Gartenbau Preview

There’s a peace and serenity that comes with playing a beautiful game about gardening. Gartenbau is a tile laying game where seedlings can become plants and eventually flowers. Two to four players can enjoy growing their gardens while watching them bloom and come to life.

Gartenbau 3 player board

Each player begins the game by choosing flower tiles that contain a scoring criteria. These flower tiles also show the plants that are needed in order for the flower to grow. Novice Gardeners will start with a preset hand of beginner flower tiles, while Intermediate and Advanced Gardeners will have more options with deeper strategies.

Players take turns making their way around The Seedling Market. They have the option to either collect resources by stopping in front of the Seedling Tile, or take a Seedling Tile from the top of the pile at the place where they ended their movement. Players are also able to grow their plant into a flower if they have met the criteria.

Gartenbau advanced flowers

Here Comes the Sun

The theme of this game continues to shine in the use of resources that consist of “sun” and “rain” tokens, which players use to purchase plant tiles from the adjacent Plant Market. Each plant tile contains a prestige number which counts towards the final score if not covered by a flower at the end of the game. Each player also receives a Wheelbarrow and watering can token that allows for special abilities which can only be used once during the game.

Gartenbau sun and water resources

An important aspect of movement in Gartenbau is that players are only able to move to the next available spot in the Seedling Market and often have to wait to land on their desired location. This rondel movement can bring some tension but it mimics real life. Gartenbau shows how important patience is when it comes to the art of growing beautiful flowers.

Tile placement in Gartenbau is key, as plants require certain seedlings, and flowers require certain plants. Players also have to keep scoring in mind as each flower scores differently based on the layout of their garden. There is loads of strategy in this 3-layer tile placement mechanic. As the game advances so does the size of your garden.

Gartenbau player garden

Can You Dig It?

The game comes to an end when 4 petals in the Seedling Market become empty and contain no more tiles. Players are then able to score their gardens based off of the scoring criteria on their flowers as well as the plants that haven’t yet blossomed into flowers.

The artwork in Gartenbau is beautiful to look at and balances out the intensity of the game. With the option to play as either a Novice Gardner or Experienced Gardner, this is a game that will appeal to anyone who loves strategy and tile placement as well as those who just want to play a beautiful game about growing flowers.

Gartenbau plant market

In our experience, Gartenbau plays competitively at all player counts. When each player count a different board is used which changes the number of spaces and seedlings available. This game is simple to teach and players tend to pick up easily on the mechanics. However, because of the varied scoring criteria on the flower tiles, the game will look a little different each time it is played. This variability makes it hard to master the game, but it also keeps it incredibly interesting as players try to make their gardens bigger and better each time.

In our opinion, Gartenbau is one of the top games that 25th Century Games has published. If you’re looking for a beautiful tile laying game, look no further than Gartenbau.

Gartenbau is now on Kickstarter through October 28, 2021.

A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.