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Delicious – More Information Coming Soon!
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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Easy Rules
  • Gorgeous artwork
  • Light but crunchy
  • Unlimited players

Might Not Like

  • No real direct player interaction
  • Some may be disappointed if they are looking for novelty
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Delicious - More Information Coming Soon!

Do you eat your recommended 5 per day? We don’t always hit the arbitrary target (except little one who is drilled on their school dinner choices and gets handed a cucumber to crunch whenever the 24 hour stats look iffy!). However, we have started play our quota of veggies in Delicious! And that’s got to be good, right?

So what is Delicious? And it is a crunchy carrot or a rotten tomato?

Feast For The Eyes

I know it seems strange to start a review with components, but this little game has beauty at its core. It even calls itself “an artful game”. So it would be remiss of me to keep the glory until the end.

If you have played Herbaceous, Floriferous, The Whatnot Cabinet, or Sunset over Water, you’ll know Pencil First Games produce some gorgeous titles. And just like the herby, flowery and curio offerings of before, this one is a box full of mouth-watering watercolours. Every card is a wonderful illustration of delicious delights that look god enough to eat…nom…….

Ahem, right, back to regular review broadcasting!

Flipping Fields

Delicious is a flip and fill. This just means that it’s a roll and write style pen and paper game that uses a deck of cards instead of dice. So, in addition to the deck of yummy treats, is a score sheet, some tokens, pencils, and some tokens.

The deck is divided into two; top and bottom gardens to match the two halves of the scoring sheet. Every round, a card is flipped face up on both decks and a random token is placed on each one. The tokens are either fruits or vegetables, or one of an assortment of one-time use tools.

In simultaneous fashion, everyone then chooses what they do with the cards and tokens on show. It’s then time to call upon your inner artist, as you will be drawing the relevant fruit or veg onto a box in an appropriate planter in your garden.

Now, unlike games where you select the pair you want to use, Delicious has a few more options on the menu. You can of course use the card and token in the indicated garden. But you can also use both cards in their respective gardens. Or you can reverse one and use top in bottom and vice versa. Or you can even use both pairs wherever you want.

Now, if that sounds like a generous granny sized helping of delicious options, put your spoon down for a moment. The kicker here is that you only have 12 rounds in the game. And each of those 4 actions can only be used a certain number of times during the entire thing. And, as you would expect, the super-duper double helping of cards, can only be used twice compared to three or four times for the other choices. And that means there’s a crunchy layer under the soft soil in this game!

The tokens act as placement indicators. So even after you have decided which action to take, there’s thinking to be done. Plus the vegetable planters themselves have their own rules (nobody puts baby beetroot in the corner! Haha). Fruits score based on patterns – complete rows and columns of matching/mixed delights, which adds a third option to consider.

Plus, if you’re hot on your horticulture, there are bonuses to be had. And as these only apply first past the planter style, there’s also a mini race going on in this garden!

Greedy Guts

As well as playing with an unlimited number of carrot crunching competitors, the solo opponent aka the Pesky Crow is back! And, just like in Floriferous, it messes with what you can select each turn. And I don’t know how it does it, but it ALWAYS knows what you want. And takes it away. And makes you say rude words. Which feels totally justified as you will come to discover!

Final Thoughts

I love Floriferous, Sunset over Water, and The Whatnot Cabinet. So I was expecting to like Delicious. And I really do. It’s like a light but tasty dish that includes a little of a lot of the things I like in fast playing, puzzly, solo-able games.

In regular multiplayer mode it’s multiplayer solitaire style with added bonuses. (There is a mini- expansion that offers more in the way of meddling, but that is a KS exclusive only). And in solo mode, it feels more interactive in that the Pesky Crow thwarts all my best laid plans.

It has limited action options of games like Trek 12, and it has the puzzly meta, game-within-game style placement choices of a whole host of other fun roll and writes and flip and fills. It doesn’t do anything new, per se, but it tosses them together in a crunchy salad of scoring possibilities. And I really like that. In fact, just like the other Pencil First games, I like it best when it is just me! 20 minutes of delicious decision dilemmas that I can squeeze into a lunchbreak or after work moment of downtime. Delicious is a peaceful puzzly game that makes me want to come back for seconds…..and thirds!

