Arboretum - Board Game Box Shot

Arboretum

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Arboretum is a card game where you grow your very own botanical garden. Making the most beautiful arboretum will not be an easy task, and some planning will be required. Which species will you choose? Lilac, willow, or maybe maple? Keep an eye out on your opponents, manage your hand wisely, and your arboretum will be blooming!

Arboretum Publisher Image

User Reviews (2)

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55 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“Those beautiful, frustrating trees...”

Arboretum is a gorgeous little card game where players take turns drawing cards and adding trees to their very own arboretum.

PROS:

– Beautiful, appealing artwork and high-quality cards. This game looks great on the table as players create their respective arboretums.

– Scales nicely depending on the number of players (although playing with three or four players provides more inherent tension during a session).

– Lots of hidden depth. On the surface, players are simply building paths of trees using cards of ascending value. It doesn’t take long before a pleasing “brain burn” sets in, however, as numerous options open up to the players. Do you discard a maple tree and risk letting an opponent pick it up on their next turn? Do you hold on to a lilac tree worth 7 points in order to use it at the end of the game to prevent an opponent from scoring their lilac path? What if that lilac card takes up room in your hand that you would rather use for building out your willow tree path? You need to play a card, but you want to save your cassia trees, so that means you have to waste this jacaranda card worth 6 points… You get the idea.

CONS:

– Scoring is unique and a bit fussy to learn.

– Can be too complex to use as a quick and dirty filler. I’ve seen eyes glaze over as I try to explain the endgame scoring methods.

– Requires a fair amount of room (building out your arboretums can take up a lot of table space with four players), so playing it on a plane or in the car on road trips is difficult/impossible.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Arboretum has some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen in a card game, and the cards themselves are a pleasure to hold. Once you get past the unique way to score, gameplay is a pleasingly crunchy mix of playing and discarding the right cards at the right time, along with holding onto cards that will come in handy only when the game ends. Just don’t expect this to be a light filler you can throw on the table between heavier games. It holds its own with surprisingly rich and satisfying gameplay.

 
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Gamer - Level 7
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Petroglyph
Explorer - Level 3
 
12 of 17 gamers found this helpful
“Gorgeous, but deadly”

This is a card game with beautiful artwork. However, the scoring is going to take a couple of game plays to understand, let alone master.
There are 10 different trees with 8 cards of each tree type, numbered 1-8. The dealer deals each player 7 cards. Then deals 1 face up card to each player except the dealer. The face up cards start each player’s discard pile. Then starting with the dealer the players will draw 2 cards then play 1 and place 1 in their own discard piles. The cards drawn can be from the deck or from the top cards of any player’s discard pile or a combination of choices. Your goal is to create paths on your display and score the most points at the end of the game. A path must begin and end with the same type of tree and must be at least 2 trees long and be in ascending order, 1-3-5 etc… but does not need to be sequential. It can also include other tree types along the way. If there are 4 or more trees in the path and they are of the same type each tree is worth 2 points otherwise each tree is worth 1 point regardless of type. Other bonuses are payed for playing the 1 and 8 of each type. Additionally, trees may be part of more than 1 path, but cannot be moved after placing them. The game ends when all cards have been drawn from the deck. The really tricky part of the game comes then. You look at each tree type individually. You look at the 7 cards in your hand. For each tree type the players reveal the cards of that type they have. Only the player with the highest total of cards gets to score points for that type of tree. If there is a tie or no player has points left in there hand then all players who have a tied hand value (0 in case all trees were played out) score the trees they played in their displays. The game has a nice relaxed, gentle feel while playing, but the scoring turns it into an aggressive game during the scoring. Do you play the card for points or save it to protect your score? I’ve enjoyed it so far and hope you will too.

 

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