Seikatsu, a game by IDW Games is the perfect tabletop game for a relaxed game night. Unless of course, you’re playing with super-competitive people who throw the board when the game ends, but more on that later.
The game, whose title means “life” in Japanese, involves two to three players (though two teams of two can play together) taking turns placing tiles into a shared garden area. Each tile has a colored bird framed by a colored flower. Players score for groups of birds as they place them next to each other and also score for the rows of flowers that match at the end of the game viewed by the player where they sit. There’s actually a companion game titled Seikatsu: A Pet’s Life features the same gameplay as Seikatsu, but with adorable pets on pillows.
Included in the game is one garden board, thirty-two garden tiles, four Koi pond tiles, three scoring pawns, and a cloth bag to hold everything. Obviously there’s a rulebook. The Koi pond tiles count as the bird of the player’s choice but only for that one turn. As you place tiles, you move your scoring pawns (which match the pagodas) around the garden. Once the board is full, and the rows of flowers are counted, whoever has the most points wins!
The thirty two tiles are made up of four types of flowers and four types of birds, each with a duplicate. If you plan it just perfectly and the other players happen to place their tiles the right way, you could pick at most six points in one row!
Besides the regular game play, you can also play solo which involves the player competing against themselves (trying to beat the perspectives of the other pagodas), and in tournament mode which just means the players start with the Koi pond tiles.
Overall, my friends and I found the game really fun and for the most part relaxing. That is until we finished and one of them who shall not be named flipped the board in competitive anger. We didn’t even get to score! So unless you’re playing with a cranky pants, the game is perfect for game night with your favorite snacks and drinks. It’s super zen and there are a variety of strategies one could take to get the most birds or flowers next to one another. Kind of like a connect 4 but with more pieces.
Even better, the game is endlessly re-playable because at the start all the tiles are in the bag so anything can happen. Then at the end as spaces are fewer, you really have to figure out where you want to place tiles.
Finally, from a storage perspective, the game bag is great, but the box also comes with a plastic tray that holds all the tiles and pieces in place!
You can also read an insider perspective of the game from the creator at the IDW website.
Seikatsu is available for $39.99 here, and Seikatsu: A Pet’s Life can be picked up for $29.99 here.
Image courtesy of IDW Games