The themeing is unique and fun; the players are smuggling dons in a 1950 noir setting, and the art is just fantastic. In fact, its art is by the same artist as Small World, Miguel Coimbra. I don’t know who this dude is or where he came from but I hope he has a long and fruitful relationship with Days of Wonder. I would almost go so far as to credit him with the success of Small World. If it had had typical euro game art I do not believe it would ever have seen the success it currently enjoys. Either way Cargo Noir‘s art really helps sell the theme which in turns sells me on the game. Coimbra’s art oozes sleaze, neon, smoke, and opulence. It’s a style that ultimately makes you proud to be a mafia don.