$30.00
Recommend
48 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Cottage Garden» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Cottage Garden - a short review. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Peter D
United Kingdom
london
UK
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Cottage Garden - A Short Review

Patchwork, by the same designer as Cottage Garden, is a wonderful 2-player tetris-style shape placing game with a double economy of time and buttons. Cottage Garden is also a shape-placing game and unlike its predecessor will play up to 4 players. But is it as good as Patchwork? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Cottage Garden is more of the shape puzzle bit but without the interesting dynamics that makes Patchwork so interesting.

In Cottage Garden you are placing shapes on your own personal flower bed, a 5x5 grid. You need to avoid covering up the scoring spaces with the shapes. You choose the shape to place from the central board, which is a 4x4 grid holding one shape per space. You can choose from any of the shapes in the row which is 'live' during your turn. Alternatively you can also choose separate flower pots: single space filler pieces to fill the gaps. Each turn the row which is 'live' moves around. Also you can see which tiles will be coming into the grid as they form an orderly queue at the edge. When you have filled your personal flower bed you score it and take a new one. Scoring is done according to the number of the two different scoring spaces remaining uncovered on your flower bed. You have six scoring cubes in two colours which move up the score track according to the number of scoring spaces you left revealed in your flower bed. You choose which cube of each colour you use to score each time.

This feels very similar to Patchwork, but the main difference, and it is an important one, is that the income and payment mechanic, which makes Patchwork so clever, distinctive and interesting, is entirely absent here. There is a scoring track which gives some decision making, as you have six score cubes which each give a benefit when they hit the half-way mark, and a score bonus at the end, but other than that it is almost entirely a simple shape placement game.

It is worth mentioning the production. This is a new publisher who, with their first game, have not done a good job. Firstly, in order to play the game you first have to cut out and stick 4 sections onto the board as the board was printed with errors. Secondly, the small rule book has three errors which are included in a printed errata in the box. Thirdly the rule book is a mess. The rules are simple but the translation is poor and even the simple rules take a while to fully understand as you grapple with the poor sentence structures. It is a shame a publisher's first game is so badly delivered, but really this should have been remanufactured with the correct board before publication. It is a coup for a new publisher to get a Rosenberg game but it is a shame that they have thrown this good start away in a production and rule book disappointment.

Should you get the game? I play Patchwork with my family and they all love it. Gamers also love it. Cottage Garden offers a lot less from a strategy point of view for a gamer. However my family and myself and another gamer I played with enjoyed Cottage Garden as a pleasant shape-filling puzzle exercise. But everyone agrees it is not as good a game as the predecessor. If there was no Patchwork in existence I would be far more positive. But there is. So really the only reason to play this over Patchwork is for the multi-player capabilities of the game. And on that basis it is recommended as a very simple family puzzle-game, for when there are three of you. If there are two, play Patchwork instead.

In summary: lighter and less compelling than Patchwork. Recommended as a relaxed shape-fitting sunday afternoon relaxing family puzzle game, to be played only when there are too many players for its far better older sibling.
49 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Johnson
Canada
St.John's
Newfoundland
flag msg tools
designer
“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
badge
"Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and doomed to hell." - Andal proverb.
mbmbmbmbmb
Cottage Garden is also a good choice for those that like solo games.

From MiWi's walkthrough, Patchwork does seem more compelling, but Cottage Garden's player count is way more versatile.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Xander Michael
Finland
Helsinki
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for this review. It helped me to realise that I'm really not that excited about it and I could take it off of my wishlist. I'd still like to play it a couple times, but that's not enough to warrant adding it to my collection when I've got Patchwork which I love.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Burt
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmb
Quote:
But is it as good as Patchwork? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Cottage Garden is more of the shape puzzle bit but without the interesting dynamics that makes Patchwork so interesting.


Can you explain further what you mean by this distinction? What are the "interesting dynamics" of Patchwork that CG doesn't have? Is this a question of CG not having enough interaction?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
quill65 wrote:
Quote:
But is it as good as Patchwork? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Cottage Garden is more of the shape puzzle bit but without the interesting dynamics that makes Patchwork so interesting.


Can you explain further what you mean by this distinction? What are the "interesting dynamics" of Patchwork that CG doesn't have? Is this a question of CG not having enough interaction?


Not the OP but Patchwork has a pretty steady stream of difficult decisions since you're always debating whether you want to spend a lot of buttons (the victory points of the game) or spend time (the more time you spend the fewer the actions you'll get through out the game). The time track also determines whose turn it is so it's very important to use time efficiently. You also have to grapple with whether you want to spend a lot of money to buy tiles that give you buttons (the currency of the game) or if you want to buy a cheaper tile that doesn't give you any buttons but will cover more empty spots on your quilt. Every empty spot on your quilt at the end of the game gives you 2 negative points.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jérôme
Netherlands
Eindhoven
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
duckworp wrote:
It is worth mentioning the production. This is a new publisher who, with their first game, have not done a good job. Firstly, in order to play the game you first have to cut out and stick 4 sections onto the board as the board was printed with errors. Secondly, the small rule book has three errors which are included in a printed errata in the box. Thirdly the rule book is a mess. The rules are simple but the translation is poor and even the simple rules take a while to fully understand as you grapple with the poor sentence structures. It is a shame a publisher's first game is so badly delivered, but really this should have been remanufactured with the correct board before publication. It is a coup for a new publisher to get a Rosenberg game, even it it isn't a terribly good one, but it is a shame that they have thrown this good start away in a production and rule book shambles.


