Abandon All Artichokes
Playtime: 20 Minutes
We have reviewed plenty of deck builders since we started covering board games at Sequential Planet. Abandon All Artichokes has a different twist on deckbuilding. The publisher Gamewright refers to Abandon All Artichokes as a “Deck-wrecking” game. Rather than building up a deck to earn victory points, players will build their deck with cards with the intent to remove artichoke cards from their hands.
How To Play
Every player is given ten artichoke cards to make their starter deck. A deck of non-artichoke cards is shuffled and placed in the middle of the table, making up a Garden Stack. Five of the cards from the garden stack are laid out in a row, making up the Garden Row. The Garden Row acts as a shop for players to pull from to build their decks. Players start the game by drawing five cards from their decks (Basically, they will draw five artichokes).
A turn consists of Harvesting one card from the Garden Row to add to the player’s hand. Players can then play any cards from their hands that currently playable. This includes the card that they just harvested. Non-artichokes cards come with abilities that usually help to thin out decks. Some discard artichokes if a certain condition is met. Some cards discard artichokes from their discard piles or even their decks. Some cards even give other players artichokes. After all playable cards are played from the player’s hand, they will discard their remaining cards and draw five more. If they run out of cards, their discard piles are shuffled into a new deck. If a player draws five cards and none of their cards are artichokes, that player immediately wins the game.
Pacing And Interactivity
Most deck builders suffer from a lack of interactivity. They are obviously still fun and engaging, but most deck builders only have a few cards that directly affect other players. Abandon All Artichokes has a similar issue, but the game plays so fast that it is hardly noticeable. There are only two or three cards that directly affect other players, but the game plays so fast that they feel like they have a bigger impact. A game of Abandon All Artichokes usually wraps up in 20 minutes or less. Decks don’t get nearly as big as they would in other deck builders, so every card is much more impactful.
The game is easy to learn, making it accessible to those who have no experience with deck builders. Most deck builders, like Tanto Cuore, Dominion, or even Legendary all have a bit of a learning curve. Abandon All Artichokes is as beginner-friendly as possible thanks to the short rulebook and clarity of card effects. The idea of removing cards in the deck as the objective is much more clear to new players than shooting for the highest number of victory points.
Turns are short, making the game as engaging as possible. Early games will be much longer than expected since players will need to read card effects in the Garden Row. After a game or two, everything will move along at the intended pace. The short turns and little downtime makes this an excellent game for younger players. Abandon All Artichokes is only for 2-4 players, so there won’t be any waiting around for a table full of players to make their move. The straightforward nature of the game will also prevent players from being unsure of their moves to the point that they take too long to play. Abandon All Artichokes encourages strategy, but it isn’t so deep that feels like a serious affair.
Theme And Components
Abandon All Artichokes‘ theme goes along with its simplicity. Each card has an adorable vegetable on it, making it appealing to children. Cleaning out a garden full of artichokes is a cute concept, so the card art fits great. Each vegetable has a personality that kind of fits their tastes. It’s simple but wonderful.
The cards themselves are of good quality. It’s nothing special, but they don’t feel cheap. This is nice when you consider the game’s affordable cost. The whole package comes in a cute little tin that makes the game portable. This is ideal since the game itself doesn’t take up much space and is quick to play, making it a great game on the go.
Abandon All Artichokes Is Great For Fans Of…
Abandon All Artichokes has wide appeal. Those who enjoy deck builders will enjoy how light the game feels. It’s a nice break from intense gaming and makes for a great filler game. Those who like the aesthetic and fast gameplay of Sushi Go! will like likely enjoy what Abandon All Artichokes has to offer.
Abandon All Artichokes
Abadon All Artichokes is a fun twist on the usual deck building formula. It's accessible and fun for all ages.