Beautiful, tasty, and full of fun, Herbaceous is now on Kickstarter!
The 1-4 player card game by Steve Finn and Eduardo Baraf was created after seeing the lovely herb art of Beth Sobel (who we interviewed recently). They knew she had some great pieces and felt they deserved a game to go along with them.
Jess: It’s an interesting twist on the “which came first” question in games. Usually you see designers starting with either a mechanic they love or a theme they want to design around. Just because the art was the inspiration, doesn’t mean the game is any less fun though. We sat down with Dr. Finn to play Herbaceous and it was a fantastic little game!
Herbaceous, which is essentially a set collection game, works like this: On your turn, you must draw two cards. In a simple, clever little bit of tension generation, after you draw your first card, you must decide where to place it: either into your personal garden, where only you can use it, or into the communal garden, where anyone can claim it later. The clever bit is after you decide what to do with your first card, you must then do the opposite with your second, no matter what it is.
Each player has four scoring opportunities throughout the game. By potting herbs they have collected (plus any they wish to claim from the communal garden at the time they pot), they can score points according to each of the four different scoring mechanisms (pairs, matched sets, unmatched sets, and special cards).
The devious trick to Herbaceous is that you may only plant into any container once, and then that scoring mechanism is locked for you. So you want to gather a lot of cards before deciding to pot. Of course your opponents might take some of the cards you are planning on planting, so there is definitely a push-your-luck element to the game.
You can get a copy of Herbaceous and all stretch goals for a pledge of $19 on Kickstarter, but there are also bundle packs which include games like Gem Packed Cards and Butterfly Garden. Check out Herbaceous on Kickstarter now for more info.