Left to my own devices, I would consume an exclusively beige diet. Even the limited fruits and veggies I eat inhabit the yellow spectrum exclusively; overripe bananas, butternut squash, potatoes of all varieties, and crisp sweetcorn. For me, carbs are on every level of my food pyramid. But, when it comes to gaming, the more colourful the better. Particularly when playing solo. Having something to enchant my eye as well as my brain is a sure fire way to keep me satisfied. And the gorgeous watercolour illustrations and puzzly play in Delicious do not disappoint on either front.

To be fair, I sort of knew it was going to go down a treat. Being a huge fan of Floriferous solo (even more so than multiplayer!), I was expecting Delicious to be a beautifully crafted, quick playing, light but crunchy solo-able puzzle. And that’s exactly what it has turned out to be. But, instead of flower themed card based set collection, the gameplay in Delicious is flip and write placement optimisation. And anybody who knows me knows I am addicted to the roll/flip and write mech. So Delicious is, well, even more delicious!

Solitaire Or Solo?

Interestingly, because of the multiplayer solitaire based play of the game, there are two ways to play Delicious solo. You can either play “no interruption” which is the same set up and play as the regular game on a BYOS basis (just without race-based, first player to fill a planter bonuses). Or you can play against the Pesky Crow. And, if you have played Floriferous, then you’ll know just how pesky that bird can be!

Stone The Crow

The Pesky Crow is a puzzle busting pest! I don’t know how it does it, but it always seems to know what I want and stops me from getting it or doing it.

Starting in the suitcase planter in the top garden, the Crow meeple moves counter-clockwise each round, stopping at the next “major area” i.e. into the bottom garden, then the fruitery, and then back to the top garden again. If it is perched in a planter (it always chooses the one with the most veggies drawn inside it), it means that I can’t place veggies in there that round. And if it is in the fruitery, I can’t drop any sweet treats in there either.

In solo mode there is the option of forcing the Crow off a planter if the card and token for that round would be perfect for the spot it has landed. But scaring it off costs a fruit already placed in the fruitery. And that is likely to mess up point scoring potential in a given row and/or column.

These additional placement restrictions are on top of the regular planting rules. For me, the extra layer of crunch is excellent and really adds something a little meatier to the puzzly experience.

Final Thoughts

I love playing Delicious solo. I enjoy the push-your-luck feeling of choosing where to place fruits and veggies. And knowing that there are only 12 pairs of cards in any game means mitigating the luck factor through savvy use of bonuses and limited action selection. But the Pesky Crow solo mode is where this game shines brightest for me. And, strange though it may sound, it actually feels more interactive than when playing multiplayer solitaire against other real people. I think it is because the Crow physically blocks off sections of my own sheet which doesn’t happen when playing with my husband – he has no influence over my choices. Okay, I might cast an eye over his sheet to see how close he is from gaining a first player planter bonus or the Honey Jar card. But generally we are each playing our own game independent of one another. The Crow, on the other hand, is all up in my gardening business! Meddling and interrupting my planting plans. And I really like that.

Plus, in solo mode, nobody else seems my terrible attempts at drawing the fruits and veggies I pick! Drawing them is all part of the fun of course, and the process adds to the calm, quiet nature of this “artful” game. But I think I can safely say that I won’t be winning any prizes for my artistic talents (or lack thereof).

Once again, Eduardo Baraf and Steve Finn have designed a game that turns me into a greedy gamer who doesn’t like to share! Don’t get me wrong; I will always happily play Delicious with anyone. But playing solo against the Pesky Crow is how I like to enjoy Delicious the most!

Broccoli, carrots, figs, onions, peppers……. Oh my! A feast of high vitamin fruits and veg await you in Delicious! But how do you turn those power foods into player points? Well, have no fear! For I am here to give you a quick guide through your first play!

Prepping The Beds

Setting up Delicious is simple. In the box you’ll find two pads (100 sheets each and double sided – yay!), 4 pencils (with erasers – huzzah!), a deck of 30 cards, 30 fruit/tool tokens, 2 markers, a Honey Jar card, and a bag. There’s also a rules booklet (but you won’t need that now! Haha! Just kidding. Definitely keep it (and keep it close by – you’ll find out why later!). Plus there’s a black wooden crow meeple which you’ll only need if you are playing solo (click here to read the solo review for more details!).

Give everyone a sheet from each pad and a pencil. Then shuffle the deck and divide it into two equal piles face down one on top of the other. Place the upward pointing marker next to the top deck and the downward pointing arrow next to the one below. Then flip a card over from each deck, and place a random fruit/tool token from the bag onto each card. And that’s it. Everyone is now ready to start planting up veg beds and collecting some fruit!

