Palm Trees Review: Weird Theme, Good Game
Game Type – Dexterity
Number of Players – 2 - 6
Mechanics – Dexterity, Hand Management, Card Holding
Difficulty to learn – Easy
Release – 2019
MSRP - $19.99
Publisher – Wizkids
Recommended for fans of – Garbage Day, Super Rhino Hero, Click Clack Lumberjack
There is no doubt that we currently live in a golden age of board gaming. No matter what interests you have, there is a board game with that theme. You like bird watching? Try Wingspan! You go nuts for prehistoric reptiles? Check out Dinosaur Island! You wish your arm was a tree? Well now, you too have a game in which you can live out your weird foliage fantasies with Palm Trees, the game in which your arm is a trunk and your hands the branches that hold as many leaf and coconut cards as they can bear! It's definitely a unique game, but is it any good? Let’s find out!
Each game begins with players putting on a trunk colored sleeve. The rulebook says this is optional, but let’s be honest, if you’re already playing a game where your arm is a tree you should probably just commit 100%. The only other component is a deck of leaf and coconut cards, which you stack with coconuts on bottom (they're harder to hold so they save them till later). After stacking the deck as indicated you flip the top two cards over and begin.
On each player's turn they choose a card from the one of the three visible and a player to hold said card. The chosen player will also choose a card for the active player as well. Each card has a number of points on it and a picture showing how to hold the card. Players must hold their assigned card in the way shown on it with their palm tree hand, which also mist stay stationary, elbow on the table for the whole game. The cards have a large variety of ways they are held, ranging from holding with specific fingers to specific sides to even holding with only other cards already in hand!
The game continues until the deck is empty or a player has dropped a card, at which point everyone else adds up their points and the player with the most becomes King of all Palm Trees!
This game is pretty simple and the rule book is well written and easy to follow. There are also some nice touches you don't always see in the rule books for more complex games. There are several variants included and the back of the book has a reference guide to all the card icons.
Wizkids usually has great quality when it comes to their games, but Palm Trees goes above and beyond! The cards are made of a very durable, bendable, waterproof material and are some of the sturdiest cards I've ever seen. We also can't forget about the fact that the game includes palm tree sleeves which are completely unnecessary for gameplay, but essential theme-wise.
Speaking of theme, I would not have expected a game about palm trees to have such an incredibly strong theme! I mentioned above that the sleeves included with the game are there for theme only, I didn't mention, however, that the cards all smell faintly of coconut! Even the fact that the coconut cards are harder to hold adds to the feel of things. These little details show a lot of thought went into what could have just been cheaply produced, throw away card game.
Like most small box cards games there is very little cleanup, it is worth mentioning though that the cards are fairly slidey which has led to some deck pick-up mishaps.
I’ll be honest, this game is a little ridiculous but it’s also very fun. Palms Trees is quick to play and easy to teach making it great to pick up when there’s a lull during game night. I know some people outright hate dexterity games and if you fall into that category, this game probably won’t convert you, if you like this sort of game though, this is a must buy. The price is low, the quality is super high, and the re-playability factor is through the roof! Palm Trees will be making many more appearance at my game table, and hopefully, at yours too!