Only negatives? No mention at all of the beautiful, refreshing artwork? This game is not only about being a game, the atmosphere is so important. Gardening, flowers, cute cats and even a piece of cake on the table
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Sarnia
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tsaar wrote:
duckworp wrote:
It is worth mentioning the production. This is a new publisher who, with their first game, have not done a good job. Firstly, in order to play the game you first have to cut out and stick 4 sections onto the board as the board was printed with errors. Secondly, the small rule book has three errors which are included in a printed errata in the box. Thirdly the rule book is a mess. The rules are simple but the translation is poor and even the simple rules take a while to fully understand as you grapple with the poor sentence structures. It is a shame a publisher's first game is so badly delivered, but really this should have been remanufactured with the correct board before publication. It is a coup for a new publisher to get a Rosenberg game, even it it isn't a terribly good one, but it is a shame that they have thrown this good start away in a production and rule book shambles.


Only negatives? No mention at all of the beautiful, refreshing artwork? This game is not only about being a game, the atmosphere is so important. Gardening, flowers, cute cats and even a piece of cake on the table


There is only negatives because it's all that matters. What good is the art and supposed atmosphere if the gameplay is boring and simple. I am a big fan of Patchwork and Le Havre so I don't have anything against the designer but I was hoping this game would be a lot better. I do think it would be great for young children.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Sarnia
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Jimmydm90 wrote:
quill65 wrote:
Quote:
But is it as good as Patchwork? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Cottage Garden is more of the shape puzzle bit but without the interesting dynamics that makes Patchwork so interesting.


Can you explain further what you mean by this distinction? What are the "interesting dynamics" of Patchwork that CG doesn't have? Is this a question of CG not having enough interaction?


Not the OP but Patchwork has a pretty steady stream of difficult decisions since you're always debating whether you want to spend a lot of buttons (the victory points of the game) or spend time (the more time you spend the fewer the actions you'll get through out the game). The time track also determines whose turn it is so it's very important to use time efficiently. You also have to grapple with whether you want to spend a lot of money to buy tiles that give you buttons (the currency of the game) or if you want to buy a cheaper tile that doesn't give you any buttons but will cover more empty spots on your quilt. Every empty spot on your quilt at the end of the game gives you 2 negative points.


Great points above. I would also add that knowing when your next payout is will influence your moves because you could buy a cheaper tile with just enough time to put you over the pay day and then with your new money you could buy a tile you couldn't afford a minute ago. also, sometimes you buy a tile or take the money knowing that your opponent doesn't have enough money to buy any of the next tiles so you gained that extra turn with not much of a loss. Similar to above, you may want that big tile with lots of coverage and buttons, but your opponent may now get to buy multiple tiles on one turn because you moved so far ahead on the time track. It is these and more that make patchwork the game it is and there is none of this in cottage garden.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Green
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for this review.

While it's disappointing to read that Cottage Garden may not be as great as I'd hoped, I'd rather have that information now than after purchasing it.

It's a shame that this release couldn't have been more smooth.

It looks like they went above and beyond as far as artwork and component quality, but the bad rule book and production errors may be difficult to recover from.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicola Bocchetta
Italy
Milano
MI
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
duckworp wrote:
Firstly, in order to play the game you first have to cut out and stick 4 sections onto the board as the board was printed with errors.


To be more precise, only the 1-3 player board has been printed wrong, the 4 player board is correct.

The second printing will have the correct boards on both sides, so I was told. :-)
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey Allers
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Poor sentence structures? There were a few typos and I would have liked to have proofread the rules before printing, but I would like to know what, specifically could have been translated better.

BTW no one was more frustrated by the production mistakes than the guys at Edition Spielwiese. They really poured their heart and soul into the production of the game. If anything, the human error of sending the printer the same side of the board was a result of trying to get everything else just perfect. I think it was a fine job for their first-ever printing.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
flag msg tools
mb
I am and always have been my family's and gaming group's official rules reader and as such consider myself reasonably adept at working out how to play a game.
I don't recall being so frustrated at a Rules book.
They are very poorly written or translated, the whole lot disjointed.

They seem to have completely overlooked the fact that this game could be an introduction to board gaming.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathaniel Chambers
United States
Austin
TX
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Thank you guys for the discussion. I was looking for a slightly heavier Patchwork, not a lighter one. But it's always good to have great intro games for new board gamers. But I can't imagine being into a game 'lighter' than Patchwork (which is already light). I'll keep an eye out to play in person, glad I read the reviews before ordering. I'll still give it a shot if I see it being played.

Also, real shame about the production issues. If I do decide to buy, I'll definitely wait until a second edition. Issues like that highly annoy me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey Allers
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
bubblepipemedia wrote:
Thank you guys for the discussion. I was looking for a slightly heavier Patchwork, not a lighter one. But it's always good to have great intro games for new board gamers. But I can't imagine being into a game 'lighter' than Patchwork (which is already light). I'll keep an eye out to play in person, glad I read the reviews before ordering. I'll still give it a shot if I see it being played.

Also, real shame about the production issues. If I do decide to buy, I'll definitely wait until a second edition. Issues like that highly annoy me.


I don't think you will have to wait long, as the first edition is already sold out and Pegasus picked it up for the 2nd Ed.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Dringautzki
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
My Blog - Shades Of Boardgaming
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Peter,

thanks for the review

True for a gamer Patchwork offers more meat but the more often I play Cottage Garden the more possibilities I see. Using a cat to fill up the board is one of my most used actions by now

Given the production "issues", these are not in the new editions anymore that should be available.

Have a great day!
Peat

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.