Bob ross game target

Target is selling a new board game based Bob Ross’s legendarily relaxed persona

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Painting and competition don’t exactly go hand in hand. Bob Ross and competition definitely don’t jibe. And yet, we’re still totally psyched for the new “Bob Ross: The Art of Chill” board game that Target is selling.

What a happy little accident!

Everybody loves Bob Ross, and now you can pretend to be him. Or beat him. Or both! With this… um… (Exciting? Would we ever call Bob Ross exciting? Aw hell, he wouldn’t mind, he was super chill! Let’s do it.) With this exciting new board game from Target.

Bob Ross: The Art of Chill – as if being chill is something you can somehow learn – is a new game in which you and a few friends attempt to finish a masterpiece before Bob does. Which, if I remember how quickly his blur of colors transformed into a breathtaking landscape on his once-ubiquitous show “The Joy of Painting,” sounds a lot easier than it is.

The back of the box describes the game. Let’s break it down.

“Earn “chill points” by painting landscape features like Happy Little Trees and Almighty Mountains using colors and brushes from your hand of cards.” Haha, chill points. The whole concept of points is totally at odds with being chill, but we dig it.

“Keep your eye on what other players are doing and be strategic about the sequence in which you complete the features. If another player beats you to the brush, you may want to wash your palette and shift your painting plan.”

Now, “being strategic” may seem out of character for someone so laid-back, but let me clue you in on something: our man Bobby was a sergeant in the Air Force. YUP.

According to Wikipedia, being “tough” and “mean” to fellow soldiers convinced the painter that he would never scream again. If you ever watched his show, it’s not hard to believe he kept that vow.

Besides, he had other ways of breaking you.

“All the while, Bob sets the painting pace as he advances across the easel, offering sage encouragement and bonus opportunities for even more chill.” That sounds nice. We could all use a little encouragement these days, and my man B. Ross was the king of it. He was the Mr. Rogers of painting.

I can’t tell if there’s any actual painting involved in this game, or if the potential lack of actual painting makes the game more chill or less chill. As a parent, letting my kids anywhere near paint makes me decidedly less chill, but introducing them to this man’s sublime calmness definitely seems like a good thing.

I’m not entirely sure that making a competition out of being chill is a good idea, but getting Bob Ross back into our lives definitely is.

It’s about to be even better, Bobby, when I kick your ASS at painting!

Target Now Sells A Bob Ross Board Game, & It Promises To Bring You Maximum Chill

If you’re ready for the ultimate throwback, get ready to head off on a shopping trip, because Target now sells a Bob Ross board game, and you’re definitely going to want it in your life for some nostalgic hilarity. The board game is called Bob Ross: The Art of Chill, and it lets players earn “chill points” by painting landscape features with the colors you’re dealt. It’s competitive (in a chill way, of course), there is actual painting involved, and — bonus — the board game’s cover is good enough to be used as art in your home.

According to Target, the chill game is meant to be played by two to four chill people whose objective in the game is for each player to chill and race to complete one of Ross’ masterpieces before Ross himself does (in the board game of course), winning chill points if you finish before Ross does.

The game comes complete with plastic figurines, four palettes, 60 art supplies cards, 24 chill cards, 11 technique cards, 12 feature markers, four chill cubes, one “Bob mover,” 15 double-sided paintings, an easel, and a die. And while I think I understand the basic goal of this game (beat Bob Ross to earn chill points and live eternally victorious), it sounds like there are enough moving pieces happening in this game to keep things interesting (and chill, of course). The game says it’s for players aged 12 and up.


Bob Ross: The Art of Chill Board Game, $25, Target

The reviews have already started stacking up on the board game, and it sounds like people have been pleasantly surprised by the game, with one reviewer writing:

I was really surprised at this game. I thought it would be just a puff piece, but it actually had a lot of layers and I can see a lot of re-playability. Good family game night board game, and our 9 year old was able to pick it up quickly.

