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The Gardens of the Alhambra
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The Gardens of the Alhambra

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 45-60 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Dirk Henn

Publisher(s): Rio Grande Games, Queen, Asmodee North America

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Product Description

Landscape the gardens of the Alhambra by planting orange trees, lemon trees, palm trees and lavender trees. The playing tiles lie in front of you. Each one shows four different kinds of tree, with varying numbers of each tree. Plant your trees skillfully so that you surround as many buildings as possible. And remember that some buildings are more valuable than others: a tower is worth more than a seraglio and chambers more than the arcades.

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.3 in 3 reviews

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Tile Laying Game with a Scoring Twist
May 28, 2011

I really like this game. High quality.

It's easy to explain and play... but be careful to understand the scoring. Scoring happens throughout the game. Place your tile to match other flowers. You score and maybe several other players score as well. The key, of course, is to make sure you score more.

While the strategy is important for older children and adults, younger people can play along. Just pick a tile, lay it down and score it.

At the end you have a beautiful flower garden.

Cute little game that's not too involved
February 21, 2006

Well, don't get me wrong about the three stars. There's nothing "wrong" with this game per se; clear and simple rules and clean game play. You lay tiles with flowers on them hoping to surround the most points (thus winning them), while hopefully getting your oponents to waste flowers winning low points. Fairly straightfoward, and there are a number of different and unobvious strategies possible.

The only reason I don't give it more is that it's just not super involving. It's a little dry and bean-counterish.

What's interesting is that there are indications that the game designers had originally tried to pump more into this game but then decided at the last minute to keep things simple. For instance, there are "up" arrows on the points tiles but there's no meaning to this orientation. Also, there are paths but in the end they also mean nothing.

In the end, however, those elements probably tested badly, adding complexity for its own sake.

So I'd bet that for the kind of people who like this kind of game they will love Gardens because it's good-looking, well made and relatively interesting.

A numbers game
May 06, 2001

I admit that Carat is not the world's most wonderful game, but there is something about it that does catch my fancy.

On first glance, it looks as though the game should be fairly simple. All you're doing, after all, is placing a square tile on the board that gives a number--and the same number, at that--to the four competing colors. Yet choosing the best spot for that tile often turns out to take a minute or two of thought. The number you need for your own color on one side of the square gives that same number to the other three colors on the other three sides, you see... and therein lies the challenge.

I'd also like to mention that we found the three-tile variation not to take especially longer than the basic one-tile rule. It seemed to make playing more fun, as you were more likely to have a tile you were glad to play, and thus faster, since you didn't sit and worry which of your two or three bad choices you were going to force yourself to take.

Carat is not for everybody, since you have to enjoy playing around with simple arithmetic... but if you do, this is a nice game to do it with! Colorful, clever, clear, and quick.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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