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Power Plants... The Cabbage Patch Feud

It is common knowledge that the best spell components are grown fresh though it appears there is only one plot fertile enough for you to grow your plants in the garden and you are not the only wizard who needs to grow new ingredients. Because of this you have agreed to share the garden though you have secretly made agreements with your loyal sprites to infiltrate and expand your patch by utilizing the special powers of the plants. Will you be victorious when all the plants come out in bloom or will you be left behind in the dirt?

The front cover of the board game in front of a wooden slatted panel with plants in front of it.
The board game in its natural habitat.

After playing several other games by the publisher, Kids Table Board Games, and enjoying the style of play they offered we decided to take a look at what other titles they had available and this one stood out to me. The area control mechanic with the sprites and the activation of the plant powers seemed interesting so I could not help getting a copy to try it in person.

First Impressions

Upon receiving the retail edition of the game I was rather impressed with the box art and the information presented on the back cover. The art work on the front was eye catching with the lime green text and a vibrant carnivorous plant in central view. The back of the box has some great images of the game components inside with a brief explanation of the steps of a turn giving you a flavour for how the game functions. When I opened the box I was pleasantly surprised about how little space was wasted and the quality of the components provided. The tiles, plant cards and tokens used for the game are made of good quality card stock making them nice and durable with the tiles being slightly thicker adding a nice weight to the tile. The only downside component wise was the wizard and sprite tokens being a little lack lustre as the wizard is a cylindrical block and the sprites are just coloured cubes, though these components are well made and have good paint coverage though I would have liked a bit more theme. The rulebook on this one I rather like the format of, as the front page tells you exactly what you are doing in the game and what your end goal is so you know what you are going into from the outset as well as letting you know there is a training mode of the game to make it more child friendly or easier for your first play. The rules inside have a nice flow to them meaning you don't need to flick back and fourth to understand what you need to do and it clearly lays out the phases of the turn and scoring at the end.

Game Play Overview

The board game of Power Plants laid out on the table with the five plant cards on the left, the token bag on the right and the starting tiles in the centre as well as two player set up with their coloured cubes and reference sheet.
An example of how the setup for the game will look.

In order to play this game you will need to have a enough table space to place the tiles out as well as a space to keep the plant cards nearby to tell you what each of the plants do. Next you will place out the five plant cards you will be using this game to one side and then sort the plant patch tiles into stacks matching these five cards, all other tiles and cards are placed back in the box. Then you will create a piles of gems to make a supply to one side of the play area. You then take the highest value tile of each plant and make a patch of five plants as a starting location in the centre of the play area, you then add the remaining patch tiles to the bag and give it a good mix. Draw three and place them by the plant cards to create a nursery and then deal two tiles to each player from the bag, Now you are ready to start.

A player placing their new tile in to the garden ready for the sprout and grow phase
A tile being added to the garden.

This game is played over multiple rounds with each player taking turns to add a patch, choosing to sprout or grow and then draw a new patch from the bag. In order to add a patch you will add one patch from the two you have in your supply and place it so at least one side lines up with an already placed tile and then you place the wizard marker on top. You then move on to the sprout or grow phase of your turn.

Example of a players setup with their cubes, player aid and garden patches.
Player aid and player setup

If you choose to sprout, you will activate the the sprout power on the tile your wizard is on which is usually more powerful than its grow power, if you choose to grow you will activate the grow power of each tile adjacent to your wizard these powers are usually weaker but if the tile is placed well it can allow you to activate several abilities propelling you forward. All the powers for each plant is listed on the player aid that each player will have in their play area. Some of the plants do change the board state so you will want to make sure you active the abilities in the right order so you can still achieve what you want. Lastly on your turn you will draw a new tile from the bag and add it to your supply, if you draw a tile into your supply that is the same as the one you already have you can swap it with one from the nursery.

Turns continue like this until the last tile is drawn from the bag and then each player gets one final turn to influence the garden. If any sprites of yours are expelled from a tile after you have taken your final turn of the game you will gain 2 gems for each expelled sprite. Once the final round is done the players will then move onto scoring. You will gain points for the number of gems you earnt during the game, end game scoring from plant cards, claimed gems from plant patches you control with gems on them and gain points for the fields you control then total up your points and the player with most points wins! If their is a tie, the player with the most sprites in the garden claims the victory.

Pros and Cons

This game is a lot of fun to play with only a couple things that let it down for me. The two main factors that let this game down in my opinion is the theme and the ease of learning. For the theme I felt the pieces could have been a bit more thematic with the cubes being fairy or sprite meeples and the wizard being a wizard meeple instead of just a cylindrical block. I do know both of these issues have been addressed in the more expensive Kickstarter version that does provide different styled meeples for each colour and there is a red wizard meeple to replace the cylinder making it more thematic. In regards to the ease of learning the game, the mechanics themselves are really straight forward though the plant abilities can be confusing. This is due to the two different grow and sprout powers each plant has being a lot to take in at first and the player aid with all the plants on can be difficult to understand with the abbreviated ability.

Even though it has these issues the game does excel in all other areas that make a game great in my opinion. The beauty of the box art and component quality is really nice on this game, with the art being fun and exciting and the components being nice and durable. The packaging is very clean and compact with all the components fitting in the box with no wasted space. Though the main thing that stands out to me on this one is how highly repayable it is, their are 8 basic plants with another 8 advanced plants in the game meaning it will take a good amount of time before you have seen all the combinations of the different plants meaning each game brings new strategies.

Final Verdict

In conclusion I really enjoyed playing this game, it has a nice level of strategy and I like how the plant powers change between games giving you new and exciting choices each time. At the end of the games I have played each one has made me feel as if I have accomplished something with the victories that I have earnt feeling well deserved. Due to you having to use your wit and quick thinking to out manoeuvre your opponent and trigger the right powers at the right time to take control of the fields, this game brings a lot of satisfaction when it goes to plan. I can see this game blossoming onto our table frequently as me and my wife play a game of wit to see who can best the other in this cabbage patch feud.

Overall we would rate this game an 8/10

You can grab your very own copy by clicking the link below:


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