review by Kendra

Dandelions is the latest game I have selected as my staff pick. It is mathematically balanced at 2 to 3 players, but I successfully home brewed this game with the addition of two sets of 11 dice and two shiny coins to accommodate five players with a much more chaotic but still fun and entertaining feel to the gameplay. Aesthetically, the game is very pretty and, as the scoring is done all at the end, the scoring can be skipped for individuals for whom the score is not important. The box is also extremely portable; the game and all of its components easily fit back into the game's box with the scoop and drop method, which makes it very nice for use at bars, pizza joints, cafes, or any place where it is played as an activity while waiting for food or drink to arrive and quick clean up is essential.

As a basic synopsis, this game is played over the course of 11 rounds, each of which is exceedingly quick. Everyone rolls their dice," imagining what it would be like to be the seeds of a dandelion carried away by the wind," and keeps these rolled dice. Each round, they select a die and move the number of spaces associated with the pips on the die. There are five plots where these dice, representing seeds, can land. Each of the five plots has a corresponding number value and a number of spaces. The number value serves as a multiplier, making the 8 value plot the most valuable to land upon and the 1 value the least valuable multiplier to land upon. Each time that you land on a given plot, all seeds of a pip count matching yours are blown to the left or right, your choice, but this does not cause a cascading effect. At the end of the game, the number of dice on a given plot is multiplied by that plot’s number to generate the Sprout score and the dice with the most representation, IE the largest number of dice on that plot, gets to count their pips to make their Seed score. In the case that the number of dice on a plot are tied, the lower number of pips scores, and in the case that the number of dice and pips are tied, both score.

And with the tile that has you reroll dice excluded, that is all of the rules and the scoring. It's extremely easy to learn and to teach, it fits easily in my purse, it's very lightweight to carry, and it fixes the niche of a small game to play with friends while waiting for whatever everyone's waiting for.

My one critique is that I wish the game board was fully waterproof. The high gloss thick cardboard does a great job, but it is still only cardboard. That said, things that dribble on top or underneath of the board are easily wiped away with little to no harm to the actual game board itself, so I'm pretty happy with that.

Dandelions is available now from our webstore.