The Gardens of the Alhambra

I found that The Gardens of The Alhambra by Queen Games is the perfect game to play at the end of the day when I want to unwind and relax. It is not too intense or competitive and you can engage in pleasant conversation during the game without feeling like you are distracting yourself or the other players. The rules are not too complicated and can be learned in about 10 minutes. This is a good, simple game to play with family and friends and you can enjoy it even if you are not a "board game geek".

During the game players put down tiles on a board to create a visually soothing and beautiful garden complete with winding paths and four different colors of trees. Since lime green happens to be my favorite color, I particularly liked the overall light bright green color of The Gardens of the Alhambra game pieces.

The idea of the game is to lay down tiles to maximize your points and minimize the points of your fellow players. Each player is represented by one of four different kinds of trees – orange, lemon, lavender or palm. If you can plant more of your own trees than other players trees around the highest point markers this is of great advantage, but you don’t want too many of your own trees since tree variety also multiplies the number of points found on the markers. The player with the most points when the garden is finished wins the game.

Good for 2-4 players, 10 years old and up (this game would also be suitable for younger players if they know basic multiplication and math skills or are playing with someone else who does). Playing time is about 45 minutes to one hour. If you like games that involve tile placement you might also enjoy playing Carcassonne by Rio Grande Games or Metro by Queen Games.

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