- 80 Cards in 10 colors
- 1 Scorepad
- 1 Rulebook
Nowhere is nature's beauty quite so evident as in the resplendent colors of an arboretum. In Arboretum, you create carefully planned paths for your visitors to walk as they take in the colorful explosion of buds and leaves.
The cheerful cherry blossom, the fragrant dogwood, the mighty oak - all have a place in this peaceful haven. But the tranquil setting belies the game's competitive heart.
You must choose which cards to plant in your arboretum and which to keep in hand, as only the most expert curator will win the renown of nature enthusiasts everywhere.
Object of the Game
Score the most points at the end of the game by creating the most sumptuous arboretum.
Prepare the Deck
There are 80 cards in 10 different species, with 8 cards (numbered 1 to 8) in each species. Use a certain number of species, based on player count.
- 4-player game > use all 10 species (80 cards)
- 3-player game > use 8 species (64 cards)
- 2-player game > use 6 species (48 cards)
Choose Start Player
The player who most recently watered a plant is named the start player, and will take the first turn of the game.
Distribute The Cards
Whoever is seated to the right of the start player is the dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals 7 cards to each player, face down, as their starting hand. The remainder of the deck is placed face down in the center, as the draw pile.
Example of a 3-Player Game
Players take turns, beginning with the start player and proceeding clockwise. On your turn, you must carry out these steps in order: draw 2 cards, play 1 card to your arboretum, discard 1 card.
Draw 2 Cards
Draw 2 cards and add them to your hand.
For each card, you may draw the top card from the draw pile or the top card from any player's face-up discard pile - including your own!
You may draw both cards from the same source or from different sources.
If you draw your first card from the draw pile, you may view it before deciding which other card to draw.
Play 1 Card to Arboretum
On your first turn, play a card from your hand face up in front of you; this is the start of your arboretum.
On each subsequent turn, you must play a card adjacent (horizontally or vertically) to 1 or more cards already in your arboretum.
Discard 1 Card
Discard 1 card from your hand into your personal discard pile, face up. This can be any card from your hand, including a card that you drew this turn.
Make sure your discard pile remains visible to your opponents. After discarding, you should have exactly 7 cards in hand.
End of the Game
The game end is triggered when there are no more cards in the draw pile. The player who drew the last card finishes their turn normally, and then scoring occurs.
Gaining the Right to Score Paths
The dealer calls out each species of tree in the order listed on the scorepad. As each species is called, players reveal the cards of that species in their hand.
The player whose revealed cards have the highest sum for that species gains the right to score the single highest scoring path (i.e., not necessarily longest) of that species in their arboretum. In case of a tie for highest sum, all tied players gain the right to score their highest scoring path of that species.
Exception! If you have the "8" of a species in hand, but an opponent has the "1" of that species in their hand, the value of the "8" is considered to be "0" when determining who has the highest sum for that species. (The "1" is always considered to be "1").
Note 1: It is possible to gain the right to score points for a species that is not present in your arboretum. In this case, you will not score anything for that species, but you may have prevented an opponent from scoring points for that species.
Note 2: If nobody has cards of a particular species in their hand, then all players have the right to score points for their single best path of that species.
Scoring the Paths
A path is a sequence of orthogonally adjacent cards of ascending value, where the first and last cards are of the same species. Each card in the path must be a greater value than the card before it, but the values do not have to be consecutive.
The only cards that must match the species being scored are those at the start and end of the path; the cards in between can be of any species.
To score a path, use these criteria:
- Score 1 point for each card in the path.
- Score 1 additional point for each card in the path if the path is at least 4 cards long and all cards in the path are of the same species.
- Score 1 additional point if the path begins with a "1".
- Score 2 additional points if the path ends with an "8".
Note 1: A single card may be used in multiple different paths (of different species).
Note 2: Even if you have multiple viable scoring paths for a species, you still may only score a single path. Choose your most valuable path!
Declaring the Winner
Total players' scored paths (using the included scorepad). The player with the most points wins!
In the case of a tie, the tied player with the most species present in their arboretum wins. If there is still a tie, the tied players must each plant a tree. In five years' time, the player whose tree has grown the tallest wins.
At the end of this 8-player game, the players have the following sums in hand (individual card values indicated in parentheses):
Talia: Jacaranda 7 (7), Maple 13 (6+7), Oak 11 (3+8), Royal Poinciana 6 (1+5)
Talia scores points for her Jacaranda, Oak, and Royal Poinciana paths. She doesn't have any Maples in her arboretum, but she did prevent Jonte from scoring his Maples.
Jonte: Blue Spruce 4 (4), Cassia 6 (6), Jacaranda 7 (2+5), Maple 9 (4+5), Royal Poinciana 3 (3)
Jonte scores points for his Blue Spruce and Cassia paths, and also for his Jacaranda path (he tied with Talia for the rights to score Jacaranda).
Rina: Cassia 5 (5), Dogwood (2), Oak (7), Royal Poinciana 0 (8), Wiitow 12 (1+3+8)
Rina scores points for her Dogwood and Willow paths. She would have scored for her Royal Poinciana path as well, but Talia has the "1" in hand, negating Rina's "8".
Below is Talia's arboretum at the end of the game. Her final score is 19 points.
Oak path (9 points) (Brown)
- 4 cards long = 4 points
- 4+ cards long and all same species = 4 points
- starts with a "1" = 1 point
Jacaranda path (7 points) (Purple)
- 5 cards long = 5 points
- ends with an "8" = 2 points
Royal Poinciana path (3 points) (Red)
3 cards long = 3 points