Now, I didn’t grow up with Ross in my life myself (here’s a shoutout to my parents, who were solidly in the “TV rots your brains” camp), but university friends introduced me to the late artistic legend, whom they talked about with almost cult-like appreciation. So I wasn’t all that surprised to discover that Ross fans have been quick to pick up Target’s board game and share their reactions to it online. Many have either already purchased (and loved) it, or they’re adamant about getting their hands on the game ASAP:

To make the deal even sweeter, the board game can also reportedly be bought in a Target set that includes a Bob Ross figure. I haven’t found it online, but it looks like it’s a real thing in stores, judging by reports on social media. (If you’re more into just displaying a Ross vinyl figure than playing the board game, the figure can also be found online on Amazon for $14.85.)

If you’re dying to get Target’s new Bob Ross board game in your life — or you know someone who needs the game as a birthday present — call your local Target to see if they have it in stock. It looks like it’s only available in stores at the moment, so you’ll have to go pick it up in person (you know, the old-school way, as Ross just might approve of).

The game retails for $25 and should bring a maximum dose of creativity, nostalgia, and — of course — chill into your life. And while you’re at Target picking up the game, take a look around: the store also has some pretty sweet Bob Ross T-shirts, DVDs, and calendars for you to take home, as well.

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Bob Ross: Art of Chill Game

  • Design: Prospero Hall
  • Publisher: Big G Creative
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 12+
  • Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Times played: 2, with preview copy provided by Forrest-Pruzan Creative

The Bob Ross: Art of Chill game is part of the impressive collection of games available at Target this fall. Many of these games are exclusive to that retailer, and the selection of games seems to be a combination of reprints from well known publishers (i.e. Vegas the Dice Game) while others are from relatively new entrants to the industry.

Forrest-Pruzan Creative is one of those new companies, and they have a number of different imprints. I’ll admit that I’m a bit confused by them all – but I do believe that Prospero Hall is the name of the group that is responsible for the most strategic end of their games. Despite the smiling face of the well known painter on the box, the game held within the box is actually a pretty great resource management game.

In the game, players are artists that are competing to paint their own renditions of the painting that Bob Ross is painting as well. There are 15 double sided painting cards in the game, and one is randomly chosen to be placed on the easel in the center of the table. This is the painting that Bob is currently working on -–each painting has three different features on it (you know, fluffy clouds, happy little trees, almighty mountains, wondrous water or a charming cabin…). Each of these has a box on the card which shows which colors of paint are necessary to paint it as well as which sort of brush or tool is needed. There is a track at the bottom of the painting which shows the progress that Bob is making on his own work of art. There is a wooden token that stands on the easel ledge to show Bob’s progress.

There is a scoreboard in the middle of the table which has the score track on it as well as room for the Chill cards. There are two other decks of cards: the art supply cards and the technique cards. Each of these is shuffled, and a display of 4 face up cards of each deck is placed on the table. Each player is also given a starting hand of three art supply cards. Each player is also given a personal palette board. This is split up into two sides – with spaces for three art supply cards on each side.

On a turn, the active player first rolls the die (and resolves the action of that die roll), and then the player takes 3 actions. Points can be scored throughout the turn, and the game ends immediately when a player gets to the end of the scoring track – with the first player to reach the end of the track being declared the winner.

On the die, there is a 50% chance that you roll a Bob Ross silhouette. If you do this, you first reveal the top card from the Chill deck and place it face up on the discard pile for that deck – and then read it aloud. This card might provide a one-time effect that is immediately triggered. Other cards will outline a bonus scoring opportunity that will remain in effect as long as this card is visible. Then, once the card has been read, you move the Bob token one space to the right on the easel. If Bob moves to cover a space with a painting feature silhouette on it, then Bob has painted that feature. If he moves to the rightmost space on the track, he finishes the final feature, and the painting is complete.

If you do not roll a Bob on the die, then you’ll get to take an extra action. You might get a wild card to take any action of your choice (more on this in a second) OR you will be given the option for a specific action such as playing a paint onto your palette or drawing a random art supply card from the top of the deck.

Then, it’s time for the player to take 3 actions. There are six different choices, and the player can choose to take them in any order and as many times as he likes. The actions are:

Draw an Art Supply card – take one of the four face up cards or the top card from the facedown deck. If you draw a face up card, immediately replace it with the top card of the deck

Put paint on your Palette – take a card from your hand and play it to your palette. You can choose to put it on either side, but once it is played, it cannot be separated from other cards on that side (as they have been mixed together)

Wash your Palette – remove all of the Paint cards on one side of your palette

Sweep the Art Supply cards – place all four face-up Art Supply cards in the discard pile and draw four new cards to form a new display

Earn a Technique card – If you have a pair of cards in your hand which match one of the four face-up Technique cards, you can discard them and take the matching Technique card from the display. Immediately score 2 Chill points for this. Draw a new card for the display from the deck. You will score bonuses each time you paint a feature which uses the tool or paint seen on your Technique card.

