It was fun to see people struggle to add new cards to their tree. This was some of my favorite moments. Watching someone’s face while they are concentrating on placing a card made me laugh so many times.
Designer: Andrew J. Smith
Game Type: Dexterity/Hand Management
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 10+
Expected Playtime: 20
Number of Players: 2-6
Theme and What is it?
A cool breeze, gently rolling ocean waves, white sandy beaches and palm trees overhead. That is all you really need in life. People travel from all over the world to experience this type of tranquility. Now you can bring some of that tranquility home with you for your next game night. Let me introduce Palm Trees.
Palm Trees is a dexterity game for 2-5 players where each player is a palm tree. The game comes with everything you need to transform your arm and hand into a palm tree, the beach sand and breeze must be supplied from elsewhere.
Players begin the game by placing palm tree trunk arm sleeves on one of their arms. This hand is now their palm tree and they will start to create the rest of their tree in that hand.
A deck of cards is created from frond cards and coconut cards. The top two cards and the top of the draw deck become the pool. A player selects a card and gives it to another player who will place the card in their hand based on the rules shown on the card. Some examples are, it can only be held with the thumb and pinky fingers or it has to be held by a specific corner of the card. Once the player has placed the card, they then choose a new card from the pool and give it to another player.
Play continues until all the cards are in play or until a player drops a card or cannot play a card that is given to them. These trigger the end of the game. If a player cannot place a card or drop a card, they automatically lose. The rest of the players add up their scores and the player with the most points wins!
At first I was a little skeptical about Palm Trees. It looked like it might be a gimmicky dexterity game, and maybe it is, but once we started playing, we really started to enjoy ourselves.
It requires very bendy fingers and some well-planned moves to have a nice full tree. Our first few games we had very sparse trees because players kept dropping their cards. But this allowed us to have many laughs and enjoy the time together.
Game Build Quality
I was surprised when I opened the box and saw that the cards are plastic. After about two seconds of playing, I realized why. You are going to bend these cards all the time. To get all the cards to fit where they need to, you are going to bend them all around. The plastic will make them last way longer.
The arm sleeves were an awesome addition. They were not necessary but added to the experience. Overall, I like what I saw and felt like the game was built to be played many, many times.
If you like palm tree art, you will love Palm Trees. It has tons of palm tree art. Your whole arm becomes art as you put on the trunk and add leaves and coconuts to your hand. By the time you are finished you have a palm tree sitting right next to you. It’s a palm tree that is starting to cramp because it has been sitting in the same position for too long.
The thing that makes Palm Trees a fun game is the dexterity aspect. Turning your arm and hand into a tree and trying to hold everything in place is very challenging. This gets even more tough when other players are picking what cards you have to place in your hand. The other players can pick cards that are nearly impossible to place. Watching players try to figure out how to place these cards is hilarious.
Age Range & Weight
Palm Trees is listed as 10+. This all really comes down to how dexterous the player is. I played with my 7 and 10-year-old kids and they both did alright. The 10-year-old obviously did better because she has more advanced hand eye coordination but the 7-year-old did just fine.
I can see the game as a no go for people with hand issues, especially arthritis. There is no way that this would work for them and I bet they wouldn’t even be interested because it might look painful just watching others play it.
The group I used to try out Palm Trees had a good time. We played it a few times in one sitting. It plays quickly and has just enough meanness to keep everyone’s attention. The components are high quality and are produced to stand up to lots of wear and tear, which will happen with this game.
It was fun to see people struggle to add new cards to their tree. This was some of my favorite moments. Watching someone’s face while they are concentrating on placing a card made me laugh so many times. Palm Trees is designed to be a fun, light game that brings people together.
I like the AGGRRRHHH moments. Or the Ahh ha! You try so …
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