The Little Flower Shop is a game by Steve Finn, published by Doctor Finn’s Games. It is for 1-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of florists tasked with making the most beautiful window display for their own personal flower shops.
To begin, each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding shop window board, as well as the 3 starting vase cards of their chosen color. Each players places their shop window board in front of them. They then place their starting vase cards on their shop window. Each player is then given a register card which is placed next to their shop window. The money cards are sorted by denomination and placed within reach of all players. The shop cards are shuffled together and then placed face down within reach of all players as well. Play now begins.
The game is played over 3 rounds. Each round players will be dealt a hand of 7 shop cards. Players will then simultaneously choose a card from their hand and then place that card face down in their keep area, below their board. The remaining cards in their hand are then placed face down in the player’s pass area at the top of the board. For the first and third rounds, the player will place these cards to the left side, while the cards are placed to the right side in the second round.
Once all players have chosen a card, each player will then reveal their card and use it. If the card is a vase card, it is placed in 1 of the 8 vase spots in the player’s window. If there are already 8 vases, the excess vase is placed in storage, which is to the left of the player’s board. Flower cards are tucked under the topside of a vase card that matches it with the flower still showing. If the flower does not match an open vase, it must be placed in storage. It should be noted that each vase may only hold 1 flower card. Salary cards are tucked under the player’s register card so that the amount on the card is visible to all players. Basket cards are placed in storage. Once a player chooses, they may take a basket card from storage and hang it in one of the 3 spots at the top of the shop window by spending money equal to the basket’s cost from their register. If all 3 spots are already taken, the excess basket is placed in storage. Order cards are also placed in storage. They are taken out once a player decides to fulfill an order. To fulfill an order the player discards a flower card along with their order card to collect a certain amount of money from the bank. The player will collect $3 for a 1 flower card, $4 for a 2 flower card and $5 for a 3 flower card. They may also choose to sell a vase card instead, collecting $2 for the vase. If a player’s flower and vase cards match, then the player is allowed to sell both, collecting the money for each. Any money cards received are then placed under the player’s register with the amounts visible for all player to see. It should be noted that a player is able to sell cards in storage or in the shop window, however they are not allowed to sell any in their trash. The trash area is on the right side of the player’s board.
Once all players have used their card, each player will then pass the cards in their pass area to the player on either their left or right, depending on which round it is. Once more, the process of choosing a card and using it is repeated. This continues until there is only 1 final card in the round. At this time, the player may choose to accept this card as their chosen card or they may spend $2 to discard it and draw a random card from the top of the deck. This drawn card is then kept and used accordingly. It should be noted that anytime during the game, a player is allowed to reorganize their cards in their shop window and their storage. Cards in a players trash are not allowed to be reorganized. However the player is allowed to trach any card they wish from either their storage or their shop window. It should also be noted that a player is only allowed to have 4 cards in their storage. Any excess cards must be moved to their trash. However if a player’s storage is already full, they may reorganize and/or use cards in their storage or their shop window to fulfill an order before trashing. The player is also allowed to trash a card in their storage to make room for a card just taken.
The game continues until 3 rounds have been completed. After the third round, players must move any empty vase cards in their shop window to their trash, as well as any cards in their storage. Players will then score Flower Power based on the flower petals at the bottom of a filled vase card, as well as for each hung basket and for every $5 in their register. They must subtract power for every 2 cards in their trash. Players then add up their points and the player with the most Flower Power is the winner.
This is a really pretty looking game, as you might expect. However, there aren’t a lot of different pieces to this game. The game includes 4 player boards or Shop Windows. Each one is a different color and depicts 2 hanging shelves and one long shelf along the bottom with ivy running up the side of the board. These are quite nice looking. It’s about what you may think of when you think of a floral shop’s display window. One other thing of note about these is that the backs of each player board have a beautiful flower print in the player color. This was completely unneeded but adds an extra bit of beauty to the boards instead of just being a simple black backing. The other component for this game is a huge stack of cards. These cards are all the smaller euro sized cards and are not your normal playing card size. They have a textured linen style finish on them so that they are easy to shuffle. There are a couple of different types of cards. There are Shop cards which consist of flower cards, basket cards, vase cards, salary cards, order cards. These all have a bunch of flowers on the back side of them and then the different designs for each type on the front. The flower cards have from 1 to 3 long stemmed flowers. The basket cards have an arrangement of flowers in a hanging basket. The vase cards have a vase with a flower design on it, depicting 1 to 3 flowers. The salary cards show a denomination of money on them. The order cards depict the lady from the front of the box holding a bunch of flowers along with the value for each order. I have to say that these all look quite nice. I especially like the designs on the back and the different arrangements on each card. All of the icons on the cards are very easy to understand. The other cards that come with the game are the player cards which consist of 3 starting vase cards in 4 different player colors and the register cards, as well as the money cards. The starting vases match the colors of the player boards with there being 3 vases for each player color. The register card is a black card with a cash register design on it. The money cards depict different denominations of $1, $2 $3 and $5. Each one is a different color so that they are easily identified, simply by color. Overall I have to say that I really like the different designs. Once the cards start filling up the player boards, the overall look is quite lovely. I’m thrilled with the look and feel of this game. Doctor Finn’s artist has really outdone themself.
