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Dandelions Review

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Review of: Dandelions
Board Game Review by::
Emma Fish
Version:
$25

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2.5
On Mar 16, 2024
Last modified:Mar 16, 2024

Summary:

We review Dandelions, a dice rolling and area control board game published by Allplay. Dandelions is a quick playing filler game and we help you decide if its right for your collection.

DandelionsIt’s a serene summer day, and you are a delightful little dandelion seed swirling in the breeze. Rolling green hills back up against a crystal-clear blue sky, and you float from garden to garden, not a care in the world. Until someone dislodges you, shifting the wind and blowing you into the wrong garden. This, you care a lot about. This means war. Dandelions is a compact dice game of area control about floating dandelion seeds for 2-3 players.

Gameplay Overview:

5 different garden tiles are arranged in the play area in ascending point order. Each player is assigned a color, everyone puts their pawn on the first available space in the first garden, and then everyone rolls their dice.

The game is compact, fitting well into a small box.
The game is compact, fitting well into a small box.

Every turn, players take one die from their pool and move their pawn forward the number of spaces shown on the face. If they land on the same space as another player, they ‘float’ forward that many spaces once again. Once they’ve reached their final destination they can ‘plant’ the die in that garden for scoring. If the die matches the value of any other players’ planted die, the other die is moved on a ‘gust’ to the next available garden. If players land on the start space, they reroll all of their unused dice.

The game ends when all players have planted all of their dice. There are two separate scoring conditions, ‘sprouts’ and ‘seeds’. To tally up the sprout’s score, every planted die gets points equal to the value of the garden it is planted in. Planting your dice in more valuable gardens will earn you more points. If the player has the most dice in a particular garden, they also get to add the pip value of those dice to their seed score.

In the event of a seed tie (all three players have 2 dice in the same garden, for example) the player with the lowest pip value in that garden wins. The tradeoff of which dice to use in which gardens requires careful strategy to yield the most points, but any player could come behind you and gust your plan off course.

Dandelions Gameplay
Players move from garden to garden, leaving dice behind for scoring.

Game Experience:

There’s definitely a place for Dandelions in my game collection. It’s a beautiful game. The color pallet is vibrant and unique, calling to mind sunshine in the middle of a warm summer day. Bold graphic style saturates the game, from the box art to the dice colors to the illustrated garden tiles. In the wide market of garden and botanical games, Dandelions doesn’t look quite like anything else on my shelf, and I have a soft spot for games that deliver interesting play experiences in a compact package.

Dandelions Score Card
A final scoring, with Green taking the win.

The game only takes a few minutes to teach, and, while the concepts are easy to grasp, it does ask the players to make interesting choices. With two different scoring conditions to keep in mind you can bump your competitors, aim for a reroll, or try to bounce yourself into a new garden. You can plan and strategize, or you can test your luck.

There are different of situations in my gaming life where I would reach for a game as light as Dandelions, whether it’s because I have less experienced gamers at my table, or we’re looking for a filler that doesn’t demand too much time to start having fun. The problem is the player count. 2-3 players is fairly limiting for such a light game. Dandelions is too solitary at two players, requiring very little interaction. At 3 as you play it feels like Dandelions almost reaches its potential, but that a little more player interaction, one more set of dice to navigate around, would have satisfied the missing je ne sais quoi. The seeds of complexity are planted, but the game just doesn’t have quite enough going on to truly bloom.

Final Thoughts:

Dandelions is a light, easy-going game that makes few demands on the players. It floats along on a serene zephyr of simplicity, but never really seems to arrive anywhere. If you have exactly three players who enjoy quick and easy games, this will hit the target for you. If not, it may collect dust on your shelf.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars – Dandelions is light fun under the right conditions but limited by its narrow player count and low interaction.

2.5 StarsHits:
• Unique and stylish graphic design
• Very easy to learn and teach
• Compact and well-designed package

Misses:
• Requires exactly 3 players to be properly balanced
• Gameplay lacks complexity

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