Verdant is a spatial puzzle game where players are trying to decorate their home with thriving plants and cozy items, taking care to position everything to create synergy between the cards. It’s gorgeously-illustrated by Beth Sobel and features gameplay that is somehow both thinky and relaxing. Want to learn more about it? Check out our Kickstarter Preview for all the details!
We were provided a prototype of Verdant for preview, with the option of requesting a completed copy. We weren’t otherwise compensated. All images are either of that prototype or from the Verdant Kickstarter campaign page.
In Verdant, your goal is to create a 5×3 grid of cards that will give you the most points via the beauty of thriving plants and their surroundings. There are two types or cards you’ll be placing: Plant cards and Room cards.
On your turn you must take 1 card and 1 token from the same column. The leftover card in that column gets a green thumb token, making it more appealing for future drafting. Then you will place your card into your tableau. The cards must follow the placement rules:
- Cards must be placed orthogonally adjacent to other cards.
- Cards cannot be placed next to cards of the same type (so no plants next to plants)
- Cards must be placed in their upright position.
Plant cards have a Verdancy goal that needs to be met in order to complete the card, letting you bask in the full glory of that particular plant (and earn points for it). It’s that leaf number in the upper right corner of each card. You gain Verdancy when you place Room cards next to the plant that match its color and/or lighting requirements. Verdancy gets added to plants both when they are placed and when appropriate rooms are placed next to them.
Once your plant’s Verdancy goal is met, you can add a pot token to the card to indicate it has been completed. Pot tokens will let you to score that plant at the end of the game and can give you extra points.
Furniture and Pet tokens can either be placed on any room with an empty space or on your storage card. If the token matches the room color then it will increase the room’s scoring potential.
If the card you select from the market has a Green Thumb token on it, you can add it to your supply and use the token to take a variety of actions. Each action costs 2 green thumbs and can let you either wipe any tokens from the market and replace them, choose any combination of card and token from the market regardless of which columns they are in, or add 1 Verdancy to any 1 plant in your tableau.
When all player’s homes have 15 cards, the game ends and everyone will tally up their points. You score for completed plants, extra Verdancy tokens on incomplete plants, pot token points, room bonuses, furniture and pet tokens, and you can gain extra points if your rooms contain 1 of each plant and/or item.
There are also advanced rules which include goal cards. Three are drawn at the beginning of the game and displayed as public goals that all players can work towards. Once all scored are added up, the player with the most points wins!
Every part of Verdant is pleasing, from the gorgeous artwork by Beth Sobel to the satisfaction you feel when you manage to get just the right combination of plant, rooms, items, and pets. The goal cards are a great addition once you have the hang of the rules as they add just the right amount of complexity to your strategy to keep the game challenging. This one was lots of fun to get into, as the rules are straightforward enough that they don’t require much to learn, yet the strategy is engaging enough to keep us interested every step of the way. It’s also a fairly quick game, never overstaying its welcome, and we loved the experience of chasing that perfect combo of cards and tokens, all the while enjoying the game’s gorgeous presentation.
If you are a fan of tableau building and set collection then make sure to check out Verdant at www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatoutgames/verdant. The project goes live tomorrow!