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Family Game Review: ‘Gathering a Garden’

Boutiques love eeBoo, a company that believes toys can be more than just chunks of plastic and seeks out to make things useful, beautiful, and educational. Their game Gathering a Garden introduces kids into the components necessary for a garden while giving a chance to practice numbers and looking good doing it. One of eeBoo’s strongest qualities is the attractiveness of its games, toys, and activity books made from the work of contracted illustrators. Artist Melissa Sweet, whose work has been described as “lighthearted, gentle cartoon illustrations” and appears in dozens and dozens of children’s books, brings a fun sense…

Review Overview

72/100

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Boutiques love eeBoo, a company that believes toys can be more than just chunks of plastic and seeks out to make things useful, beautiful, and educational. Their game Gathering a Garden introduces kids into the components necessary for a garden while giving a chance to practice numbers and looking good doing it.

gatheringagardenboxOne of eeBoo’s strongest qualities is the attractiveness of its games, toys, and activity books made from the work of contracted illustrators. Artist Melissa Sweet, whose work has been described as “lighthearted, gentle cartoon illustrations” and appears in dozens and dozens of children’s books, brings a fun sense to the game. The board is colorful and carries examples of vegetables, birds, flowers, fruits, and herbs, all faithfully reproduced to resemble their real-world counterparts. The board fills the imagination with a world of friendly anthropomorphic animals and a fairy with a watering can.

In addition to art, eeBoo also prides itself on being environmentally responsible. The game is made from 75% recycled materials and does not contain plastics. Instead, its bright colors are made from soy-based inks on paper boards that have been given a glossy sheen. Proving that eco-friendly can also be wallet-friendly, Gathering a Garden is quite reasonable at $18 for a children’s game that may be played again and again.

The environmental tone of the game is the focus of its play. Players pick a “Nut Child” gardener character each with a matching colored plot that they want to turn into gardens. To do so, they need to collect one of each of the five components. To take the game to a deeper level than just having “flowers,” players are able to choose poppies, tulips, daisies, or sunflowers, allowing children to take a look at particular types of vegetables, fruits, and more to see what they like best. The first player to get one of each and return to their garden plot is the winner.

gatheringagardenboardPlayers move their tokens by flicking a spinner numbered one through six. They may move in any direction, but they must move exactly that number of squares. This can require patience as players might have to spin over and over again, moving back and forth until they finally reach their destination. Players will also need a little strategy on each spin, using the shortcut through the Birds square and avoiding squares that make them lose items. Because of some of the small pieces and the use of numbers, Gathering a Garden is not a game for little tykes.

Gathering a Garden is a game for two to four players aged five and up. Since its mechanic is largely luck-based, it is best suited to younger players who are happy to strategize individually each round. With its exceptional quality and eye-catching art, Gathering a Garden makes for a great family game and can spur discussion of one’s own garden.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.
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