We are starting to plan out our garden for this year and thinking about what seeds we want to get. Its a wonderful thing to do in the middle of January here, it gets our minds off the cold weather. I love the concept of Community Garden by TESA Collective. Community Garden has players planting the community's garden. Players actions will benefit all the players making it truly a community effort. This is not a co-op game though so there will be a winner at the end.
The Heart of Community Garden is worker placement. As you play the game each player will have four workers to place on the board to preform actions. There are garden cards which are the mechanism for scoring points. Players will collect garden cards and for each set they will score a harvest card. The harvest cards have point values of 1-3 and as players score them they keep them hidden. There are also tool cards in Community Garden that allow players to take special actions when they place a worker on them.
Players work to collect the 5 different resources to match the requirements of the garden cards in their hand. Each turn a player may place a worker on the board and take that action then they may expend resources that match a garden card in their hand to play it into their tableau. As players collect pairs of garden cards they score a harvest card. They will also score 3 harvest cards for sets of five different cards. There are 5 different kinds of garden cards in the game.
The garden cards are sometimes a bonus to the player who played it and sometimes a bonus to all the players.
Each players turn in the round consist of two tasks. First off the first player will place one of their four gardener tokens on the board and take the action associated with that space. Then after that the player may spend resources to play a garden card from their hand. Each of the garden cards has a "reward" at the bottom of the card. The garden cards are sometimes a bonus to the player who played it and sometimes a bonus to all the players.
I liked the mechanics and they way they inter-play in Community Garden. Gardeners can be placed on a resource icon on the board and then they receive one of that resource. If there is already a player's gardener on the space they will be forced to pay one of the green thumb resources for each other player there. So it can be a costly conversion if you really need the resource. You get the green thumbs from the bench space where you will get 2 of them without a penalty for multiple players being there. Every other spot is one gardener per spot, so if you want new garden cards or those special tools you will have to plan acordingly.
We Played Community Garden with 2 players and it played really well at that player count as it does at larger player counts. The game is is really easy to learn and has some good strategies with the worker placement and the resource management aspects. The game comes in a small box but the game play is big.
Year Published: 2022
Recommended Ages: 12+
Time to Play: 45-60 Minutes
A copy of Community Garden was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes by TESA Collective.