Paint a Feature. To paint a feature, you must have exactly the paint color combination on one or both sides of your palette – you may NOT have any extra paint cards at all though; it must be an exact match. Furthermore, you must have a card in your hand which has the appropriate tool as shown in the feature box on the painting. All of these cards are discarded. You take one of your colored markers and place it on the top most available space of that feature on the scoreboard. You will score one point per paint color used in the feature PLUS any bonus points shown on the place where you put for feature marker. Additionally, look at the Bob track on the bottom of the painting; if Bob has not yet painted the particular feature, you will score a bonus as printed on the track. Then, look at the current Chill card – if there is a bonus condition on that card, look to see if you score for that. Finally, look at your Technique cards. If you used any of the tools or paints on those cards, score one bonus card per matching Technique card. Total up all these points and then move your marker ahead that many spots on the track. (Note that you can only paint each feature once – you may never have more than one of your markers in any column on the scoreboard.)

Play then moves to the next player who first rolls the die and then takes his three actions.

A painting is finished when either Bob moves onto the last space on the track OR a player completes all three of the features on the painting – the game pauses briefly. The current painting is removed from the easel. A new one is chosen and put in place. All players remove the Feature tokens from the scoring columns on the board. Then the game resumes where it left off.

Again, the game ends immediately when a player makes it to the last space on the track. That player is the winner.

My thoughts on the game

So, I didn’t know what to expect from the game when I first read about it, but as with many of my friends, I was enchanted by the mere idea of a game using Bob Ross as a main thematic element. I’m happy to say that the game uses the theme well, but it’s also a pretty good strategy game for the Eurogame crowd. As this game will have mass-market exposure, it could end up being a great gateway sort of game.

At its core, the game is a resource management game. You must collect the right cards (both paints and tools) and have them in the right places in order to paint the painting features. This takes a lot of planning – and is made more complicated by the fact that you cannot “un-mix” cards played to a side of your palette.

If that wasn’t enough, there is also a bit of a race element to the painting. You are racing against the other players as there are bonus points available to the first two players to paint a particular feature. You’re also racing against Bob – as there are bonus points to be had if you can paint a feature before Bob gets to it.

Of course, there is more to do than just painting – and it is a fairly viable strategy to race to pick up the Technique cards. Not only do they give you a 2 point bonus for each one collected, they can help add to your bonus scoring for painting features painted later in the game. As the supply of these is limited (only 11 total in the game) – you’ll have to move on these quickly.

For these reasons, I think that most Eurogamers will find this a decent game, and something more to their liking than most of the stuff you’d usually find in a big box store. That being said, when I look at the game from the flipside, there are a few things that I wish the game had for the casual gamer.

Again, as I mentioned above, it’s a solid gaming design. However, it’s not really set up well (IMHO) for a novice gamer. First, the rules for scoring are somewhat convoluted. There is a base score and then up to four types of possible bonus scores. For a Eurogamer, it’s pretty easy to remember this… but, when I’ve played with non-gamers, the scoring requires constant re-teaching. My beef with the game in this vein is that there is not a player aid OR this information isn’t printed on the palette board for easy reference. Alternative, placing this on the central scoreboard would have been nice.

Likewise, there are six different actions to choose from each turn. Again, by the middle of the first game, my gamer friends did well remembering most of the options (though everyone seems to forget the wipe action)… This would be another situation where a reminder/recap on the palette or central board would have been super useful.

The artwork in the game appears to all be paintings from the show – they have Bob’s signature on them. The colors of the paint can be a bit close to each other, but the game seems to help distinguish them (especially for color blind players) by having a slightly different shape to the smear of paint in each color. Each of the seven colors of paint also has a name, and the colors are sometimes referred to only by name – and I wish that there was a more uniform method of depicting the colors (i.e. both the paint color shape as well as the name) to avoid confusion.

