Planted: A Game of Nature & Nurture was another board game in the pile of new games for the family this holiday season. Here are some thoughts.
In Planted players are raising house plants and working to keep them fed and watered so they grow up and score lots of points. Throw in some decorations (pots, shelves, hanging baskets, etc) for bonus points. The game is played over four rounds in which players select a card before passing the remaining cards left or right similar to Sushi Go.
Our family really enjoyed the game. It is light weight and plays quickly (~30 minutes in our experience). It is easy to learn but requires some skill in planning out what you want to focus on each turn.
Only persistent cards like tools carry over between rounds so each turn is mostly self contained. This can frustrating if the cards dealt that round don't support what you are working for with your plants, but there is a catch all mechanic where unspent resources at the end of the round can be turned into extra victory points through a mechanic known as propagation. This was very useful in the early rounds when I didn't have many plants and thus wound up with more resources than I could use and when victory scoring came it was the difference that put me over the top!
The artwork and components are top notch. We especially loved the water tokens. The plants featured are all real and we found a few of our own houseplants dwelling in the mix. "Hey is this the plant we gave grandma?" is the quote of the night; thats how good the artwork is of the plants.
Over all a big thumbs up for Planted. Anyone looking for a light weight family game this is it.