Our Ohanami review, what we have to say about the beautiful card drafting game. The rules are very simple, you have to take cards that have a number 1 – 120 on them and fit them in ascending order in your three garden columns. These are made up of different motifs that affect scoring and the highest score wins. For a small box game with a low price, there is tons of big gameplay fun to be had.

We took a look across fun, replayability, player interaction, quality and art & style to come up with the overall score for our Ohanami review. See the breakdown by category below.

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Fun (9 out of 10)

For the fun section of the Ohanami review, we award good 9 out of 10. The game is very easy yet with all the freedom of the choices you make, you are still able to get very invested and make some powerful moves that can sway the final score. You draft cards, and need to fit them in a limiting central area of stacks that have to go in ascending order. Each round has its own scoring caveats that give points based on what you ended up with.

An initial thought is “why wouldn’t I just always draft the lowest cards so I never have to worry about having problems with placing cards in my personality.” Luckily, the balance that the more powerful end game scoring cards provide is too tempting not the dance on the dark side with. This game is all risk-reward, how far do you want to push the stability of your garden columns. Knowing based on the flow of cards and making the right moves is the whole battle. Its also nice that the cool art makes for a lovely journey.

Replayability (8 out of 10)

For the replayability section of the Ohanami review, we award a solid 8 out of 10. This is as replayable as any specialty playing card game. Nothing changes from game to game, but since it is so streamlined, easy to setup/dismantle, a satisfying challenge amongst participants and puts plenty of control to take a different path to victory in your hands, its is so easy to fall into playing this one over and over again. That being said, even solitare can get a little stale, and Ohanami is not immune to that fatigue.

Games are only 20 minutes and games are plenty fun and not in a way that limits playing it over and over again. These things alone is going to give you a satisfying level of replayability. For how much gameplay there is to enjoy with the low price tag of Ohanami, there is no way you are going to be dissatisfied with the number of plays you get out of this box, but it probably will not make it into heavy rotation.

Player Interaction (7 out of 10)

For the player interaction section of the Ohanami review, we award a another solid 7 out of 10. Denying your opponent those big scoring cards while also not worrying about passing the gold your opponent can’t use always need to be in the decision making process for each choice you make, but that is it. For the most part you are in your own world. It is a drafting game, so it is certainly there. The most control you have is in the flow of cards to your opponent, but as far as an option in the field, there is nothing too extraordinary.

While you might not be messing with your neighbors flow too much, this is still a race to the highest score. You do not need to score big, just more than your opponent. And since games are super quick at around 20 minutes, you can run this race over and over again. You take cards, pass and place, thats it. Adding more bells and whistles could hurt that pure integrity, so we are not saying add more, just don’t look here if you are looking for a big presence of this component.

Quality (9 out of 10)

For the quality section of the Ohanami review, we award a very good 9 out of 10. This is a small box game. In board games, it is pretty true (with exceptions) that the smaller the box, the simpler and less intense it is. That is the case with these types of easy to the table games. With that said, just because you are not some intense thing, doesn’t mean you are not as high of quality.

The overall goal of any game should be that it knows exactly what it is, and it does everything to be the best at that thing. Onahami knows exactly what it is, a light drafting game that is easy to get on the table for a great price, and it executes that well. The balance could have easily been thrown off, making you just always pick the lowest cards and be done with it, but the possible rewards of the most dangerous cards are just too good to pass up.

Art & Style (9 out of 10)

For the art & style section of the Ohanami review, we award a fantastic 9 out of 10. This is a solid game already but what kicks it up the most is the beautiful artwork and how well they do justice to the glory of Japanese Cherry Blossoms. Much of draft games is about your journey, you are staring at these cards, they might as well be beautiful. Ohanami artist Christian Opperer delivers.

This game is 120 cards and that is it. You get a ton of gameplay in a little box so you would think there is not much room for art, but they do a great job. There is a ton of great original work and not much duplication. In addition to the canvas of the cards, the box art is also beautiful and looks great on any shelf. Given the whole package of what this game brings to the table, it gets big style points, which is why it receives such a high rating in this category. Slick and easy.


Ohanami Review | Board Game Halv

Ohanami is a wonderful Japanese cherry blossom card drafting game for 2 - 4 players that is as beautiful as it is satisfying in its simplistic elegance. You go back and forth taking options that trigger different stats within the variable round to round scoring. It is kind of like classic tri-towers solitaire meets Sushi Go Party with nonstop cherry blossom imagery. Sometimes making the simplest games work is the hardest task, and they certainly achieved a level of that excellence here. This is a small box game with a small price, but tons of gameplay. You can take this anywhere and it is incredibly easy to get it on to the table. This has been out Ohanami review, we hope you have enjoyed it!

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Editor's Rating:

See the full explanation of the judging criteria here.

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