9 out of 10
The rulebook for this game is quite pretty as well. It has plenty of pictures and examples throughout the book. The rules are explained really well, everything from setup to a step by step overview of how to play the game. There are also detailed explanations of each of the components and how each one works, along with an explanation of the different areas on the player’s Shop Window. There are also several different variations that may be added or used in place of the original rules. There is the additional Filler Scoring, which adds extra points at the end of the game for 1 of the 3 different types of flower fillers; baby’s breath, hypericum and ferns. There are also variant rules for playing with 2 players, 3 players and even solo. I like all the different options but I’m especially pleased that a solo option was made available. Also included in the game box was a thick card stock insert that shows the distribution of the different shop cards in the game with color pictures of each. On the back of this page are a bunch of frequently asked questions. While I think that many of the questions are pretty easy to figure out, thanks to the detailed rulebook, it’s still nice to have a bit of clarification just in case. Overall I think that the rulebook is just as nice looking as the game and that it compliments it quite well. I’m very pleased with it as well.
9 out of 10
Card drafting is an interesting mechanic. Games like 7 Wonders, Fairy Tale and Sushi Go have all used it quite well. Even collectible card games like Magic the Gathering have used it, albeit in a tournament style setting but still. So what makes the mechanic so interesting? I mean after all, you’re simply picking the best card from your hand of cards to keep and passing the rest of your hand to the player beside you. It’s like taking a multiple choice quiz that you don’t know the answers to, you pick the answer that makes the most sense. The same is with drafting games. You don’t know what will be available in another player’s hand. Sure you can hope and pray that you get certain things, but in the end, you get what you get. I think it’s that unknown variable that makes these types of games so interesting, at least that’s my thought. So what does that mean for The Little Flower Shop? Well, it holds true to the pick and pass idea of card drafting. Where it stands out for me is that you have the ability to hold onto certain cards that you might not be able to do anything with at the moment and store them. Once you get another card that allows you to use that card, you can then pull it out of storage and use it however you see fit. I like that this game has a bit of a pickup and delivery aspect as well. This comes in when you get a order card and are able to deliver either a bouquet of flowers, vase or both. You’re then able to get money to pay for those hanging baskets that will earn you some serious Flower Power. Of course you can always snag a few dollars in salary cards while drafting if you so choose. With so much variety, there are lots of options to choose from. To top it off, the game is really pretty. With all that said, I’m pretty sure that you can tell that I like the game quite a bit. It’s a lot of fun and it’s different enough from many of the other drafting games that you won’t get burnt out on the mechanic. Fans of card drafting games like those mentioned earlier, should really enjoy this one as well. It’s a bit lighter than some like 7 Wonders which makes it a bit more accessible and easier for players new to the mechanic or to gaming in general. I think it makes a great family game that is great for players of all ages. It’s also a great filler game to lighten the load of some heavier gaming sessions. Overall I enjoyed this one and think that it will appeal to a wide variety of players. I highly recommend it.
9 out of 10
The Little Flower Shop is a card drafting game of floral design. The game doesn’t take a long time to play. Most sessions last around 20 minutes or so. The components look really nice. I especially like the beautiful artwork on the various card types. There are lots of little unexpected subtle touches that really look great. The rulebook is great at covering everything that you need to know to play the game, while looking good at the same time. The game itself is a lot of fun and is quite simple to play. Fans of card drafting games like 7 Wonders or Fairy Tale should have no problem with this one and should thoroughly enjoy it. It’s a great family style game and it also works as a filler between heavier games. This is one that I would highly recommend. I enjoy it a lot and think that it will appeal ot a wide range of players. Give it a try. You’ll have a bloomin’ good time!
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Doctor Finn’s Games at his site.