Overall, the Bob Ross: Art of Chill game is a delightful find. It is a solid strategy game that I will hopefully be able to point anyone towards. As it should be widely available at a mass market store, it’s easier to use as an example than something you have to order for an online specialty website. The game is simple enough to pick up for most folks, and while I think the scoring can be a bit convoluted for a non-gamer, it is this system which generates enough of a game to satisfy the more experienced crowd. Regardless of ability/experience, most people should be able to get into the Bob Ross theme. In fact, we’ve had fun putting a video of the show (from Youtube) in the background as “mood music”.

Thoughts from Other Opinionated Gamers

Karen M: I just want to echo some of what Dale said. When I first heard about a board game based on Bob Ross my thought was something along the lines of “there is no way that is going to be good.” And I am astonished and pleased that I was wrong! There is a real game in the box that is pretty fun to play. This is really a race game which is not my favorite type of game, but the theme and the fact that there are “chill” cards make it worth your while.

Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!
  • I like it. Dale Y, Craig V, Karen M, John P
  • Neutral.
  • Not for me…

A Dual Perspective Overview of ‘Bob Ross: Art of Chill’

Blair Marnell: I’ve been a gamer my entire life, but I’ve only recently started playing tabletop games. My friend and colleague, Alexandra August, is an experienced tabletop gamer and a fellow writer for Geek & Sundry. We’re all about we’re offering a more casual approach to tabletop in our review of the upcoming game, Bob Ross: Art of Chill, which is loosely based upon the late host of The Joy of Painting. During his lifetime, Ross reportedly painted up to 30,000 paintings and he still has many fans and admirers to this day.

Alexandra August: Moderately experienced is generous, Blair. Thank you! I am a very experienced Bob Ross lover, though, so count me as one of those fans and admirers.

Blair: When I first heard about this game, I thought it was a joke. It doesn’t seem like a natural choice to build a tabletop game about Bob Ross and his “happy little trees.” It’s an intriguing concept, but I had trouble understanding the rules during the first playthrough. It may not be the best game for tabletop beginners to jump into. And it does take some time to really enjoy the game as an experience.

Alexandra: I had no idea what to expect from the actual gameplay, but given the subject matter, I knew the experience was going to be either nostalgic and adorable or unfunny and sentimental. Luckily, once we got comfortable playing, it was the former, and I found myself smiling at the various Ross-isms that show up at different points during the game. That said, I agree with Blair that the instructions are a little difficult to grasp at first, and it does take a practice run or two to understand how all the different elements work.

Blair: I learned more about the rules by watching you play than from the manual. Explaining the rules shouldn’t be so complicated. That was the only major downside for me.

Alexandra: Yeah, there was a definite lack of chill involved in learning the Art of Chill.

Alexandra: There’s a lot of different elements at work in this game, and that fact is reflected in its design. The basic object of the gameplay is to complete a Bob Ross painting by gathering the appropriate art supplies and arranging them properly on the palate each player picks at the outset. The more elements of a painting one completes, the farther along the board they move, until the winner reaches the “Chill Zone.” Each game cycle can complete several paintings, all of which are displayed on a mini-easel set up near the board, and the art supplies are arranged in a deck from which the players draw almost every turn.

Blair: I appreciate the way the game was built around the idea of recreating a Bob Ross painting. Part of the experience involves putting a miniature painting on a small easel and slowly advancing the Bob Ross icon until chill is achieved. It’s also a nice touch that the paint cards are held on palates, although I didn’t fully understand why we had to keep the colors from mixing since that didn’t seem to be a factor in the gameplay. Aside from some overly complex rules, the game has a pretty simple layout that is very easy to enjoy. If it’s not art, it’s art adjacent.

Alexandra: Art adjacent is a perfect way to describe it.

Blair: There’s probably only a small percentage of gamers with enough artistic talent to actually paint like Bob Ross. Fortunately, you don’t actually have to use real art supplies here. Instead, the paints and the brushes are the most common art supply cards, and the challenge came from getting the right lineup to vicariously “paint” the “almighty mountains,” the “happy little trees,” and other features commonly found in Ross’ paintings. The most entertaining part came when we rolled “Bob” with the dice and got the Chill cards. That reminded me of Monopoly’s Community Chest and Chance cards and that’s where the game showed off its sense of humor. Once we understood the rules, the game moved pretty quickly.

