The famous art collection of your family was stolen. By investing the profits of your coffee or tobacco plantations you might have the chance to save the heritage of your ancestors – but only if you manage your colonial enterprise wisely.
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Mostly Positive (60 reviews) - 70% of the 60 user reviews for this game are positive.

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About This Game

The famous art collection of your family was stolen. By investing the profits of your coffee or tobacco plantations you might have the chance to save the heritage of your ancestors – but only if you manage your colonial enterprise wisely.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP2/Vista
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher
    • Memory: 512 MB or higher
    • Graphics: 128 MB DirectX 9-compatible (Pixel/Vertexshader 1.1)
    • DirectX®: DirectX-compatible
    • Hard Drive: 6.5 GB free hard drive space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (60 reviews)
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45 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
41 of 41 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
A remake of the classic C64 game Vermeer. So not a board game and should not be confused for one....

By building plantations with different crops you're trying to create enough wealth to get the best art collection. To make things intresting there's stock trading, an auction where you try to buy the paintings and scripted events from the historic timeline(early 19th century) that affect markets. For the paintings you also have the option of studying art directions so you can spot fakes. Or to raise price for your competitors who might not even realise what you're doing... Good fun.
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22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 23, 2014
Fun, interesting, a mix of developing plantations in different parts of the world with saving to buy paintings, while gambling stocks or betting on horses.
It has short to long games, so you can choose what you want and get an end game.
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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2015
What an interesting little gem of a game this is.

I had my eyes on Patrician III, as it was well reviewed was on sale for less then a dollar. Then I see it comes in a bundle with two other games. This one, The Great Art Race, perked my interest a bit. Only in a bundle? Not for sale on it's own? It can't be that good then.

My mistake completely.

What we have here is an extremely solid resource management/board game. Essentially you play as one of five nephews/nieces to a rich uncle, who is terminally ill and wishes one of you to inherit his fortune. The condition? Become insanely wealth and then use said wealth to attend art auctions in hopes of finding and retrieving his stolen artwork. And how does someone become insanely wealthy? By travelling to smaller cities like Bombay, Guatemala, Mexico City and Saint Louis, among others, and buying up land for plantations and hiring workers.

There's a pattern to the game. You visit your plantations and pay your workers, ship the goods to London or New York for sale, go to one of those cities to sell them at the market value or sign future dated contracts to sell them at a higher price, and then when all that is done you can find an auction to attend. No auctions? Maybe you can attend an activity for the exclusive social club you're all members of. Horse racing to bet on? Maybe take an expensive expedition in a foreign land in hopes of finding something valuable? Maybe visit your uncle and get drunk with him, or help him re-arrange his salon? This all raises your reputation which can result in you getting a bonus paining at the end of the year.

Maybe you can attend an art class to determine if a painting is real or fake (basically allowing you to make sense of the included decoder file)

There are two game modes. The main one tasks you with locating the most paintings, with bonuses for all paintings of a series and for the aforementioned bonus paintings. The other tasks you with just having the most assets, with paintings adding to your overall value. Each one can be played against any combination of computer players or human players via hotseat. You can also set the difficulty, and set the length of the game to 2, 5, or 7 years.

There's a fair bit of depth here. It's quite fun all in all, even on your own. The music for the cities is catchy, and the colorful graphics and sound effects make it a pleasant audio and visual experience. Having not played either Darkstar One or Patrician III (the other games in the bundle) yet I cannot comment on them but The Great Art Race is so enjoyable it alone is worth the cost of the bundle.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
The Great Art Race is a light, simple, short, and casual strategy game. Once you develop a system for creating cash and being punctual to the auctions, it will be an almost effortless win even on the more advanced difficulty setting. There are some randomized events, but they will not effect the outcome very much. The graphics and presentation are not impressive at all, to say the least. There is very little animation, and minimal sound. It is fun for about two hours or so, keeping in mind there won't be very much of a replay value. Once you're done (and you'll be done quickly), there's not much to go back to. It somehow reminds me of a less fun Jones in the Fast Lane from the early 90s. I played for about 2 hours, and I plan on keeping it installed for the time being, just in case I feel like playing a quick "coffee break" game.

The Great Art Race is okay.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
40.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2015
A completely unknown game that me and my mate decided to play one evening, which ended up being an entire weekend.

It's a confused game that is part whodunnit, part resource / trading sim, part art lesson, but it's handled well and if you're willing to take it on with an open mind you can get some genuine fun out of it.
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15 of 22 people (68%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
This is a resource management game where you have to meet certain goals by deadlines whilst carefully watching your and your opponents' money and assets. If you enjoy gameplay similar to East India Company (minus the warfare aspect), then you will probably enjoy this game. Personally, not for me, but don't let my opinion spoil it for you. **
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
The Great Art Race is an old game that is only available in a package. While flawed in some aspects, it is well worth grabbing if you are into management games. Specifically for this one, time management.

The players are the family of the wealthy art collector, explorer, and general high society member Uncle Walter. There are two problems, however. Firstly, your uncle is old. He is nearing the end of his life and is looking for an heir to his fortune. Secondly, his prized art collection has been stolen. All the paintings have gone missing, and are popping up at auctions.
He thusly decided that the one to bring back the most of his precious collection would be his heir.

This means it is up to you, and up to 4 other family members to get back those paintings. In order to get them you will need to start plantations, get yourself a fortune by producing up to five different crops and selling them in either London or New York. Prices fluctuate, and there are orders placed in advance you can fill for more profit. You can buy shares in the companies who transport these goods, and you can pay your opponent's workers to strike and stop working.
Aside from the economic things going on, you have a reputation to uphold. Explore the jungles, adventure in Asia, and bring back fancy figurines and other such interesting things. Bet on horse races, and of course spend time with your uncle before the end.
And all of this while still making your way to auctions and having the money needed to buy the paintings.

