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Cottage Garden, Beauty Through Tile Laying

Cottage Garden is my least favorite from the tile laying games I've played. That being said, I still love it. Like most people, I started with Patchwork, also from Uwe Rosenberg. From there I slowly played Cottage Garden, Barenpark, Indian Summer and Spring Meadow. I even played A Feast for Odin although that's a whole other category.

Cottage Garden is my least favorite if only because the scoring feels fairly clunky. The rules feel a bit more cobbled together than the rest, almost as if there are rules for the sake of having rules. At its core, the same basic gameplay is here. You're grabbing tiles in order to fill up a specific grid, although in this case the grids also have flowerpots and conches that you want to avoid covering as they will give you points if visible.

As you fill each board, you'll cash it in for points and then grab another board so that you always have two boards to work on. You go round and around doing this for 30-45 minutes before triggering end game and the player with the most points win. Fairly basic but as with most of these, it works well. The game is beautiful, my second favorite in artwork (Indian Summer with the "on fire" feel is my favorite there), and gameplay length feels fairly decent. Not too long and not too short. It's only the clunky scoring that prevents it from ranking higher for me.

If you have a chance, I recommend picking it up. All of the games in this series are great for some light Sunday afternoon gaming, and they all make great gateway games due to their accessibility.


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