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Hanging Gardens Game – May 27, 2008


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Game, May 27, 2008
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$24.76

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Game
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0018PSB7A
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin D. Lott on January 26, 2009
In mid-2008 I started noticing some of my buddies playing this little game quite a lot. It was one that I'd never really heard about, so it made me curious why it was getting played so much. Thankfully, a good friend brought a copy to our house and taught us how to play. It didn't take long before it ascended to the top of my wishlist. And, after receiving a copy on my birthday, I've played it a lot.

What do you get with Hanging Gardens? In the box is a game board, a deck of building cards, 4 starting cards, a pile of scoring tiles, a start player marker, and 5 wooden temples in 4 different colors.

How does Hanging Gardens work? The tiles are shuffled and 6 of them are placed face-up on the board. Each player gets a starting card that has 6 squares of prepared land, and a set of temples. Each round 4 cards are flipped up (or 3 in a 3-player game). The cards depict a grid of 6 squares but some of the squares have buildings on them while others have more prepared land. Then player's take turns selecting a card to place in their garden. The primary rule is that any buildings depicted on that card must be placed on top of land that has already been prepared. In other words a building can never hang off of other cards so that it would be touching the table underneath. Turns continue in this manner.

When a player places a card and it makes a group of 3 or more of the same type of building, the player may choose to score that grouping by placing a temple on one square of the group. Then the player gets to take a tile. If the group was 3 squares big the player can only choose from 2 of the face-up tiles, and if it was 4 they can choose from 4, and if it was 5 they can choose from all 6.
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I finally got a copy of this game, after having it on my list for some time. I had never played it, but had read about it. My verdict? A successful purchase!

The game includes a deck of cards, some tiles, some wooden palaces, and a board. Cards and tiles are beautifully illustrated, and great quality. The theme? Well... you are a landscape architect designing what will hopefully be the most attractive hanging gardens. Or so the game states. What you are really doing is collecting tiles, hopefully in sets, to gain the most points at the end. You get the tiles by playing cards to your play area, and connecting them together in various ways. When you get some cards together that form a chain of matching symbols, you can then place a wooden palace on them and select a face-up tile from the board. The tile space is then refilled from a stack of face-down tiles. Your choice of tiles depends on how large your chain of matching symbols was. The larger the chain, the better your choices.

That's the bulk of the mechanics. At game end, reveal all your tiles, separate them by type, and add up the points based on how many sets of each kind you got. Highest score wins. It's very easy, and anyone should be able to learn and play this. It is quite light, a bit abstract, and features plenty of luck. But it also requires an attentive eye, and some creative spatial planning. It plays quickly with 2 people, which is how I would recommend playing it. Overall, I definitely like the game and enjoy playing it. I would recommend it for what it is, a lighter, non-confrontational game.
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The game is easy to setup and learn. It works best with two or four players. The goal is to collect tiles to earn the most victory points. To collect tiles you must create gardens using cards illustrated with a variety of architectural components. When arranged into contiguous groups, a temple may be placed on the group, enabling you to collect a tile. The fun and challenge is fitting the cards together to create the groups. The temple placement adds a strategic element to the game, as the placement affects grouping later in the game.

While fun for adults to play, it is also educational for younger players as it helps develop spatial reasoning skills.
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