Board Games

Non-Bookish Saturday post: Verdant PnP

I have reviewed another game by the same publishers before: Non-Bookish Saturday Post: Calico. They made a game in between which is supposedly even more popular, but the format did not appeal to me as much. The first game calico, is very restrictive in its framework, limiting the scope of any plan. The second was more freeform (I have watched enough playthroughs to feel like I’ve played it myself). This third one tries to form a bridge between the two ways.

Before I go into the game itself, I must say I was very surprised to see a new game called Planted which is almost a carbon copy of many of the moves in this game. It left me wondering which came first and if there will be any confrontation between the two!

The main game release is in September if I remember right, but I found a print and play version for 5 USD and thought it would be a smaller version of the game. It was in fact the entire game! It took me a couple of attempts to put together the version I have in the picture. It is a very quick game and with the number of points one can gain through multiple means, it is anyone’s game till the very end.

The centre spot area visible above is the market. In the first row are the plants. They have the number of leaves required for potting, the light requirements and the final score. In the next row are the items. These are things you can place in the rooms for additional points either when they match the room or just by being unique once our grid is complete. The final row contains the rooms. Each wall/side of the room has its own lighting situation as indicated. the colours can be coordinated with the type of plants. If a plant is placed in the appropriate lighting condition, it gets a new leaf immediately. Special items help in gaining more leaves.

Each move is a player picking two of the three cards in any column (i.e plant and item or room and item). Only special conditions(thumbs) help you break the column rule. Then you place it on a personal grid and follow the appropriate steps for leaves. The remaining card in the column gets a green thumb which has its own benefits. The best part about the systematic rules is that explaining is easy, scoring is easy and you can let your mind wander and take in the information on the cards. it is not as heavy on the mind as Calico was, but it might be on the too-light side despite the limits of a 5×3 grid being the restriction in our placement. My husband is yet to warm up to the game, and the solo mode seemed a little too easy. This is why I am yet to log too many plays. It has been out on the floor for a while as I admire the amount of time and energy I put into cutting and pasting. Individual cards are not too much of a secret, making this quite an ideal game for printing and playing since minor difference does not tilt the game in the favour of anyone who can keep such things in mind for card counting!

There are obvious benefits for potting plants ahead of others and there are special conditions that you can add to make scoring a little more complicated.

Overall it is a scoring heavy game. I like tallying up scores at the end or during games. If this is not someone you enjoy, I would not recommend the game that much. It is a quiet game that fits into a small box with these components and its run time is something I think would appeal to a lot of people.

I am not sure the Kickstarter print and play version is still available, but if it is, I must admit that it is a very appealing option that I would recommend.

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