A Feast for the Eyes

There is quite a few games, that are just so pretty you can’t resist. Like kittens. Or puppies. And some of them, indeed, are fluffy and adorable, but some of them will scratch the hell out of you and shit on your carpet, and then ask to play again.

We already had a couple of pretty ones in our collection, Dice Forge, Seasons, Sagrqada, Tokaido, Cottage Garden… and now we have even more!

Photosynthesis – or ‘some tree game’ as I heard it being described when we unwrapped it. 

The box is beautiful, no doubt in that. The components quality is good, the trees are pretty and quite big. The board, however, looks like it belongs to a different game. The artwork on it is poor, the quality is poor, and generally it should have a spinning bit for the sun like The Realm of Wonder.  Also, it’s very nice of them that they give you an insert, but to be fair it feels like they just chucked in a spare piece of cardboard and said ‘hey, here you go!’.

But let’s focus on the good stuff eh? The game looks awesome on the table, and quite frankly it’s like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s a neat idea to buy seeds, plant them, grow the trees and then destroy them to get points.

Oh, yeah, points. It is an abstract strategy game, that’s for sure. So you need to find balance between planting, growing and destroying, and you need to make sure sunlight reaches you. But I predicted who will win three sun turns before the end, so there was no point playing till the end. Anticlimactic. Two player game we did wasn’t really a ‘WOW’ one. Maybe a 3 or 4 player will change it, but for now it’s a 6/10 for me.

Moving on – Indian Summer. Oh, Uwe, Uwe, Uwe. I love tile-laying games, and especially ones with hedgehogs on them. I like Patchwork, I liked Cottage Garden even more, and now here comes Indian Summer!

It is the quickest one of the ones mentioned above, it takes about 10 min per player, plus about 5 min setup. But it is absolutely loaded with cuteness! And it is very satisfying.

Your aim is to cover the Forest Floor with leaves and squirrels, and maybe top it up with some animals. But there is no points. You get treasures, you trade them, you race. Yup, it’s a race.

It was, indeed, a very beautiful 10 minutes. But once you set it up, you better play a couple of times in a row.

And last but not least – Santorini. A game that was hard to get, but we made the impossible possible. And here it is!

Matt and my dad played it probably 30 times now, I played 5.. They love it, I… like it. I have discovered not long into our second game, that I have no strategic thinking, and that hurts.

Your aim is to build a three storey house and go to the third floor – then you win. However, everyone has different abilities, like double move, double build, turn people into stone.. or alternative winning conditions, like jump down from second floor to the ground. It’s like more beautiful chess.

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