Taking a Quick Stroll with Grove: A 9 Card Solitaire Game
Collect a tropical fruit harvest of lemons, limes, and oranges to complete optional recipes in Grove: A 9 Card Solitaire Game.
This one wasn’t far behind after I played Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game! Whereas the original provides a pretty steady sort of puzzle, Grove: A 9 Card Solitaire Game features a few new elements. Most important of all are the recipes, which provide victory thresholds and some additional bonuses. I was ready to harvest some more tasty fruit again!
As matching fruit trees are stacked, dice count up values in a very clear set of rules. Empty groves allow for different ways to overlap cards, but the challenge is still a tricky one. When recipes enter the picture, the real heart of the game shines… Only clever harvesting will yield a victory!
July 16, 2022
September 22, 2023
10" x 10"
Naturally, this is about a world where tiny squirrels drive wheelbarrows of fruit… Oh, wait. That’s not it. Ha ha!
I always love the whimsical wooden tokens in this series. This comes with a squirrel, who can help with overlapping different fruit at a cost, and a valuable wheelbarrow.
One might wonder just how different overlapping card games can be with dice as victory point counters.
This doesn’t come to my table as much as Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game, although I think they occupy different spaces and have various complexity levels.
Making Fruity Treats
Gameplay can be straightforward with the standard mode, which is all about maximizing victory points. The recipe mode offers up a slightly different challenge, though.
During setup, a pair of recipes are drawn. The numbers in the upper left provide the total score needed to win, and then additional scoring conditions are offered.
Some of these are harder to accomplish, yet they’re all bright and colorful… Can’t go wrong there!
I decided to play with recipes to give myself a couple of goals, and to make sure I enjoyed this artwork.
Limoncello and Jellyo
Delicious! I really enjoyed the challenge with this recipe combination. The orange dice were very tricky as I stacked the fruits and didn’t actually complete the requirement.
Doubling the lemon dice was pretty awesome! However, I was a little too distracted with my basic strategy.
The appearance of empty groves might make it sound like overlapping cards is easier, yet they merely add another element to think about… Definitely not a walk in the park!
I liked this twist on the original formula, though. It was just a touch more difficult without being complicated.
Tricky Squirrel Visit
As I’ve learned, accepting negative victory points should happen very sparingly. But when I saw the chance to overlap a bunch of fruit trees, I sent for the squirrel!
Effectively, this reduced a couple of dice values, but wasn’t too bad. Besides, I’m not going to turn down the use of an adorable wooden squirrel token. That’s ridiculous. Ha ha!
I could see myself slowly improving, which was fun. But I didn’t feel like I had to play forever to get better scores.
This is a great option to work into my regular rotation when I want something quick, but a bit more challenging.
Which 9 Card Solitaire Game is the Best One?
It’s a common question, and a valid one! In a hobby where it’s very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like everything needs to be purchased, finding ways to focus on a single game in a series can be helpful. For me, I’ve discovered that I enjoy Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game and Grove: A 9 Card Solitaire Game for different reasons.
The original is perfect for playing many times in a row, particularly since I’m working on reaching a certain number of victory points. It’s quick and very easy for me to think about. In fact, it has the lowest complexity value because I almost move into auto-pilot when I play. This might explain my mediocre scores, yet it’s all about a relaxing experience.
With this one, I like the added challenge of thinking about groves and counting fruit individually. The standard mode is also pretty quick, while the recipe mode is something I look forward to exploring in more depth. Both games are very similar in some respects, yet I get a different feeling from each of them. They’re sticking around for quite some time!
Play Number: 11-14
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)
Play Details: Recipe Mode
Outcome: 65, 64, 80, 82 (2 Wins & 2 Losses)
I eventually broke through and just barely made it past the victory threshold for these recipes! With so many pairs to try out, there is a lot to enjoy here. However, the standard mode is also an excellent way to play with a slightly lower complexity level. Love the flexibility of these options! I’m likely going to have a small pile of quick games to play without posting about a lot… And this one made the cut!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Play time is very quick and smooth with no downtime and pauses only needed to consider strategies and choices.
- Both the standard mode and recipe mode offer a wonderful experience that can be tailored to the desired difficulty.
- The component quality is excellent with custom dice, lovely wooden tokens, and durable cards that will last.
- Table space is quite minimal with the way overlapping cards create more victory points and a compact play area.
- Recipe cards offer simple and pleasant artwork, which is still seen as card backs in the standard mode.
- There is just enough added complexity for this to be enjoyable amidst other games in the overlapping cards genre.
– Cons (Negatives)
- The random flip of the cards means that high scores rely a little too much on luck, although this isn’t a big deal.
- Some recipe combinations almost work against each other and might be a little too difficult to complete.
- Using groves is excellent, but it can take a little extra work to move dice and keep track of areas to overlap.
- Keeping track of the recipe bonuses adds another layer of thinking to counting up the fruit tree values and dice.
Score 55+ Points or Reach the Victory Threshold
- Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%
Goals and Milestones
Score at least 50 points in the standard mode.
Score at least 55 points in the standard mode.
Score at least 80 points in the recipe mode.
Continue the Conversation
What do you like about Grove: A 9 Card Solitaire Game? Have you found a recipe combination that really challenges you? It’s interesting to read comments about which mode is preferable, yet I think that’s a major strength of the game! The option of setting a greater challenge is there, which is a lot of fun. I need to get back to harvesting all of the fruit!