“Arboretum is a strategic card game that challenges players to create the most beautiful path through the garden. Choosing the correct cards and placing them in the most efficient orientation will score you the most points at the end of the game. With elegantly simple rules, Arboretum offers players surprisingly complex choices.”
2-4 players | 30 min. | ages 8+
If you like playing Lost Cities: The Card Game, this is the game for you.
First of all, a huge thanks to Renegade for reprinting this much loved game. The artwork is beautiful and simple, just like the game itself.
Arboretum is all about balancing the cards you are playing, holding on to, and discarding. The game play is simple: play cards in front of you to create a path. When creating a path, you are placing cards to create a run of numbers. Runs of the same color give you double points, otherwise it’s one point per card in the run. The run must start with the same color that it ends with, so it can start with a purple and end with a purple and have any colors for the rest of the run, but that will be the only purple run you score in the game. Now, at the end of the game if your opponent has purple cards in their hand, you need to have numbers that add up to more than what they have. For example, if they have a 6 and you have a 4, they have more than you and you don’t get to score that run.
There are a few other rules, but that should give you a pretty good feel for the basics of what’s going on. You want to play cards in a run and make sure that you know where the other cards are so you aren’t wasting your time with runs. It’s got a really immersive complexity to it that makes you want to play it again and again. I also enjoyed the discarding aspect to this game. As the game get closer to the end, discarding cards that aren’t helpful for you opponent or hurtful to you become very difficult, but it’s mandatory. And discarded cards can be picked up by your opponent or yourself later. That aspect really makes you just give up on the competitiveness of the game, in a good way! Eventually you’re going to have to give up something that you want to keep and they’re going to give you something that you want (but they didn’t want to give up), so you are forced into this lesser of 2 evils kind of mindset. It has a very balanced feel to it and an unexpected crunchiness that I really enjoyed.
Have you played this loved game? Let us know if you liked it in the comments below!