Recently we had an opportunity to review Floriferous sent to us by Pencil First Games, a flower set collection game for 1-4 players with the Early Spring mini expansion. We focused on two and four player games and felt that it played differently depending on player count.
There are flower cards, sculpture cards, arrangement cards, desire cards and bounty cards. Flower cards make up the core of the game, they have a flower type (lily, poppy, mum, daisy, or tulip), a color (orange, white, yellow, pink or purple) and may or may not have a bug (ladybug, bee, moth, beetle or butterfly). Sculpture cards are garden decor that is scored at the end of the game depending on who has the most sculptures. Arrangement cards task you with having a specific flower, color and bug. They get you points based on how many conditions you met. Desire cards are small cards at the bottom of the columns and give you additional scoring conditions at the cost of being last on your next turn. They each vary from giving you points for every flower of a certain type or for having unique bug types. Bounty cards are goals at the top of the garden and can be used by any player. They have different goals than arrangements and provide the game with variety each playthrough. They can consist of having three conditions which include different combinations of flowers and bugs. You get points for them at the end of each day with higher points the earlier you score them. The artwork on each and every card is beautifully painted in watercolors on a lightly textured card that us both pliable and sturdy.
The bounty cards mentioned earlier add variety to each playthrough as only three are used per game and are selected at random. Cards are set up in five columns with two cards facedown in the top row, this adds an element of the unknown to the game. The gameplay takes place over three rounds (called days in the game) as you select a card from each column on your turn. You select a card from any row and place your player token on the space. Placing your token not only shows that you have taken your turn but also shows where your place will be in turn order. If you select the top most card you will go first next turn, or if you chose the bottom card you will go last. In this way the game becomes a delicate balance of getting the card you want while also taking into consideration your next turn.
Getting more desire cards will allow you to possibly earn more points but you will be guaranteed to be last to pick on your next turn (unless you use the Early Spring mini expansion and use the April Showers card). This allows for the game to be balanced and we usually found ourselves winning or losing by only a few points. Stones are placed on specific cards and you get one point per every two stones (rounded down) at the end of the game and the player with the most stones is awarded The Cup of Tea card which is worth two points as well. In this way the game balances itself very well with these tiny point bonuses which makes it all the easier to play using various strategies.
Gameplay moves from right to left through the garden and once everyone reaches the end, the game is reset and the second day begins, now moving from left to right through the garden. This repeats for day three. The end of the game is triggered when all players have taken their final turn on the third day.
Points are scored by bounty cards earning you points for every bounty goal you met and on what day. Arrangement cards score depending on how many goals on the card you met. Desire cards will get you points depending on the conditions of the cards. Stones, first, second and third are awarded points with the player with the most stones also collecting The Cup of Tea card as well.
For a two player game the set up is almost identical but instead of having five rows, there are only three. There is the option of extending the game by adding more columns which allows for higher scoring conditions as well. Overall the game plays well with two players and it is always refreshing to find a game that plays that has two player variants that feel balanced and don’t require a dummy player.
You can find Floriferous for purchase here: https://www.pencilfirstgames.com/project/floriferous/
Language Barrier Playability: Excellent. The game is completely dependent on symbols and colors so it is very easy to play with a language barrier and in fact we played it with our Spanish speaking family without issue. This is a great game to bring to a multi-language family.
Replayability: Great. The game is modular with randomized goals and is can be played again and again without feeling stale.
Artwork: Beautiful! The artwork on the cards is the charming and relaxing watercolor style that we have grown to love since Herbacious. It definitely engulfs you in the gardening element and you can almost smell the flowers when you open the box.
Quality: Excellent. Cards are lightly textured to stay in your hands and be lifted from the playing surface without struggle. The wooden player tokens and flower tokens are well made and painted smoothly and cleanly.
Strategy: Light to moderate. The game allows for a variety of different styles of play but the game will award you for taking risks and for being cautious. It’s not too complex on strategy and not too light. It is a happy medium that makes for a relaxing game with a touch of strategy.
Instruction Manual: Great. The rules are easily read in a few minutes and are explained well. Components are identified for easy set up and easy point scoring.
Organization: Great! The packaging is neat and tidy, allowing for all of the components to fit easily and efficiently. Even the Early Spring mini expansion fits without issue!