Designed by Matt Loomis & Isaac Shalev
Artist: Peter Wocken
Produced by IDW Games
1-4 players, ages 10+
Takes about 20-30 minutes to play
All components in this game are beautiful. From the board, the heavy plastic chips, to the tiny flower scoring markers. Even the insert, while not beautiful in and of itself, works perfectly. I listed the artist above because the bird and flower art on the chips is just gorgeous. A 10 for component quality.
The players are neighbors, each with a pagoda that overlooks a shared garden. They are competing to have the best view of said garden by planting flowers and attracting birds.
Players start with two randomly drawn chips taken from the bag. There are random chips placed on the board according to the number of players. Each chip has a picture of a bird and a flower although there are four koy fish chips that are wild.
A player turn goes something like this:
1. Place one chip on the board. It must be adjacent to at least one other chip.
2. Check for flocks. If the bird on the newly placed chip matches an adjacent chip, score 1 point for each.
3. Draw new chip from bag if possible.
That's it. One rule. Place adjacent to another chip. Ok, the space has to be empty but come on, that should be basic. What makes this game interesting is the end game scoring. There are three pagodas printed on the board matching the scoring tokens. The players sit so they are situated behind their chosen pagoda and have a view of the shared garden. The spaces on the board provide each player with seven rows from their perspective. End game scoring involves evaluating each row and determining how many matching flowers you have. The more flowers of the same type in a row, the better the score for that row. So placing a particular flower might help you, but might set up an opponent even better. There is some trade off between helping yourself and "hate placing" a chip to stop someone from scoring huge. Koy fish are wild and can make this even trickier.
What do I think?
I think this is a very clever game. Super simple so it's easy to teach and play. I have played 1-3 players and all have worked very well, but I would say I prefer the 2-player game. Although the game worked well with three, there was definitely less control. You can play a full game, with rules explanation, in less than 30 minutes. The only issue I have is that two of the flowers are very similar in color. In low light, it can be difficult to tell the difference. A minor issue really.
I think this is a beautifully produced game that works great in between larger, heavier games. Enough meat on the bones to keep gamers interested but simple enough to teach pre-teens.
Freelance Game Graphic Designer
I listed the artist above because the bird and flower art on the chips is just gorgeous. A 10 for component quality.
Thanks! Happy that you enjoyed it.
Thanks for the review!
One of the best games from 2017, hands down. Just hits all the spots for us!