Bloom is a colorful dice-based game in which players try to collect “bouquets” and fill “garden beds” by selecting groups of flowers on a score sheet. On each turn, one player rolls the colored dice and then players take turns each picking a die and marking flowers on their scorecard. Players try to collect all the flowers of a single color (a bouquet) and to complete sections (a garden bed) of the flower grid score sheet. Game play continues until one player has made three bouquets or finished four garden beds. Players can choose to take a penalty for circling flowers of the wrong color or circling too few flowers.
Though the colored dice make a cheerful display, the flower theme of Bloom is merely window dressing to what turns out to be a game of real strategy. It’s easy at the start just to go for the highest point value and avoid penalties, but it’s far better to try to corner the market on one color or another or to focus on specific garden beds right away. The clear wild-color die in particular is an important tool in achieving higher point totals. We found ourselves wanting to play the game over and over to improve our approaches. The game even offers a solitaire version specifically for players who want to try to maximize their point totals, so play can continue long after the rest of the gardeners have gone to bed.
Emily Crawford ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master’s in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia. .