We were sent Abandon All Artichokes to review by Gamewright. This card game is for 2-4 players. The goal is to get rid of all of the artichoke cards in your hand. Whoever does so first, wins! The game takes about 15-20 minutes but we found our games to be very quick.
Your hand starts with all artichokes, nothing but their cute smiling faces. They are what stand in the way between you and victory. Their smiles are mocking.
A garden stack of five non-artichoke vegetables is available in the center of the table, and each turn you can take one vegetable from the garden and resolve the card ability. After taking your initial card from the garden row you can play as many card abilities as you can from your hand. At first, it’ll be pretty much just one action. The artichokes have no ability. As you gain more vegetable types in your hand as the game goes on, you can do more actions. This was a nice progression throughout the game.
It is very important at the end of your turn to discard any cards you did not want to or could not play. We actually missed this rule the first time around and it threw off the whole game. Let’s just say it ended up with nothing BUT artichokes most of the time. The discarding gave more chances to draw those other vegetable cards you need to win.
The non-artichoke vegetable abilities can help you get rid of artichokes but they can also help your opponent. The onion lets you compost an artichoke (composting being a separate discard pile that all players share separate from your individual discard pile). Then you have to put the onion on an opponent’s individual discard pile, giving them the opportunity to use this card in the future when they reshuffle their discard pile to become their available deck to draw their hand from.
Other ability cards don’t help your opponent but can help you more at certain times. The broccoli lets you compost an artichoke if you have three or more in your hand. The broccoli isn’t as useful towards end game but is very helpful near the beginning. The ability cards add light strategy to the game. The decisions aren’t overwhelming as there aren’t too many choices. There are enough choices though to make a player feel like their decisions can help them win.
One game we played was won with a hand that included three Artichokes and two corn cards. Corn cards allow you to compost an artichoke and put a garden row card at top of your deck). The player chose a third corn card from the garden row as the first turn action, composted an artichoke, and placed a garden row vegetable in the deck and repeated this with the next two corn cards. This meant that there were for sure three non-artichokes at the top of the deck. Then when drawing, all five came up non-artichokes.
This game is fun to play with friends and family. It is very kid friendly. The length is perfect because you get enough time to strategize but it is never drawn out.
Language Barrier Playability: The ability text has a language barrier but there aren’t that many so they could be translated if needed and remembered with the images. This game does have the language element to it though.
Replayability: Very replayable, especially because the game is short. If someone were to play the game twice in one sitting it wouldn’t be too repetitive.
Artwork: Cute! The vegetables with faces are nicely designed. They are easily recognizable from afar too. We also love the artichoke sticker.
Quality: a nice tin box and durable cards. Everything is well made.
Strategy: Light but present strategy. Choices have meaning but aren’t too complicated.
Instruction Manual: The instruction manual wording was a little confusing for us but after we understood how to play it was easier. The reference card was very instructive and useful to us.
Organization: the insert inside the box makes the cards fit nicely and not move around. The box has a unique shape so while it won’t be flush on the shelf it is a creative design that we like.