Everyone should own at least one set of playing cards, and by that I mean a traditional deck of 52 cards with hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs as suits. And if you are going to own a deck of cards, you might as well get something that is beautiful - as long as the art doesn't get in the way of the functionality, having top-notch aesthetics gives you something to look at during down-time, and makes a gaming experience more enjoyable.
The most beautiful decks of playing cards that I own are the Anubis and Osiris decks created by Steve Minty. Steve is an illustrator and designer who has produced several popular artistic decks of playing cards, including the Muertos series (inspired by the Mexican `Day of the Dead'), the Olympia series (inspired by Greek mythology), and the Anubis and Osiris decks (inspired by ancient Egypt), and is currently working on a deck inspired by Japanese culture called the HANA deck. In 2016, Steve created the Anubis and Osiris decks, which were inspired by and depict ancient Egyptian culture. I own a copy of both of these decks, and quite frankly, these are my favourites, and just exude class, elegance, and quality!
The cards of the Anubis deck have gold foil artwork on a black background. The court cards feature artwork that reflects the Egyptian era, and look luxurious and attractive. The artwork here was inspired by the Egyptian gods and kings of the past, and incorporates into the design elements from the classical Egyptian era and from the Egyptian revival. The court cards feature the following Egyptian gods: Amun, Mut, and Thoth (Spades); Osiris, Isis, and Khnum (Hearts); Anubis, Sekhmet, and Geb (Clubs); Ra, Hathor, and Horus (Diamonds). Printed on black cardstock with gold ink etchings, they are designed to be bold and opulent, just like the Egyptian gods/kings that inspired it. The number cards on both decks have a minimalist style that still reflects the Egyptian theme. Both decks were produced with metallic gold foil, which looks absolutely stunning on the background.
I'm extremely happy with the Anubis & Osiris decks that I have, and here's why:
1. I love the artwork: Everything about these cards is stunning, from the back designs to the artwork on each card. They really do look beautiful.
2. I love the themes: I love how Steve has worked with different cultures and ideas (and even done some research in the process), and how he's found ways to reflect this in the themes. Going back to ancient times also gives you a sense that these playing cards are steeped in a long and rich tradition, and make one feel some connection with the past.
3. I love the style: They just have a luxurious look and feel about them. Especially the cards with foil printing look outstanding. The style and class is immediately evident just from looking at the box.
4. I love the quality: Although one of the primary points of attraction with these cards is their visual appeal, they are made from good quality card stock, and handle and shuffle well. People who enjoy playing card games will appreciate the quality of the card-stock and printing.
5. I love the playability: Despite the wonderful aesthetics, the numbers and suits are still clear enough that you can actually use them in a game, without the artwork getting in the way of game-play and functionality.
I own a lot of different decks of playing cards, but these are easily among the most beautiful decks I own, and are arguably my most prized decks. Highly recommended.
- BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame