Ohanami is a pretty game in a small box which you can learn in no time at all and anyone can play and enjoy. In this game each player has 3 gardens. When you add a card to a garden it can be either higher than the highest card in that garden, or lower than the lowest. It doesn’t matter which suits are already in the garden.
At the start of each round a number of cards will be dealt to each player, they will draft two, place 1, 2 or none of them into their gardens and pass the rest. This continues until all the cards have been drafted. Players then score their gardens. In round 1 only blue scores, in round 2 blue and green and lastly in round 3 blue, green, grey and pink all score.
There’s not much more to say really, this is a very simple game, round 1 draft blue over green and green over grey. Round 2 draft green over grey and grey before blue. Round 3 draft grey, then green then blue. Pink is the only real wildcard as the more pinks you get the more they are worth and having a lot of pinks can really swing the game.
It’s pleasant, especially with the garden motif and the beautiful tranquil artwork that is spread across the cards. There are definitely decisions to be made such as whether to draft or play high cards early in the game, as this might keep you from being able to add to your gardens later because gardens are not reset between rounds.
I’ve enjoyed my plays and if I had a complaint it would be the tempo of the game is too quick. The cards get passed, drafted and played and then you pick up the next set and keep going. The theme paints this idea of an idyllic, tranquil garden but the game itself is far less zen, as turns zip by only slowing down while scoring happens.
Ohanami has the comforting feel of an old classic rather than a modern board game fighting to be ground breaking. So if you are looking for a game that plays quickly, with simple, non-gamer friendly rules and scoring, you could do worse than check this one out.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Santa gave to me... 4 different suits