Title: Gift of Tulips
Designed By: Sara Perry
Art By: Katy Grierson, Emily Hancock, and María Gabriela Patiño
Published By: Weird Giraffe Games
Released: Coming to Kickstarter March 2021
Player Count: 2-6
Time to Play: 15 Minutes
It's the Amsterdam Tulip Festival and you and your friends are ready to celebrate. Work to create bouquets of prize-winning flowers while also spreading the love by gifting flowers to your friends as well.
The Gift of Tulips is an absolutely lovely light-weight game with a surprising amount of choice and strategy. Players can choose to try and score big by collecting prize-winning tulips for the end of the game, or they can go down the more generous route of giving away lots of flowers and score points instantly for doing so.
The Gift of Tulips is designed for 2-6 players and scales up or down depending on the player count. It is suitable for ages 8+ and is only minimally language-dependent. Players will need to be able to read numbers, but other than that colors and simple icons are used instead of text. The Gift of Tulips plays in about 20 minutes which makes it a good filler or perfect for people looking for a shorter game.
Setup will vary based on player count, make sure to include the tulip cards for 5/6 players if playing with that amount. If playing with less than 5 people, put those cards back in the box. You will also use different festival cards depending on your player count so make sure to pull the correct cards based on your player count.
Shuffle the tulip deck and remove the correct amount of cards based on the number of players. Don't look at the cards removed. Put the tulip deck where all players can reach.
Give each player a scoring card, a scoring cube, and a reference card.
Layout the four festival cards (based on your player count) in number order.
Draw two different tulip cards from the deck (if you pick two tulips of the same color, discard the second one and pick again until you find a new colored tulip). Place the tulip with the highest value under the 1st place festival card and the lower valued tulip under the 2nd place festival card. If they are the same value put them in any order.
Place the tulip tracking card above the festival cards. Place the two matching tulip tracking cubes on the numbers matching the value on the festival card for 1st and 2nd place. Leave the other cubes off to the side for the moment (they will be used when the last two tulip colors have a value associated with them).
Give each player two tulip cards. Everyone chooses one card to start their bouquet and one card to place face-down in the secret festival pile (above the festival cards).
Whoever has the most colorful outfit goes first (every player will get the same number of turns).
How to Play:
Playing The Gift of Tulips is really straightforward. On a player's turn, they pick a card and choose one of three actions to take, then they pick a second card and take one of the remaining two actions. Then play passes to the next player. This will continue until the deck runs out at which point final points are awarded and whoever has the most points is the winner.
The three actions a player can pick from are:
Keep a tulip in your bouquet - play the card to your tulip bouquet in front of you (separating tulips into piles by color). If you play a 3rd or 4th place tulip, score points immediately as shown on the festival card.
Give a tulip to a friend - play a card to another player's bouquet and immediately score points equal to the giving value on the festival card plus the value on the tulip card.
Add a tulip to the festival - by adding tulips to the festival players will help adjust which tulips score the most points at the end of the game. The tulips with the highest value of points will be ranked the 1st place tulip and the other tulips will rank 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place accordingly. The higher the ranking the more points that specific tulip color will score. Players have two choices when selecting to add a tulip to the festival, but can still only take this action once per turn regardless of the option picked. A player can add a tulip face down to the secret festival pile. Alternatively, a player can play a tulip face up to the festival and adjust the tulip rankings and tracking cubes according to the new highest scores. When a tulip is added to the festival face up, tally the total value on the tulip cards and arrange the placements according to values.
Once the deck runs out, final scoring begins. Before scoring the secret festival deck will be used. Draw 5 cards from the secret festival deck and add them to the festival. Adjust the placing of the tulips according to the new flowers added. These will be the final placements used for scoring.
Whichever player has the most tulip cards per color scores the majority points listed on the festival place cards. This is based on the actual number of cards a player has per tulip type, not the total value they have of that type. So a player who has 4 cards with blue tulips that total 8 would get the majority bonus over a player who has 3 cards with blue tulips that total 10. However, in the case of a tie, the player with the higher value of their tulips wins the tie.
Once the points are awarded for the festival majority scores, the person who has the most points wins!
The Gift of Tulips is a delightful small box game that is as nice to look at as it is to play. The Gift of Tulips leaves your table looking like spring has sprung and the card art for the festival cards is incredible. The design of the game really ties into its Amsterdam theme and helps create an immersive experience.
The Gift of Tulips is relaxing to play and is what we would describe as the opposite of a "take that" game. The Gift of Tulip's rewards players for helping their opponents. By gifting tulips players simultaneously score their own points, but also potentially help fellow players score points. There is a good balance of strategy involved in deciding when it benefits you most to help others. We also like how The Gift of Tulips rewards players based on them giving away the more valued flowers. The more valuable a tulip is, the better gift it will be, which means the more points it will score you when you gift it. So many games involve taking resources from opponents and for some players that doesn't feel good. For those that enjoy player interaction but want it in a non-punitive way, The Gift of Tulips does an amazing job at this. Gifting others feels like a reward since you score points, but at the same time, you help them. Your hope is that you ultimately come out better for having gifted the flower, but either way it feels good.
We also enjoyed the little bit of mystery that the secret tulip deck brought to the game. Since only 5 secret cards are used, adding to the secret deck doesn't guarantee the flower rankings adjust to your liking as simply adding the card to the festival tracker would, but the more cards a player adds in secret the better chance they have of manipulating the last five cards to their liking. Using this feature, players can really deepen their strategy to score big at the end of the game.
If you are looking for a great, light, pretty game The Gift of Tulips will check all of the boxes and we can't recommend it enough!
The Gift of Tulips launches on Kickstarter on March 2nd. Sign up for Weird Giraffe Games mailing list to be notified of its launch!