I’ve never had a green thumb. Well, let’s exclude that one time I dipped my thumb into a can of green paint. That doesn’t count.
I’m talking about plants! No matter how hard I try, taking care of flowers and succulents just isn’t my forte. In fact, they seem to thrive when I don’t meddle with them at all. Who would’ve thought?
Luckily, I’m able to grow a wonderful batch of gorgeous flowers with Blossoms, a quick two-player set-collection game published by Rebel.
Blossoms Card Game: Pick Those Flowers
In the game, two players face off to gather the best bouquet in all the land! At the beginning of each turn, a card is pulled from the deck and placed in a matching stack in a corresponding flower pot. If there isn’t an empty pot and no matching flower, it becomes the other player’s turn.
After this Growth action, a player can take as many additional actions as they’d like. The available actions are as follows:
- Growth – Pull an extra card from the top of the deck and add it to the correct pot if possible
- Plant – Add a card from your hand to a pot already growing the same flower type
- Cut – Pluck a flower growing from a pot by taking all of the cards and adding them to your flower collection as a set. This also ends your turn.
- Pass – End your turn without cutting a flower
Each player also has three special-action tokens which can be used to activate the unique effects on the flower pots. These are powerful actions that prevent the other player from cutting that flower until you’ve had your next turn, on top of the extra effect given by the pot.
Once the deck is depleted, the players tally their scores. Points are awarded by flower size as well as variety. It’s recommended to play three games and sum up your total score, which is easily done in the 20 minute estimated game-time.
Staking Our C.L.A.I.M. on the Blossoms Card Game
There aren’t many components included with this game. We’ve got a tall deck of cards representing the various flowers. On top of that, there are four cardboard flower pots and six special action tokens denoted by color.
Everything is sturdy and will definitely hold up to frequent use. Since the game plays so quickly, it’s important for these to endure constant shuffling and movement. No concerns from me here!
In addition, the box itself is well-made with a great ‘insert’. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a true insert, but it’s the best word I have at the moment. My only qualm is that the rulebook could have been narrower to allow a smaller box size. The Blossoms card game could easily be packed in a box a third the current size.
This game is all about luck! Every turn begins with the Growth action, which means that if you flip over an invalid card your turn ends without you being able to do anything. It’s frustrating, but it affects both players equally. One of the special actions, Rake, allows a player to put the top three cards of the deck back in any order; this is a strong effect to almost ensure your opponent loses their next turn.
There is an optional variant that mixes things up by allowing a player to take the obligatory Growth action at any point of their turn, instead of just the beginning. Although this removes the ‘feel-bad’ part of the game, it also nerfs the Rake action considerably.
When you’re playing a game centered around the natural beauty of flowers, you’re desperately hoping that the featured flowers are, well, beautiful. Blossoms nailed it with this one. Everything from the box art to the flower cards are quite pleasing to the eye. Nothing but raves from me on this front!
Perhaps the best part of Blossoms is that it plays quickly and can be taught in a matter of minutes. The age-recommendation is 8+, although there is a simplified version without special actions that could probably work with ages six and up.
It’s one of the better entry-level set-collection games that I’ve come across. If you like meatier games, this one probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re a fan of games where you press your luck to the limits, you may want to check this out.
Just like the theme suggests, this game is light-hearted and refreshing. A gritty reboot would require several weeks for these flowers to grow, but we’re lucky that we don’t have to wait that long to reap the fruits of our labors.
It’s very satisfying to cut a flower that’s grown to its maximum height, especially after a turn that involved a lot of positive growth. The special actions add a nice bit of tension, trying to line up the perfect arrangement of flower and pot to get the most payoff.
Even though luck plays a large part in determining the relative success of your turns, there is some strategy incorporated if you can get past that initial Growth action. Your two starting cards are all that you get for the whole game, so you need to time out their use accordingly. Not to mention playing around the possibility of your opponent locking down a fully-grown flower with their special action tokens!
Blossoms: Grow Your Collection
Long story short – if I ever want to simulate flower-growing with any sliver of success, Blossoms might be my best bet. It shines in its role as a fast-paced two-player game complete with alternate rules baked in to get more mileage out of it. There’s even a three-player variant if you’re feeling extra flowery.
You can find Blossoms at your FLGS, or on Amazon here.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of Blossoms in exchange for an honest review.]