Botanik

A revolutionary idea will bring salvation for people living in a world ruined by polluted soil and toxic fumes. A prominent scientist is engaging her two best teams to construct her invention that’ll allow her to produce food with the help of machines!

2 players, ages 10+
Playing time: 30 minutes
Designers: Frank Crittin, Grégoire Largey & Sébastien Pauchon
Artwork: Franck Dion

Publisher: Space Cowboys
https://www.spacecowboys.fr/our-board-games

Players take on the role of one of the teams building the machine that manufactures the greatest amount of food producing flowers. During a turn, a player takes 3 tiles from the stack turning them face up. They can put a tile on the board on their own side, matching the color or the type of the tiles in the middle row. Or they can put it on the middle row, possibly unlocking tiles on both sides when the color or type doesn’t match any longer. The other player can put one of the two leftover tiles on their side or the middle row and the active player places the final one.
Unlocked tiles will be placed by the player in their machine, connected by pipes and trying to form groups of the same colour.
When all tiles are placed on the board, players score points for each group of three or more tiles of the same color and for flowers on tiles with pipes, fruits or vegetables.

Botanik is a fast paced and easy to explain game for two players. By keeping an eye on your opponent’s row of tiles when placing tiles this can be played very tactically. It’s a constant balance between putting tiles on your own side or choosing for the middle row, unlocking your own tiles but possibly unlocking your opponent’s too. The construction of your own machine feels very puzzly, with trying to plan ahead on what tiles might be unlocked next.
Overall Botanik is a small quality game with beautiful art and a clean design, reminding me a bit of Jaipur, but with tile placement. If you’re still searching for a solid two player game to fill the cold evenings this winter, then you should definitely check this one out!

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