Oh and remember the rules booklets? Well, in Delicious you will be channelling your inner Monet and drawing the fruits and veggies you select. And very handily, there is a how-to-draw guide amidst the rules that will help turn your circles, cylinders and triangles into brilliant blueberries, carrots and figs! Okay so you don’t have to draw them – you can just use letters – but drawing is a big part of the calming, crunchy fun in Delicious!

Plant Up

In Delicious there are just 12 turns in a game (so you definitely won’t see every card in a single game), and play for everyone is simultaneous. So, on each one, you get to decide which of your one-time 12 actions you are going to take. And once you have used one, you cross out the circle next to that icon. There are 4 options:

Use the card and token in their given location (x4 actions)

Use the card and token in the opposite location (x3 actions)

Use both cards and tokens in their given locations (x 3 action); or

Use both cards and tokens wherever you like (x 2 actions) Note: each pair must remain together and be used in one or the other garden – no splitting them up!

The locations on offer for the veggies are either top garden or bottom garden. Looking at the main sheet, there are 3 planters in the upper section and 3 planters in the lower section. These are separated by a path. There’s also a fruitery on the right hand side where you’ll be adding nature’s own sweeties aka the fruit tokens during the game.

Get Growing

Now you know where you can plant things, it’s time to decide how you plant things. And that’s going to give you pause for thought. Because each veg planter has its own placement rules that you need to follow if you want to score. For example, the wheelbarrow planter needs 6 completely unique veggies in order to score. But the suitcase needs 3 pairs to turn sweet peppers into a sweet score!

Same with the fruits. At end game, you’ll score points for columns or rows that have either all matching or all different fruits in them (note: they don’t have to be completely filled as scoring is incremental. But only the largest group of contiguous symbols will score).

And you don’t exactly have a free reign there either. Look back at the veg card paired with the token, and you’ll see a shape (star, oval, or hexagon) in the bottom right corner with either a fruit or a tool on it. If you chose a card/token combo and it’s a fruit, that will need to go into a box in the fruitery matching that shape.

If the veggie card indicates that it is to be paired with the tool side of the token, you can draw any vegetable/fruit you like into any planter/box or row/column in the fruitery showing that same tool. As it is a one time use, however, you must remember to shade in or cross it out once used.

Now, if you are super speedy in your planting, there are also 1 point first player bonuses to be had for the person who fills a planter first. In addition, if you fill all 3 top or bottom planters first, you can get your sticky fingers on the hallowed Honey card (worth 3 points). The race is on!

Wild Garden

You might wonder what the extra boxes are on the smaller action sheet. Well, these are super handy! Once per game, you can change either of the face up veggies or fruits wild. That means if a mushroom is flipped over but you really need a broccoli, then you can use your one time wild power to switch it. Same with the fruit token on offer. If it’s blueberry time in the top garden but you need a fig this turn, you can turn that berry into a figgy delight and pop it into any open box.

There are also 2 additional bonus spots that let you increase the score for any one fruit type, or double the score of a single veg planter. But, in either case, you’ll need to draw the veg or fruit on offer into one of the bonus boxes instead of on your scoring sheet.

After each turn, the cards and tokens get discarded. And after 12 turns, the game is over and it’s scoring time!

Scores On The…Shed Doors

Scoring is easy in Delicious. Flip over the smaller sheet and there’s a table for totting up your points. Whether you have any to put in there will be down to how savvy you sewed your strawberries and planted your peppers!

You get points for:

  • achieving the scoring criteria in each planter – the highest number shown in it (not the total of each row filled);
  • incremental scores based on the rows and columns of matching/mismatching fruits
  • first player to fill a planter bonus (1 point); and
  • honey pot bonus.

Don’t forget to factor in the two bonuses you might have crossed off when calculating the values!

Sadly there aren’t points for the mightiest drawn mushroom or the cutest carrot (but maybe you can award some best-in-show type titles between the players after a game!).

I hope this helps you go get stuck into your first game of Delicious! If you’re interested in playing solo, check out the solo feature for more details. And if you liked this game, why not try Floriferous or Herbaceous by the same team?!

That concludes our guide on how to play Delicious. Did this help you? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames.

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Easy Rules
  • Gorgeous artwork
  • Light but crunchy
  • Unlimited players

Might not like

  • No real direct player interaction
  • Some may be disappointed if they are looking for novelty