Monday, July 9, 2018

The Legend of the Cherry Tree that blossoms every ten years - an initial review




I picked this up at Origins 2018 based on a history of my spouse enjoying gardening and games with similar beautiful landscapes. This game is a push your luck - set collection style, covered with a theme of the Cherry Tree watching you and rewarding you as you play.  For some unknown reason Cherry Tree is also trademarked on the cover of the box.

Through play you will collect flowers and place them in front of or behind your player screen.  In front of your screen you score based on the quantity of each color starting with one or two being negative scores then increasing in a logarithmic scale. Behind the screen players only score based on having the majority of flowers in either cool or warm color majority using white and black as wild to help create those majorities.

Game play consists of drawing 1-5 flowers from a bag, up to three times, but no more than eight in a round.  As you draw if you ever collect three of a kind or collect one of all five, with black being wild, the tree has determined you are too greedy and your turn is over and you fail and you are only allowed to put two flowers of two different colors behind your screen.  If you do not push your luck too far and stop you get to put one of your choice behind your screen, and all of the remaining flowers in front of the screen.

There are also special powers cards that let you get bonus actions and flowers based on your draw.  These are reversible for entry level and more complex play.

The flowers in the game, per my spouse, do not look like cherry blossoms.  Also, in the light of our play table the black and dark blue were difficult to differentiate.  Violet could have worked better here.



The screens were made from thick cardboard and were stable.  They had scoring player aid on the back.  It would have been nice if it had included some play instructions.  We had to refer to the rule book several times during play as we learned - something a player aid would have solved.








There was a very strange mixture of art styles too. The cover, bag and screens had different artistic styles of well done art.   The power cards on the other-hand were more iconic with a off putting stereotypical character type. The hard plastic flowers and vinyl feel of the bag were off putting.

I found play straightforward but my less experienced gaming spouse needed to see the rule book more often than me to understand the "failure" rules. As a push your luck you are dependent of the luck of the draw. On several turns I drew four flowers of different colors and was able to stop, score the bonus card where as my spouse had several unlucky draws which made our score pretty wide and makes me wonder how quickly this will get back to the table.


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