Game: Lotus (2016)
Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
Designer: Jordan and Mandy Goddard
Board Game Type: Area Control Game
Duration: 30 minutes
Time to Learn: 5 minutes
Lotus Board Game Review
Lotus is a game of creating mystical flowers of eternal life and everlasting wisdom. This game is simply beautiful. Players create flowers through turn play and summoning the help of garden creatures. It is easy to understand why this game was nominated for the 2016 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork award. There is something about this game that brings a sense of peace and relaxation to the table.
Game setup is very simple. There is a wild flower deck where four face up flower petals are dealt. Players choose a deck color, which also assigns an insect guardian. The cards consist of individual petals marked with one or two guardian symbols. In a single turn, a player chooses two of the following actions: play two petals on a single flower, exchange up to two cards by putting the desired number of cards on the bottom of your deck and drawing from the top, or move a guardian to a flower petal in play that is from your deck. Initial guardians are worth one control point. A turn finishes by drawing back up to four cards. Players can draw from their individual deck or the wild flower deck. These are cards are replenished from the deck as players take from it. The wild flower petals do now aware any control points.
Play begins by drawing the top four cards from your deck. Players create flowers based on the number of petals needed to complete the flower. This number is printed in the corner of every petal card. Players try to gain control of flowers by having the most guardians on the flower, whether printed on the card or guardian insects that have been placed on the flower. When a flower is completed, the person that puts on the last petal gets to keep the cards, which are each worth one point at the end of the game.
Next, players count guardians to see who has control of the flower. The person with the most guardians gets to choose either a five-point victory token or a special power to be used for the remainder of play. Three special powers are available: an Elder Guardian grants two control points vs one, Infinite Growth allows players to play three or more petal cards as a single action and Enlightened Path allows players to hold five cards in their hand.
The game end is triggered when someone draws the last card from her deck. Each player, including the player that triggered the ending, takes one last turn. Incomplete flowers are claimed by the player with the most guardian control, along with a five-point victory token.
This game is easy to learn and play moves quickly. At times, the game does feel limited in the sense that there are few action choices. You may not have a choice in the action you do or you may be forced to help another player a little more than you would like. The game does allow some light strategy play with the choice between victory point tokens and special powers.
Victory points can be easily influenced by less strategic players. Example: younger players may not see the harm in leaving a flower with only one remaining petal needed. This allows the next player to easily complete the flower and possibly control it with her guardians.
However, these drawbacks are minimal and Lotus can be enjoyed with family or friends of all ages. You will surly find a sense of calm and tranquility while playing this enchanting game. Aesthetically, it's right up there with something like the beautiful Sagrada.
It's tempting to buy two copies; one for display and one to play. Of course, that would be one of the signs that you suffer from Board Game Addiction.
Gateway Game Score (What's This?): 9/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
- Beautiful artwork
- Easy to learn
- Play with a variety of ages
- Turn order can affect victory points
- Not a deep game in terms of strategy and thought
Board Game Review by Annamous. Annamous is so relaxed from this game that she map go join the cult of napping in Cult Following.