Benny Sperling looks at yet another game in the Dice and Ink Vol 1 collection, The Hour of Flowers.
(Editors note: Since publishing this preview, the name of the game has been changed to Flowers over Towers)
Welcome in, friends!
Today we are looking at horticulture, one of my favorite things, and how nature can reclaim the spaces created by humans that have been abandoned. This theme is fascinating to me as I have long loved ruins and seeing how nature can reclaim them. My favorite is Angkor Wat with Chernobyl a close second.
In Hour of Flowers, designed by Bez Shahriari, players represent a color of the flower and they are using those flowers for the purpose of area majority. On the player’s turn, they roll 3 dice than use two dice to select the tower to add 1 Flower to OR fill in two River spaces that are not connected to the same tower OR X out the top space of any 1 Tower that player has a flower in.
Players all share 1 play sheet so it becomes increasingly important to get dice that give you the most bang for your buck. Do you take the two dice for 7 and pass along that 6 hoping on the reroll to be something other than a 1?
This makes the game extremely clever to play. Do you push for the majority in a Tower for a point? Do you go for the River filling as you may lose the total number of Towers, but have the majority in Tower 8? Do you go ahead and collapse part of the tower you’re winning to keep your opponent from getting two freebie flowers for having 2nd place in that tower?
I really like the options here. They bring a lot of interesting decisions in a seemingly small play space. This game could be played nicely by families, helping each other along and discussing the effect of plant life returning to places of a forgotten civilization.
It can also be played in a cutthroat style with gamers. I know my wife and I had a lot of fun with that aspect, I saw she was starting to run away with those towers so I had to go for the River! I know she saw what I was up to and luckily she didn’t manage to get anymore 8’s so I narrowly pulled that one off! In the other game, we each took 2 player turns and had a great game of teaming up against each other. I lost that one handily! The variability of the towers with more players is also a really nice touch as it gives a bigger space for those 4 player games to really breathe and not have the 4th player feel like their best options are lost. By contrast, the 2 player game starts to feel nice and tight in short order!
Overall this is an excellent game and I highly recommend it! Please do check out the upcoming Kickstarter from Inkwell Games. This is one of 10 games in the package. Coral Relief, (see review here) was also really fun!
Until next time, keep on growing, be like that tree in Brooklyn that isn’t kept down by the cement! Bust on through!
Hour of Flowers, as well as 9 other games, will be part of the Dice & Ink Volume 1 coming to Kickstarter August 27th from Inkwell Games.
Full disclosure: this is a prototype version of the game. It will have finished art when the backers receive their copies. When asked to do reviews, I chose 3 games from the 10 to review, this is one of those games. While I have not had a chance to talk to Bez much in the past, I do look forward to talking games with her in the future as she is wonderfully creative!