To walk through a garden on a breezy summer’s day collecting flowers, bugs and gazing at sculptures. All one needs is a lovely cup of tea. If this all sounds a bit whimsical, yet lovely then you need to get your gaming mitts on for Floriferous from Pencil First Games. A nice mix of drafting, set collecting and goal fulfilment set in a lovely pastel coloured pasture.
Set up is very simple, Floriferous is played over three days, that's three rounds, not three actual days, that would just be silly. For each day you must set out a grid of cards, depending on player count which includes face-up cards, facedown cards and stones scattered amongst them in a fixed pattern. You then deal out three random Bounty cards, give everyone a coloured pawn and three matching wooden flowers. You are good to go flower picking!
In Floriferous you are attempting to collect flower cards, fulfil the Bounties at the top of the grid and complete smaller goals to end up with the most points and a beautiful array of flowers to boot. The three Bounties at the top of the board, which score more points the earlier you complete them will have you searching for certain bugs and flowers. At the end of each day, if you have fulfilled its requirements, you may adorn it with one of your lovely little wooden flowers.
Fulfil Your Desires
Along with these Bounties are goal cards, called Desires are located at the bottom of each row. There are five columns meaning you will get to draft five cards each day. In a manner similar to Kingdomino, the higher up the column you draft, the earlier you will go next turn, which is a system I am fond of. The desire cards are at the bottom of each row, meaning if you draft one of those you will be going last. They are good for scoring lots of points but do so at your own peril.
Flowers, Bugs And Sculptures
So, what cards do we have to pick from? You have five flowers, in each of five colours and all adorned with a possible one of five bugs. Mixed in with all this flora are sculptures and arrangement cards. Sculptures give points to the players who have the most of them and arrangement cards will score you increasing points the better you complete the items in the arrangement.
Stones are also littered towards the bottom of the columns on the cards, you get a point for every two stones at the end and the person with the most stones at the end gets the lovely cup of tea card, worth a further two points. These stones just do enough to make you second guess what card to draft.
At The End Of The Day
As you draft cards, goals, and other flower-based shenanigans, you will reach the end of the day. Here you will wipe the grid clean, refill it with new cards and score your Bounties. You then proceed in the opposite direction, again drafting a card from each column. Arrangements and goal cards are scored at the end, so no need to worry about those yet. As I said the earlier you complete your Bounties the better and numerous players can complete them on any day. There is a more combative mode where only one player can score each Bounty each day.
There is also a solo variant included in the box which is very similar to the main game but pits you against a pesky crow. This crow uses a deck of cards which kind of acts like another player, getting in your way and taking the cards you wanted. It's easy to manage and as far as solo modes go, requires very little interaction from the player. Which is only a good thing.
The End Of The Game
After you have meandered through three days of flower picking and arranging, you have to work out the scores in Floriferous. It's very simple and does not take long at all. You gander at the three Bounties and see what scoring sections your flowers sit, if anywhere. You add that to any Desire cards and arrangements you may have completed, or not. Add the number of stones you collected, halved, maybe even get the cup of tea if you had the most. A lovely, simple game that's just pure chill. Enjoy!