Rolling with Benny – Bukiet (Bloom): Everything’s coming up dice!July 8, 2019
Benny looks at flower roll and write, Bukiet (which has been reimplemented in the US as Bloom).
Full disclosure: The designer, Wouter van Strien and I email back and forth about his projects on a semi-regular basis. I was able to acquire a copy of Bukiet through a source in Europe.
Hello! Welcome, friends! Today I wanted to just stop and smell the flowers. Specifically, the wildflowers in the games Bukiet and Bloom. Other than different art and slightly different rules, they are roughly the same game. Bloom is widely available in the US from Gamewright, while Bukiet is available in Europe. Since I own a copy of Bukiet, I’ll mostly be discussing that version, though please check out Bloom from Gamewright with its excellent cost to fun ratio!
In Bukiet, you and your opponents, though it does support solo play, are florists seeking to create bouquets for your customers. Each turn, the starting player rolls the dice and then the dice are drafted in player order. Each die determines a color and quantity of flowers the customer would in their bouquet. The trick piece of this is that you did not happen to plant all of the same color flowers in each garden bed. Maybe there will be a prequel game to Bukiet where you plan your flowers in a better way so as not to have this problem! Someone get me a garden engineer!
There are 4 colors of flowers and 5 dice, the white die is considered wild and can be any color. The color of the die indicates which color of flowers and the number of pips indicates how many of that color the customer wants. You get to circle a polyomino type shape of flowers, though you may also circle not matching colors of flowers, but it makes your customers unhappy. On the player’s sheets, there are 6 garden beds where the flowers are growing, 12 in each bed. Luckily, when you draft a die, you are selecting matching flowers and you can even pull flowers that are orthogonally adjacent from other beds! This helps out one of your goals of circling all of one color of flower. It also helps get those beds filled which is another of your goals for points.
In Bukiet, playing with 2 to 4 players, the game end is triggered by a player circling all of 3 flowers or has circled every flower in 4 of their garden beds. In solo play, the player plays a total of 8 rounds, drafting 2 dice each round. Though in solo play the white die is not used. Also of note, in a 2 player game, each player will be drafting 2 dice, but in snake draft style.
In multiplayer, there are definite moments as the game gets further along where you can hate draft the die your opponent wants. Though the wild die can keep this from happening. The game is quite tight as it progresses, moving from a seemingly wide open playfield to narrow numbers that you can actually use without having upset customers. Each time you circle a non-matching color or circle fewer matching flowers than a customer wants, you lose 1 point. In Bukiet the player who has the fewest upset customers gains 3 points, while the player with the most loses 3 more points! (this is not the case in Bloom).
Overall, Bukiet is one of my favorite games. It plays quickly, it’s portable, and it offers plenty of opportunities to curse the luck of your opponents or the bad rolls of the dice. I do hope you’ll stop to smell these flowers!
About the Reviewer: Benny is the game designer behind Yakitori and Bones of the Caribbean. Lover of roll and write games, husband, and father of three. When Benny isn’t playing or designing roll and writes, he can be found gardening in his fruit and vegetable garden. Benny Sperling can be found on Twitter at @benny275.