Tussie Mussie and the Language of Flower Arrangements

November 29, 2020 | Sessions | 2 comments

Craft an arrangement of lovely flowers as part of a bouquet with Victorian meanings in Tussie Mussie.

Bring on the flowers! It’s quickly turning into the cold and desolate time just before winter in this part of the world. So I was very excited to bring Tussie Mussie to the table for some cheery fun. Not only were there plenty of unique blooms to put together, but the written meanings seemed quite interesting. Off to become a master of the bouquet!

Game Overview

Game Name: Tussie Mussie
Publication Year:
2019
Designer:
Elizabeth Hargrave
Artists:
Loïc Billiau, Karolina Jędrzejak, and Beth Sobel
Publisher:
 Button Shy
Solo Mode: Included in Tussie Mussie: Flower Shoppe

Such a lovely way to bring some flowers to the table. Although a separate expansion is needed to play solo, it doesn’t add a lot of extra components. Each flower card has certain bonuses, and a single round only involves 4 cards in total. Bouquet or keepsake? It all matters.

Preparing to Make Some Lovely Bouquets with Tussie Mussie
R

First Play

November 25, 2020

Complexity

1

Latest Play

November 25, 2020

Expansions

1

Setup Time

Almost None

Lifetime Plays

4

Play Time

10 Minutes

:

High Score

25

1

Game Area

22" x 18"

;

Low Score

18

A Mess of Flowers

So many flowers! In terms of the bouquet or keepsake I mentioned above, it simply meant whether the flowers would be placed faceup or facedown. Lots of choices!

But, as expected from this publisher, not a lot of cards. Still, there were all sorts of scoring combinations.

Oddly enough, I struggled to fully grasp all of the rules. It may have come down to the terminology, which felt a little less than obvious. Bouquet or arrangement?!

I admired the artwork, which was absolutely beautiful. And all messed about, I had myself a realistic bouquet!

Laying Out the Flowers to Create Arrangements in Tussie Mussie

The Little Details

Perhaps what drew me in the most were the meanings of every type of flower. Printed on each card, this helped create some rather hilariously named bouquets.

I always love hearing about the Victorian language of flowers. It’s one of those non-spoken languages with deep meanings. So very nice to see it in use here!

However, as I set up the play area and began to play, the small text was almost too small to fully enjoy. A shame.

Each card color featured a unique background, too, making it very easy to distinguish the flowers.

A Lovely Bunch of Pink Roses in Tussie Mussie

Against the Opponent

The solo mode involves a selection of 6 cards. Each defines whether each flower card is placed faceup or facedown each round. Additionally, the placement options differ.

A full bouquet symbol indicates a faceup card. However, I was rather distracted by the stark contrast of the facedown symbol. Not exactly flowery by any means.

It didn’t take long for me to get into gameplay, yet the round structure involved a lot of counting and shuffling.

Perhaps I’m on my own here, but reshuffling 4-6 cards doesn’t feel very satisfying and is almost harder to do!

Random Cards to Determine Each Solo Round in Tussie Mussie

Love and Red Flowers

Although I didn’t get to see the flower meanings during play, I took a moment to read through them all. What fun!

Until I came across the red tulip and red rose. Is it true that these very different flowers have the same meaning? A quick search made this seem correct. Interesting!

As much as the type of flower meant something, colors could also convey certain sentiments. Red being tied into love does make sense, though.

These cards also show a few different ways to score points. It got quite interesting with the hidden cards!

Lots and Lots of Love with the Red Flowers in Tussie Mussie

A Logic Puzzle Wrapped Up with Flowers

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that gameplay revolved around taking chances and working out the cards. Many times, I had to choose from a known card or risk picking up a facedown card. The solo opponent often had hidden cards I couldn’t look at until the scoring phase. Rather challenging! Only it felt more like a matter of luck…

Something just didn’t quite click with me during play. I went in expecting a very lightweight and fun experience. There were many rules questions along the way, and I struggled to remember the terminology. It was rather a shame, as I loved the artwork and theme! By the time the final round happened, I simply felt like I had lost every time.

Session Overview

Play Number: 1-4
Expansion: Tussie Mussie: Flower Shoppe
Solo Mode: Included in Tussie Mussie: Flower Shoppe
Play Details: Easy Difficulty Level
Outcome: 18-29, 25-27, 25-30, and 23-29 (4 Losses)

Indeed, I did lose! To celebrate, I made myself a fitting bouquet. Do you know the inspiration for this group? I simply had to do it. Ha ha! There were some interesting moments, yet the constant shuffling and unclear rules took away from the experience. This felt unpolished in some minor but important ways. Such a shame!

Putting Together Some Famous Sisters with Tussie Mussie

%

1 Play

Affordability

Price & Value

7

Functionality

Challenges & Mechanics

8

Originality

Design & Theme

6

Quality

Components & Rules

6

Reusability

Achievement & Enjoyment

6

Variability

Distinctness & Randomness

7

+ Pros (Positives)

  • Each flower features unique and gorgeous artwork that brings the play area to life in a beautiful way.
  • There are many different ways to score points based on the cards that come into play from round to round.
  • The solo opponent gets more and more difficult over the course of 3 rounds as 1-2 cards remain in the bouquet.
  • With a fairly small number of cards, many types of flower arrangements can be created for various points.
  • Different flower colors feature unique backgrounds to make it easy to distinguish the cards in another way.
  • Total play time is relatively quick and enjoyable, although the downtime between rounds is noticeable.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Rounds require tracking points in some way, but the constant reshuffling of small decks can feel tedious.
  • The flower meanings are presented in a very small font that is easy to miss and accidentally ignore over time.
  • Many decisions are luck-based, random, and reliant on blindly choosing better than the solo opponent.
  • Both rulebooks must be used in tandem for rules clarifications and the terminology is far from intuitive.

More Tussie Mussie

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Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points (No Ties)

  • Overall Goal Progress 33% 33%

Goals and Milestones

R

Score 25 points.

Q

Score 30 points.

Q

Win at least 1 game at the easy difficulty level.

Continue the Conversation

What are your thoughts about the gameplay of Tussie Mussie? Have you had a chance to play solo? I’m still a little sad that the game didn’t click with me more. The cards are gorgeous, the little details stand out, and it honestly doesn’t take long to play. But as I always say, we can’t love them all! I still think there are some nice qualities here, though!

2 Comments

  1. It seems a shame that a game which is “about” the language of flowers doesn’t really make use of said language. If the gameplay involved assembling a message somehow… still, it’s not the game’s fault that it isn’t what I would like it to be.

    Reply
    • I agree! Having some sort of specific message to form with different flowers would make for an excellent challenge. There are some nice elements here, yet overall it doesn’t stand out to me. I almost wish there were specific customers who required bouquets with main messages, and possibly even hidden meanings. Now that would be awesome!

      Reply

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