Herbaceous has been one of our favorite set collection card games in our house. Floriferous is another gorgeous game from the same design team and published by Pencil First Games. Even with the beautiful watercolor flowers that grace each card, the gameplay is the reason why this game hits the table weekly.
Stop to Smell the Flowers
Over the course of 3 rounds, players draft flowers, arrangement cards, rock sculptures and desire cards column-by-column. Elegant wooden player tokens kept track of the draft order during the game. Players take turns going from top to bottom using their player marker. Each card you draft will dictate the turn order for the next pick.
This drafting mechanic in Floriferous is fantastic. During the setup of the game, there will always be one more row than the number of players at the table. Desire cards give players scoring opportunities based on the flowers they collect during the game. These desire cards are always in the last row meaning taking one of these scoring cards puts you last in turn order for the next column.
At the end of each round players can score points from the bounty cards on the table. These cards are different each game and give players points for collecting a set of 3 icons. Each round the points awarded on these cards decrease so fulfilling a bounty early in the game is most beneficial.
Floriferous is never a difficult game but your decisions have real consequences. Every card drafted can award points or takeaway an opportunity from another player. Various flowers will feature one of five bugs which can offer big points with the right desire cards. Arrangement cards give players 3 criteria they need to collect awarding them more points for each item they have.
Throughout the game players can collect stones that are placed on cards that appear on lower rows. The player with the most stones receives a 2 point bonus “tea card” at the end of the game. Each set of 2 stones are also worth an additional victory point.
A Beautiful Arrangement
Floriferous packs a lot of game into a very small package. It takes only 2 or 3 minutes to teach and each game feels different. The 3 bounty cards in the game are randomly chosen and not all desire cards will hit the table when you play. This forces players to adjust strategies on the fly. Just because collecting a specific color worked in one game doesn’t mean it will pay off in another.
This game is incredibly accessible to newer gamers and will still scratch that itch for players that enjoy depth in their gameplay. If you have a friend or family that is prone to analysis paralysis, this game could be an issue. It’s easy to get into the mode of trying to draft the perfect card, especially later in the game. Floriferous is all about compromise. There are times when drafting an unneeded card puts you in a prime spot to take a turn before another player. Since drafting a desire card means you’ll be last in turn order, you better make sure the points are worth it.
Floriferous scales so well from 2 to 4 players. Erin and I have really enjoyed the 2-player variant that adds 2 columns of cards to the play area, leading to bigger scores. While we haven’t dug into the solo mode, this is actually a game that I would play solo.
Floriferous is an easy recommendation for any game collection. We’ve played this with 2 of our teenage kids along with dozens of friends and family already. It’s a game that has enough depth and replay-ability that gameplay doesn’t get mundane. The beautiful artwork on each card from Clémentine Campardou makes the game absolutely shine every time we play. Floriferous is one of our favorite releases from Pencil First Games and we can’t recommend it enough.
You can purchase Floriferous from the Pencil First webstore or through Amazon today.
- Elegant gameplay matches the beautiful artwork
- Linen finish cards and top-notch wooden components
- Easy to teach, tough to master
- Replay-ability is fantastic
- Analysis paralysis can be an issue later in the game