Alexandra: And it’s not that the rules are terribly complicated, there’s just a lot to remember going into each turn. For instance, each turn a player can take three actions. These can be taking a card from your hand and putting it on your palate, finishing a set of “happy little trees” or practicing a skill. Most die rolls result in picking a Chill card, and those often will gift the player with more actions on top of your original three — I think I wound up with as many as five or six at one point. On top of that, some Chill cards stay active until a new one is picked, so sometimes you have remember to take the action of an old card in addition to everything else you have to do on your turn. It’s not rocket science, but it definitely took a few rounds before we weren’t doubling back to take actions we forgot we had. Also, sometimes the instructions were a little vague about what constituted an action and what didn’t.

Blair: There were definitely times I felt lost and unsure about what I needed to do next. More clarity would have been really helpful.

Alexandra: Yes, I agree. All of the information in the manual perhaps could have been organized in a more streamlined manner. We found answers to all of our questions, but we really had to look a couple of times.

Alexandra: Once you can get past all the moving parts, the fun part of this game is how quickly it moves. Something satisfying happens almost every turns, and from there the tension builds as you race the other players to gather supplies and “paint” the most “wondrous waterfalls.” It’s basically the polar opposite of watching soccer, which is kind of ironic considering it’s called “The Art of Chill.”

Blair: Yeah, there was something special that happened once we got into the game. After our initial runs, the gameplay started moving faster and faster. Now I can understand why the suggested game time is 30 minutes. It can actually go a lot quicker than that, when you’re so focused on your next paint color or art tool that you lose track of time. That’s when the game felt really competitive, as we traded the lead a few times. It took us a while to get to that point, but it was worth getting there.

Alexandra: It really, really is fun once you get into it. But yes, it did take a minute to get there. It was worth it, though! I’d play this again, though probably not very often. It’s funny and cute, and there’s definitely some skill involved, but after a few playthroughs, the novelty wears off. It’s like a Bob Ross episode in that way — they’re lovely, but not exactly appointment viewing. That said, it’s fun, fast, and relatively low-maintenance. Bob Ross: Art of Chill would probably make for a great conversation starter at a casual tabletop night. Pair with wine and Bob Ross on Netflix and you and your friends will giggle and “aww” all night long.

Blair: I don’t think that Art of Chill will ever be my top choice to play if there are multiple board game options. Complicated rules aside, there is definitely some charm here. It was also kind of soothing to stare at the Bob Ross paintings while we were playing. The game didn’t take itself too seriously and it allowed us to keep things close with the occasional lead change. I really did enjoy playing it, but the thing that will bring me back to it is the knowledge that I could have won the last game if I had one more turn. That was a great moment, but I still want a rematch.

Alexandra: You just want one because I won the last round!

Blair: Well, obviously!

Bob Ross: Art of Chill will be exclusively available at Target this fall.

Image Credits: Bob Ross Inc./Big G Creative

Bob Ross has sadly been painted out of the frame of our lives since 1995. But that doesn’t mean his fans — particularly those who grew up feeling soothed and comforted by his ultra-chill attitude as host of “The Joy of Painting” on PBS — don’t wish we could bring him back.

Bob Ross, the game!Target

Well, Target is on that demographic, and they have an answer: How about a Bob Ross board game?

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Yep, the big-haired, gentle painter is now the subject of “Bob Ross: The Art of Chill Game,” sold at the superstore. Players earn “chill points” by painting landscape elements like happy little trees and almighty mountains, according to the game’s description.

The board game, as seen from the back.Target

We think this could be the least competitive competition game ever devised. And it only costs $24.99!

Ross’ show, which featured him steadily working through a painting and explaining his process as he went, was simplicity itself and ran from 1983-1994. Ross died in 1995, at age 52.

Bob Ross, working on a seascape in his studio at home. The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

And if you just can’t get enough Bob-related merchandise, there’s plenty to be found around the web. A Bob Ross Chia head, for example. Or perhaps, some Bob Ross socks? And be sure to pick up the Funko Pop! vinyl figure of the man, complete with brush and palette. He can watch over you benevolently as you enjoy his board game, grow his hair or reassemble one of his paintings.

The thought of which just turns us into happy little trees all over again.

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