Saving the Cup of Tea in Floriferous Despite a Pesky Guest
Relax in the garden of Floriferous where gorgeous flowers grow in abundance and the cup of tea is everything.
Back to another preview of Floriferous! This cheery box hasn’t left my game table, and it’s about time I organized the part that isn’t in my photos. I’m running out of room! Follow along to enjoy another early look at the artwork and how the general game plays. I may cross over to do a multiplayer post sometime soon… My husband also loves the game!
I’m the sales manager for Pencil First Games. Additionally, this is a prototype copy that isn’t finalized. All of the opinions are my honest thoughts, but please don’t use these photos as accurate depictions of the published product. Quality and certain aspects are subject to change. You’ll also see some of my stand-in components here and there!
Game Name: Floriferous
Publication Year: Unreleased (2021)
Designers: Eduardo Baraf, Steve Finn, and Keith Matejka
Artists: Clémentine Campardou and Kim Robinson
Publisher: Pencil First Games
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
I am no hand model, but I do own a fair number of fancy gloves! So I grabbed a nice pair to handle the cards with. We’ll call these a mix of gardening and tea party gloves… Just the right kind for this game of collecting flowers and making interesting decisions on a relaxing garden stroll!
February 6, 2021
February 20, 2021
43 (S) and 63 (E)
20" x 20"
15 (S) and 49 (E)
An Organized Path
Setting this up for the solo mode is always so lovely. There are a lot of garden cards: Only about half are seen during each standard play, which leaves a lot of variety.
Each turn involves moving the gardener pawn into a space in the next column. Only 3 options are available for solo.
Yet it’s rarely easy! There are bounty cards, shown at the top, which award more victory points if completed early on. But what about arrangements and desire cards?!
Arrangements can be worth up to 5 victory points, while desire cards can be lucrative or completely useless.
Why the Face-Down Cards?
Sharp eyes will notice how the top row features face-down garden cards in the 2nd and 4th columns. The solo opponent, also known as the pesky guest, can also replace cards with other face-down options. This element creates a sense of risk because the card isn’t revealed until chosen. It might be the best option or just the opposite!
I’v mentioned this before, but I want to emphasize how nice this gameplay aspect is. You have just a hint of unknown information and need to gauge the risk. The other options might be worth practically nothing, so the choice becomes simple! Other times, though, it comes down to earning a guaranteed 2-3 victory points or trying for just a little more.
A Day in the Garden
My first day of this play turned out well in some regards. I picked up the desire card for poppies and collected a pair… 4 victory points right there! Not too bad.
Sadly, the bounty cards were all over the place and so was I. Truth be told, it was the crow. What a rude opponent!
The 2 cards I needed the most turned out to be stolen right out from under me. Go figure. Maybe it was the gloves that really got on the nerves of the pesky guest.
Or was I the pesky guest?! Ha ha! In any event, I was off to a decent enough start and felt ready to stroll away.
Growing a Collection
Still no luck with the bounty cards on the second day. I lost out on a lot of victory points and started to see how I wasn’t getting anywhere with some of the desire cards.
I picked up bonuses for the same type of flower and beetles, but together, these were just 5 victory points.
Note how I ended up with only 9 cards. The crow gathered plenty of stones and I had to protect my collection! A single turn involved me picking up 2 stones.
Although my sights were set pretty high, I had a feeling this was going to be a rather bad outing. Unlucky gloves!
At the End of the Day
I concluded the final day with a fairly lackluster collection of flowers. They were certainly beautiful, yet I couldn’t quite put together the choices for more victory points.
This is still a lighter kind of game, yet it’s interesting to balance out a collection of flowers and the ways to score victory points. The decisions take some thought.
My biggest challenge is figuring out when to use the cup of tea to guarantee my next card selection. Not the tea!
I also sometimes over-manage the crow’s stones. It can be worth it to lose a card to preserve stones for victory points.
A Hot Cup of Tea
Tea, please! Much like the biscuit card from Herbaceous, this might be the best card because of how different it is.
The multiplayer game awards this to the player with the most stones at the end, thereby giving 2 extra victory points. But for the solo mode, it can be tossed out there!
In other words, the cup of tea is either worth 2 victory points or can be used to block the pesky guest one time.
Even with some of my horrendously low scores of the day, I had a great time flipping cards and finding some lovely flowers. I never can pick a favorite, though!
It was time for a slight distraction so I could claim some sort of victory. The daisies looked just about right…
Naturally, the scale was completely off. Can you guess where this vase comes from? If you’re thinking of the tiny animals known as Calico Critters, you’re correct!
I’m sure they’ll be along at some point. Tiny pattering across my game table is a normal occurrence.
This arrangement in particular has me looking forward to the start of spring. It’s been a wintry mess around here for days and I would like to end my hibernation. Ha ha!
Play Number: 41-44
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Standard Mode
Outcome: 22, 24, 37, and 27 (4 Losses)
Return of the gardening gloves! I just wanted to show off my skills at not tossing out my cup of tea. Maybe I lose a lot with some laughably low scores, but not even a rude crow can get me to spill this tea! Although shortly after playing, I spilled some hot chocolate. Revenge of the pesky guest from another room! I’ll need to regroup and work on my gardening skills for next time. Must hit 45+ points!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Although there are always decisions to be made, they’re not overly confusing nor complex to feel difficult.
- Only about half of the garden cards are seen with each play, adding a lot of variety and unpredictability.
- Face-down cards present interesting situations where risks can be taken to try to earn extra victory points.
- The artwork is simply gorgeous and mirrors the relaxing atmosphere of strolling through a flower garden.
- Every card features simple iconography that defines the flower type and color, as well as the presence of a bug.
- The standard and extended modes present different kinds of strategies and interesting ways to plan ahead.
– Cons (Negatives)
- Luck can feel a bit prominent with the way the variety in cards means that the right flowers don’t always appear.
- Figuring out the balance in garden cards and desire cards takes some experience to figure out the strategies.
- Although very minor, the 5 beautiful statue cards can’t be utilized in the solo mode and must be set aside.
- Certain combinations of bounty cards can make early victory points harder, purely due to the luck of the draw.
Score 40+ Points (S) or 60+ Points (E)
- Overall Goal Progress 60% 60%
Goals and Milestones
Complete all 3 bounty cards on day 1.
Score at least 40 points in the standard mode.
Score at least 60 points in the extended mode.
Score at least 45 points in the standard mode.
Score at least 65 points in the extended mode.
Continue the Conversation
What do you want to know more about in relation to Floriferous? Some luck is involved, but I still feel like I have some strategies to figure out. Plenty of life left in this one! Do you think I’ll hit 1,000+ plays as I did with Herbaceous? Only time will tell. This is enjoyable for me in a different way, and I’m excited to play more… With or without gloves!