Ohanami card game box cover
Ohanami card game box cover on artwork cards
Ohanami card game with cards and scoresheet
Ohanami card game card closeup
Ohanami card game score sheet

Ohanami

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Quick Takes: Crowd icon 2-4 players Clock icon 20 minutes Adult and child icon Ages 8+   Ace of hearts Level 1 (easy to learn, easy to play and FUN!)

About the game:

To eliminate the essential so that the essential may speak.

There is a simplicity and elegance to this game that strongly calls to mind Zen Gardens, providing a focused, enjoyable game experience for nature lovers and game lovers alike. This is a theme-light game (in other words, you don't have to heavily invest in some story about a dragon and a princess and a this-evil-sorcerer and that-other-wizard-named-Fred kind of thing) - the theme informs the (absolutely gorgeous) artwork and sets the high-level objective for the game (gather the perfect rocks, cherry blossoms, streams, and plants). If you just want a card game, then this is a fun one - but for those of us who love nature, the theme really adds an extra dimension to the game.

At the start of a round, each player receives a hand of ten cards. Each player chooses two cards, then passes the remaining cards to the left. All players reveal their cards at the same time, then decide whether to use 0, 1, or 2 of them in personal rows of cards. When you start a row, you can use any card; to add a card to an existing row, that card must be higher than the row's highest card or lower than the lowest one. A player can have at most three rows of cards. Discard any cards you don't use. That's it! Repeat until you have 10 cards, score, and that's the round. Repeat twice more, and that's the game!

This competitive card drafting game uses familiar mechanisms, making it a perfect way for the gardener or nature lover in your life to make it through the winter. It's the 2020 equivalent of relaxing in a beautiful Japanese garden.

Why we chose this game for Board's Edge Games:

  • Strategy - this game gets you thinking. Still waters run deep.
  • Beauty - a pleasure to behold. Each element is thoughtfully designed.
  • Oscar nominee (at least, the designer is) - designer of the game was nominated for the prestigious German Board Game Oscars (Spiel des Jahres)
  • Simplicity - this is a simple card game to learn, but it is perfectly executed