Quite a Year for Plums and Other Fruit with Orchard

May 22, 2020 | Sessions | 2 comments

Enjoy the bright and colorful fruit harvest of apples, pears, and plums in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game.

After nearly a month of playing the same solo board game, I was ready to change things up! Actually, it seemed like the perfect time to have fun with some quicker, lighter games. Enter Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game! I completed 100 plays earlier in the year. Clearly, I needed to get moving on reaching another milestone with all this fruit!

Game Overview

Game Name: Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game
Publication Year:
 Mark Tuck
 Mark Tuck
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)

If it isn’t clear, my lighting seems to be a million times better. Thank goodness for the ability to rotate my game table! These dice looked even more delicious than usual.

There isn’t anything complex with the mechanics… And that’s the secret to why I love this game so much!

A Colorful Assortment of Fruit Trees in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game

A Sneaky Visitor

Stacking fruit of the same type slowly increases the values of the corresponding dice. It’s very simple, but the decisions are rarely easy. Where to place this card?!

Normally, rotten fruit is an atrocious element that should be avoided at every cost. But look at that worm.

I didn’t feel too bad about having things go a little poorly with this orchard. I still netted more points from that decision. Cute worms are just so tricky!

My initial attempts weren’t anything amazing. Yet this is a perfectly lightweight challenge. Losses never bother me!

A Curious and Adorable Worm Visitor in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game

Pretty, Pretty Dice

With this new version, the rules include the ability to turn a 6 into a 10 for the maximum harvest. I’m still playing with the old rules as I strive for 55+ points, though.

These dice are always so cheery! The rotten fruit worms are cute, yet they have nothing on these bright cubes.

I started to see some useful patterns to maximize a few dice values, but I was still all over the place. These cards were designed very meticulously and it shows.

Although the experience is on the lighter side, a decent amount of concentration is required for the best orchards!

A Tantalizing Display of Fruit Dice in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game

Session Overview

Play Number: 101-104
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)
Required Play Space: 10″ x 10″
Setup Time: Almost None
Play Time: 10 Minutes per Play
Outcome: 29, 37, 31, and 36 (4 Losses)

Nothing noteworthy this time around, although my scores stayed consistent. It may take me a while to actually reach the threshold for my goal… And that’s OK! I really love this little game, even if it’s not on my table all the time. It’s like an old friend: Always there, no matter what.

Harvesting the Best Sorts of Apples, Pears, and Plums in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game


100 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


Quite a Year for Plums

With warmer weather finally sticking around for more than a day, I finally had a chance to start reading outside! Quite a Year for Plums is my favorite book of all time.

This seemed like the perfect pairing! Alas, my attempts today did not indicate a good year for the plums. Ha!

I’ve read at least part of this book every summer for the past 15 years. I know most chapters by heart, and I have some of my favorite lines memorized.

Here’s a non-spoiler: Nothing happens! It’s just a silly, down-to-earth book about regular, imperfect people.

Pairing a Lovely Book with Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game

Off to the Harvest

My most important lesson of the day? That my seaweed sun hat is the most obstinate prop ever! This thing clearly didn’t attend inanimate object modeling school. Ha ha!

Perhaps a little time out in the sun will grant me a little more luck in regards to my plums. And don’t forget those apples and pears! I don’t think I have matching books…

It really is amazing how an improvement in lighting can make everything seem so much cheerier.

I’m feeling great about my game table and all the fun that’s still to come. Now to plan what to play next!

An Appropriate Accessory to Head Out to Read and Harvest in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game

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Continue the Conversation

What’s your high score in Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game? As of this moment, my personal best is 50 points. Not far from my goal! Do you enjoy any other deceptively lightweight games? I’m always pleasantly surprised when I get this to the table. The rules are so simple, but the thought process is interesting even after 100+ plays! Quite awesome.


  1. Hello Jessica, I like the layout and colour scheme of this page and your blog. Well done.

    I am a big fan of Orchard and have also played 100+ games.
    I wish you good luck in your challenge to hit that allusive score of 55+ points (Almost imposs-apple!). I haven’t reached that score yet, but I have got to 53 points on three occasions. Close, but no cigar.

    You may wish to consider using the new scoring system!! With the new scoring I’m hitting 50+ once every 20 games, with the old scoring it was only once every 80 games!!! So it does make a difference.

    Good luck, and all the best in your endeavours, Steve

    • Thanks, Steve! I responded over on BoardGameGeek, and I have no idea why your comment was flagged as spam here. You should be good to go in the future, though. I appreciate the kind words!

      The new scoring system is kind of like my reward when I hit 55+ points with the old scoring system. It gives me an incentive to keep trying… But I’ll get back to you if things go poorly over the next year. Ha ha!

      All the best to you, too, and thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment!


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