November Daily Game Challenge: Arboretum

This is Day 24 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.



My friend Meeple Lady was in town for the holiday weekend so my wife Michelle and I met her at Game Haus Cafe for an afternoon/evening of good games, good food, and good company. We have a lot in common, from our backgrounds to our love of board games and it was blast playing games, eating, and hanging out.

She’d just picked up a copy of Arboretum at Game Empire and I couldn’t wait to play it. I love Zany Penguins and Arboretum reminds me of it, but with a spatial element that’s really fun and puzzle-y. Everybody starts with seven cards and draws two, then plays one to their arboretum (tableau) and discards the other face up. Play continues until the draw deck runs out.

The trees are scored according to their paths, but to score them you must have the most of a particular tree to score it. So, in the photo above I had five blue spruce cards in my arboretum, but I could only score them if I highest point total of blue spruces in my hand. It’s an awesome game that’s surprisingly think-y and the card art is gorgeous. There’s tension on every turn as you decide which cards to play and discard. It seems like you’re always having to discard cards you want to keep.

Meeple Lady told us there were two copies left at Game Empire so on the way home Michelle and I stopped by and bought our very own copy. It reminded me of the last time we all hung out last December, when we played Azul. Michelle and I also loved that game and bought it a few weeks after we’d played it.

I’m already looking forward to our next meetup with Meeple Lady: not just for the good times, but for the next game she convinces us we need in our game library.