Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Seikatsu Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Matt Loomis & Isaac Shalev
Artists: Peter Wocken
Publisher: IDW Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 30 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Matt Loomis and Issac Shalev have worked on some games together and have teamed up again to bring Seikatsu to life. It's a funny story about how the game came to life and would recommend you go to the IDW games website to read it. I link it here. Seikatsu is a tile laying pattern making set collecting abstract strategy game. Even though it's a light strategy game, it can feel like it packs a large punch.


Rules and Setup: In this game you are trying to score points by matching birds to form a flock, and by making flower rows of the same type of flower. When you setup the game you will place all the tiles in a bag and randomly draw out the certain number of tiles depending on the number of players, and placing them adjacent to the koi pond. On your turn you will pull a tile out of the bag so that you
have two, you will choose one to play on the board adjacent to another tile the has already been played. When placing the tile you score the points for matching birds, and then draw a new tile and then your turn ends. Bird scoring happens when you place the tile down, flower scoring happens at the end of the game. Setup and rules are very easy to understand. The rulebook is done very nicely, it has a clean look to it with good diagrams to explain scoring concepts, and it is just short enough you don't feel like you are reading a novel to play the game.

Theme and Mechanics:
In Japanese, Seikatsu means "life." In the game you are tending a shared garden. As you look around your garden you see two others who are trying to make their view look more breathtaking, and need to compete to make your garden look the best when you finish it. You will be drawing and playing garden tiles with both a bird and a flower, creating flocks of birds, and rows of flowers. Perspective is key in the game as everyone works from a different angle on the board and scores differently due to their assigned angle. The game is an abstract strategy game that uses hand management, pattern building, set collection, and tile placement in a system that works great.

Artwork and Components:
The art works for the game, as it is simple and clean. The colors used are more of the pastel colors. I'm not sure if the game is meant to be marketed toward women gamers, as the theme, colors, and art has a more feminine feel to it. The components are done well. There is a nice cloth bag to put the plastic tiles in. The tiles are done in a way that the art on them can't and won't peel off as they are not stickers, but somehow are permanently placed on. The scoring markers are cute flowers made out of wood.

The Good:
This game involves some good strategy and there is hardly any luck except for the fact that you draw tiles. This game is perfect for someone who needs to connect to a theme to enjoy the game.

The Bad:
The game says it can play 4 players, but in reality, you are just playing a 2 player game with a teammate. For some people the theme might not be as exciting as if it was something else.

Final Thoughts:
For me personally, the theme doesn't get me excited to play the game. The game is enjoyable when playing, as you do make tough choices that can challenge your brain. You have to analyze many options. When you only have two tiles to choose from to play, it makes some of your choices for you as some wouldn't give you any points. As the game get further along, there tends to be more choices with a bigger board and you don't tend to have that problem anymore.

Players Who Like:
I would recommend this game to anyone who would enjoy a Japanese themed game, to someone who really enjoy birds or gardening flowers. This game would be good for new gamers, those who enjoy abstract games with a mixture of mechanics mixed in with it. This also would be an appropriate gateway game to share with a spouse to possibly get interested in gaming.

I am giving Seikatsu 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7 10

Check out Seikatsu on:


Pick up your copy of Seikatsu at your FLGS or online at AMAZON.

About the Author:

Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up.  He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games.  Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.

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