Board Game Review

Traditional Beauty (Formosa Flowers Mini-Review)

Formosa Flowers is a game that steals the show for beauty. The aesthetics is in akin to traditional Japanese artwork and every card is beautifully illustrated with cherry blossoms, song birds and other natural features. It’s a lightweight competitive set collection game where players gamble points to earn multipliers.

How To Play

The game has players playing and taking cards to and from the table. A player may play a card with a matching value of that of one on the table to take both. They then draw a card to replace the taken card, but if that matches the others then it may also be claimed. Players then stack their cards in sets and earn points when each is completed.

When a player earns ten points, they must then choose whether to continue or bow out. If they bow out, they claim their points and sit out of the remainder of the round. However, should they continue they take a multiplier token and keep playing, earning a x2/3/4 respective of how many tokens (and number of times they stay in). Once all but one player has bowed out, the round ends and that player earns no points. Alternatively, if players run out of cards and cannot bow out, they also earn no points. The game continues in rounds until a player has claimed 60 points. At the point the game ends.

Full Thoughts

I adore Formosa Flowers’… aesthetics. Visually this game is second to none for me! Heck, if I could frame the cards I would. They’re stunning beyond stunning and are truly gorgeous! However… the gameplay isn’t for me. At all. It’s very much akin to a traditional card game and sits really well with that mentality behind it.

Initially, I thought the gameplay was enjoyable and neat. It worked well and was engaging and competitive… however, like many traditional card games, it has an air of mastery to it. You can identify ways to maximise points, know when’s best to not push you luck and the game becomes a case of “who got the best hand”. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s how a multitude of traditional games go, but – for me – it’s a miss.

As with any game I’ve not enjoyed, I’d like to emphasise that this game is undoubtedly for someone! Someone will adore the gameplay and traditional feel. I might even argue that it’s a game for an older generation! But, for me, artwork is a yes, gameplay is a no.