Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 1-4
Amount of time to play: 30 min
Age requirements: 10+
Set-up time: minimal
Seikatsu is a tile-laying game in which you are trying to match types of birds to score instantly. And match the flowers on the tiles for end game scoring.
Seikatsu ends once the board is full of tiles. You start the game with two tiles. On your turn you place a tile and then draw a new one.
You may place a tile anywhere on the board as long as it is next to another tile. The tiles show a bird and it is surrounded by a ring of flowers.
When you place a tile and it matches an adjacent bird you score one VP for each matching bird tile in the group. Placing a bird tile that doesn’t match any adjacent bird tiles gets you no VPs.
Koi pond tiles are wild on the turn they are played. You pick which bird you want the koi pond tile to represent. After that turn it is no longer wild and not considered any type of bird.
The game ends once the board is full. Then each player looks at the rows of tiles from their side of the board. You gain VPs based on the largest set of matching rings of flowers in a row and score every row. The player with the most VPs wins the game.
Seikatsu is a great looking abstract game that is easy to teach and learn. It plays quick and is best with three players but plays well with one to four. The solo variant pits you against the game and with four you play as two teams.
The components for this game are really nice. The tiles are acrylic and the artwork is beautiful. The rules are easy to read and follow with lots of examples.
Seikatsu has a really elegant design and mixes set collection with tile-laying. The game is great for new gamers and both young and old can enjoy it. It is not as deep as some abstract games but plays quickly and is easy to get to the table. In fact when you do you will probably play it at least a couple times.
You need to watch where you place tiles. If you only look at the short term scoring or what flowers it lines up for you, you might help an opponent more than you want. You need to balance short-term gain versus long-term and not helping you opponents.
This game can fill a niche. It is both a gateway game and a fun, balanced three player game. For that reason alone you might want it in your collection.
If you are looking for a fun gateway game that plays great with three, pick up Seikatsu. It is fun with more or less players and if given the opportunity, try it out.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 4 out of 6
Replay Value 5 out of 6
Complexity 2 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6