Queenz is a game all about flowers, bees and the beekeeper. It comes from the creative minds of Bruno Cathala and Johannes Goupy, and is published by Rio Grande and Mandoo Games. Can you grow the right combinations of flowers in your field and place your hives in just the right place to make enough honey to win the game?
Straight off the bat, Queenz is a game that looks lovely and plays really well. The main game board is a field that you randomly populate with coloured flowers. Some flowers have a queen bee on and some have groups of two or three bees on.
Take your player board with space for six flowers on, your three wooden beehives and your five coloured honey pots. Place your matching score token on the score track and deal five smaller fields out to form a draw pile. These are all different geometric shapes, made up of five squares and all look a little like Tetris blocks. Place the beekeeper Meeple on the outer edge of the field and the game starts.
On your turn you can pick one, two or three flowers from the row the beekeeper is standing at the top of. When picking a flower with a bee on it, you can only pick one. If you're picking three flowers they must all be different colours. The flowers are kept on your player board. After opting to pick flowers, you move the beekeeper the number of spaces equal to the number of flowers picked. The next player then has a different set of flowers they can choose to pick from and so on. On your turn, instead of picking flowers, and when you have enough flowers on your player board, you can pick a field card and lay out your flowers on it.
You gain points for placing coloured flowers together in same colour groups. When the beekeeper lands on an empty row, the player moving him gets a victory point and similarly when he has travelled all the way around the garden. If you pick up the last of the five field cards you also gain a point. When any of these events happen the garden is restocked with flowers and five new field cards are drawn. Play continues and you start to connect you field cards together, Tetris style. Obviously, as your garden grows the opportunity to create larger grouping increases and so does your score.
Bees are vital in Queenz and can make all the difference in end game scoring. On your turn, you can place a hive on one field. Every bee on one of the nine squares surrounding a hive will score in the end game. There is a fine balance to be found between going for points through colour grouping and choosing more flowers when you are picking flowers from the garden and going for individual flowers with bees on for end game scoring.
As you play each colour of flower, you place a matching honey pot on your player board. Once you have all five, you have diversified production and gain an end game bonus, first to get there gets more points. Once a player has five fields the game finishes with each other player having one final turn. You then score your bees and bonuses and the player with the highest total wins.
Initial Thoughts on Queenz
Queenz is a great filler game. It lasts about 20-30 minutes and has a nice level of tactical play. There are a good amount of choices available to you each turn and different ways to gain points throughout the game. It is also quite clear what you opponent may be planning . As a result, you can potentially give them some problems by not allowing them access to particular rows by picking the number of flowers needed to move the beekeeper to a specific row, preventing your opponent from gaining the colour they needed.
It is just a really nice game. It's thinky enough for a number of game groups, but easily accessible, very easy to pick up and can be played by those new to the hobby as well as those who have been around a while.
Queenz is a great gateway game, but would also make a great addition to those wanting a quality filler. Don't miss out on getting hold of this one you'll bee really disappointed if you don't pick up Queenz and that pain will sting!
Pick your flowers, plant them in your field, and make sure you attract lots of bees to your hives! This way, you can make all the honey and be the best beekeeper in the buzziness! This game is due to be released at Essen 2019. It'll be heading to Zatu shortly afterwards too.