Paintings that could be forgeries. You can luckily take art classes to identify these(A PDF is included with the game, you will need it to check what is real and what is not), at which point you can bid up the price of a forgery if your opponents don't know it is one to make them lose out on money, or you can just let them outbid eachother for millions of dollars on what you know is a fake.
The gameplay is mainly about time management, rather than managing your business. Travel across the world is faster than in the age of sail, but it still takes several days to travel anywhere. And that adds up. You can only personally tell your warehouse to ship goods, so you need to be in India to send goods from there to London. And you can only personally pay your workers, but if you don't pay, they stop working. It is all about managing your time, and making sure you are in the right place at the right time while still having enough money to do what you need to do.

The greatest of flaws, aside from its age locking it at a smaller resolution than most screens and potentially making it difficult to get it working on some computers, is the multiplayer.
By which I mean, the AI are not too great at the game, and the only multiplayer is local multiplayer.
It would be a much more enjoyable game if it were one that could be played with friends over the internet.

As it is, The Great Art Race is an interesting, somewhat hidden game that is quick to play and finish (About an hour per ingame year), satisfying to get through, and yet leaves you wanting more of it. Assuming of course you can look past the small flaws and slight inconsistencies out there.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 10, 2014
Decent game. It can help you pass a few hours. Not worth a repeat play.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 3, 2012
If you like merchant style games, this game will do you well.
No tutorial makes it a small struggle before you start to swim, but it's no were near as complex as other merchant games I've tried.
The time limits and other AI players are an interesting addition and actually give you a sense of time and need that most other games don't.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2014
I like the basic version of the game for Commodore C64 Vermeer from which the game is based on. The Great art Race (original German game Vermeer 2) is the latest version of this kind of game.
But, I can't recommend it for all bussiness/strategy players.

This game is great fun as the hotseat play with friends (2-5), or only for one player.

The game is easy, that there are not more options like in the previous version of the Vermeer-Die Kunst zu Erben, but the game still fun.
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Recently Posted
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 11
Product received for free
Boring gameplay, predictable advancements of NPC's.. Considering my combined playtime, I think improvements are warrented..
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0.1 hrs
Posted: August 19
Doesn't work in Win10 x64. Also not in compatibility mode WinXp Sp3
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5.2 hrs
Posted: August 14
In this game you have to buy your uncle's paintings from auctions by making money from building plantations in other parts of the world and then shipping and selling your goods in New York and London.

It is a new and clever idea for a game in my opinion. I enjoyed playing it but I think there should be more variety. There are only 5 goods that you can produce.

Games do not last that long. You can finish a game in about 2 hours on the shortest game type. It is somewhat replayable but I can see this one getting old very quickly because of the lack of variety.

I had problems with the game crashing and restarting my PC quite a few times and the videos played in a small box in the corner of the screen or sometimes not at all.

It is hard to get into the game at first because there is no tutorial but it is worth struggling in the beginning because the game is a lot of fun when you figure it out.

Overall I enjoyed the game a lot despite it's problems.
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6.5 hrs
Posted: June 27
So, I dont write reviews of games ever, but this gem of a game is perfect. It isnt stupid hard and on the shortest time frame it will take about 3 hours total to play through. It is however strictly for the gamer who enjoys buy and sell/management games.

It isn't an everyday play game, but it is an enjoyabe, about once a month maybe twice, just to play through and try a different strategys.
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20.3 hrs
Posted: May 29
This game is pretty sweet. It plays much like a board game with a computer screen as a board. If you like the board game Puerto Rico this incorporates many of the same aspects into the game play and competitiveness.

This game is cutthroat, seems balanced, and is quite replayable. If only I had more friends who would get into it, I'd play this game on weekend board games nights instead if choice were prestented.

Anyway, point is, this is less about a race for art and more of a race for economy. time management, & cost analysis. It is fun, challenging, and the bots are brutally vicious.
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25.9 hrs
Posted: May 1
The Great Art Race is basically a board game for the PC. I do not usually play these anymore, but this has been great fun. My only criticism is that it could have been more developed in terms of things like building up plantation towns, share fluctuations and opening up new areas. The main focus of the game is making enough money to buy paintings to inherit your uncle's (meagre) fortune. Tried playing it turn based with a guest and it worked very well for entertainment. Might want to turn the game sounds down a bit as the choo choo gets a bit tired.
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7.1 hrs
Posted: December 27, 2015
I had absolutly no knowledge and very low expectations about this game when started this game. Originally I got this game as a part of the Patriciants and Merchant bundle (The Great Art Race + Darkstar One + Parician III).

When I got into the game it suprised me positively. It's nothing world-changing, but it's a fun little game. An interesting blend of tabletop looks and strategy computer games. And has it's own depths too (to buy paintings you need money, witch comes from the plantations, wich need to be looked after, or else it stops producing for this or that reason, than to actually got the paint you have to travel to the auction and outbid the other players, etc...), though you has to get used to some of the game rules.

But it's still a pleasent option to kill some time with it, especially if you got only 5-10 minutes or half-an hour to do so. And maybe this is the game's only true problem. It's meant to be played in short bursts, otherwise it easily gets repetitive and tedious.

Still, to those, who seek a game that is quick to pick up, easity to return to, with just the right amount of strategizing, very basic economy simulation and the simplistic, stylzied look of a tabletop game, this is the right call for them.
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9.9 hrs
Posted: December 4, 2015
A total retro classic that I can always paly again. Idealy with friedns.

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