Everything is Coming Up Roses: Bloom Town Board Game Review

W Updated November 06, 2019
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
1018   1
Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review
There Will Be Games

Much like Flamme Rouge, another title designed by Asger Harding Granerud, Bloomtown looks deceptively simple, possibly even that it might even be a “fluff game.” You set out to grow a small town, placing tiles and scoring points for arranging them in various configurations. But, also like Flamme Rouge, the depth is in the gameplay, even if it isn't apparent at first glance.

Each turn you are playing in the past, present and future. In the past because every previous placement has (hopefully) set you up for progressively better scoring opportunities.”Why did I place that apartment in that specific place? How was I hoping to build upon that?” In the present because whatever placement you take during this turn is going to determine what building you will be taking to play on a successive turn. If you want to take a subway tile that is currently available, you need to place in a specific “flower” space. And, of course, you are always planning for the future. Preparing for the future can be the hardest. Luck plays a hefty factor in a variety of ways. You can't count on specific tiles being available during your turn or even exactly how long before the game ends.

Community tiles are mixed in with the rest of the tiles at the beginning of the game. There are two of each type of building. During the course of the game, once both Community Tiles are revealed and set into the community area, a rescoring of that tile is triggered. Rescoring is a misnomer. It should have been called “alt-scoring.” This is because the initial scoring of many of the tiles is different than what you get once “rescoring” is triggered. For instance, Offices provide one point plus one per connecting office in that row and column. But during a “rescoring” Offices score 2 points per tile. Only Homes and Shops score the same way in both initial and rescoring. Little quirks like this give Bloomtown it's uniqueness but, at the same time, can be a bit confusing at first. Read the rules thoroughly before you begin because it is easy to make assumptions about how the game is going to play only to gloss over these rule nuances. Missing something like the Blooming Squares, that allow you to Double Bloom points or take an additional turn when covered, will have a major impact on gameplay.

Bloom Town 

Game end also provides one more key aspect of strategy. Once the game end is triggered, you have the choice to make about the two tiles in your hand: One will simply be discarded, the other, however, will allow you to score ALL of those type of buildings again. As you watch the stacks of tiles dwindle, you have to decide if it a better idea to hold onto a specific tile and use it to rescore or if you should play it for the immediate gratification of points.

Every player also has a trump card/tile at their disposal. Once per game they can use the Bonus Token. tile on their turn. It allows you to double the score of the turn you just took or to take another turn immediately following your current one. Or, you can use it on a final way that triggers at rescoring/alt scoring of a tile type that has not yet been triggered in the game. This also stops it from being triggered later in the game. This hearkens back to the past/present/future aspect of every turn in the game. Should you take the points you just earned in the immediate past, presently take another turn or transform the future by triggering a rescoring that will impact everyone.

Bloom Town

We've almost come to expect every game to have language independent icons on all cards/tiles in Board games. Bloomtown does NOT have these, instead relying on the specific building color and style identifying them. I didn't find it a huge detriment and think that the addition of icons and scoring information on the tiles would have deterred from the aesthetic of the tiles themselves. I'm willing to swap having to concentrate on what tile is what type during the first few plays for the “Aww! Look at the piggy bank on top of the bank!” moments. The artwork also has other wonderful little touches, like a statue of the Founding mother in the town square.

All isn't perfect in the berg of Bloomtown. Much like the small, quaint town you are building, if you pop out and ask the locals what they think of their town, they will tell you it can sometimes be a bit, well, boring. All the best moves you make in the game occur on your own board and even the “thrill of the build” from those is somewhat subdued.

Bloom Town

Bloomtown is a beautiful bouquet of board gaming. What initially looks like a simple arrangement blossoms into robust rose garden of opportunity upon repeated plays.

Photos

Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review
Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review
Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review
Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review
Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review
Everything is coming up Roses: Bloomtown Board Game Review

Wade Monnig  (He/Him)
Staff Board Game Reviewer

In west Saint Louis born and raised
Playing video games is where I spent most of my days
Strafing, Dashing, Adventuring and Looting
Writing reviews between all the Shooting
When a couple of guys reminded me what was so good
About playing games with cardboard and Wood,
Collecting Victory Points and those Miniatures with Flair
It’s not as easy as you think to rhyme with Bel Air.

Wade is the former editor in chief for Silicon Magazine and former senior editor for Gamearefun.com. He currently enjoys his games in the non-video variety, where the odds of a 14 year old questioning the legitimacy of your bloodline is drastically reduced.

“I’ll stop playing as Black when they invent a darker color.”

Articles by Wade

Wade Monnig
Staff Board Game Reviewer

Articles by Wade

Editor review

1 reviews

Board Game Reviews 
 
3.5

Summary

Bloomtown
Bloomtown is a beautiful bouquet of Board Gaming. What initially looks like a simple arrangement blossoms into robust rose garden of opportunity upon repeated plays.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Log in to comment