Herbaceous Sprouts Board Game Review

Game: Herbaceous Sprouts
Publisher: Pencil First Games / Game Production: Eduardo Baraf
Game Designer: Steve Finn
Single Player Design: Keith Matejka
Illustration: Beth Sobel

Players: 2-4
Duration: 30 minutes
Age: 8+
Time to Learn: 10-15 minutes (less if you know Herbaceous)

Game Description/Gameplay

How green is your thumb? Find out as you garden your way through Herbaceous Spouts in your quest to become to the Head Gardener. Sprouts builds on the lovely garden theme of Herbaceous and takes it up a notch with the addition of dice. If you are familiar with Herbaceous you will still collect herbs, but this time you are collecting herb seeds to plant in a garden, along with flowers and the use of helpful gardening tools.  

On your turn, you choose one Tool Card from the Tool Shed which will provide a combination of dice and tools. Most of the dice offer seeds or flowers to plant, but some offer tools in addition to what you might get on your Tool Cards. You will add your seedlings to your wheel barrow and then choose which, if any, you will plant. As in Herbaceous, you will collect sets of herbs that are either in pairs, multiples of one kind, or are all different. Your set earns you the opportunity to place one of your sprouts in the community garden claiming points depending on the size of your set, and the remaining avlialble planting spots. 

Verdict

When I taught our 10-year old Junior Gamer Herbaceous Sprouts, she stopped midway through and said, "I think Grandma would love this game, don't you?' She is absolutely right. Grandma would love this game. This is not an insult to the game at all. Grandma is a mean little game player. She just happens to love gardening and is a huge fan of Herbaceous. You may be asking yourself, do I have to like gardening to appreciate Sprouts? Absolutely not! I am a terrible gardener in real life, but I appreciate the this beautiful, unique game of set collection and planting. 

Herbaceous Spouts isn't just a pretty game. You will have your choice of strategic decisions to make throughout the game as well. One of the biggest decisions in this game is whether you hold out for a larger set to gain more points, or go after the smaller sets and hope the lesser rewards add up in the end. 

Pros

  • Beth Sobel's artwork is as soft and gorgeous as usual
  • Quick, fun, light game for non-gamers, with enough strategy to keep games entertained as well
  • With a solo variant, single player advanced play, 4-player advanced play and team play this little game has something for everyone.
  • Herbaceous + dice!!

Cons

  • Do you need both Herbaceous and Herbaceous Spouts? Probably. I'll let you struggle over that, but once you've decided to get both, you should probably get yourself a copy of Sunset Over Water too.

Gateway Game Score (what's this?) - 8/10

Overall Game Score - 8/10

Review by Fifi McFluffins who is a much better gardener in this game than in real life.