From time to time, I stop playing with my little tabletop group and instead play board games with my family. Some members of my family are quite small, so when Orchard — a board game about counting and numbers — came up, it just made sense to request it for the household! Also, I had worked at an apple orchard as a teenager, so I really liked the theme which came along with this game.
Like most things designed for young children, the concept behind Orchard is pretty simple. There are four trees each with a different colored fruit on them, these fruits need picking and placing into your baskets. Each player gets their own basket to hold their fruit in. In the middle of the board, you will find an empty puzzle. This puzzle is basically the enemy, as it’s a big crow that you will slowly build. If the puzzle is completed before all of the fruit is picked, the crow wins and eats everything!
Actions are taken through rolling a big, chunky die. There’s a side for each color, as well as one side with a basket and the final with a crow image. The basket image allows you to take any one fruit from anywhere on the board while the crow image has you take a puzzle piece and place it onto the puzzle in the middle.
Each player gets one roll before doing their move and passing the die to the next player. If the color that is rolled is an empty tree then they just skip their turn and move on. It’s a pretty simple game with the aim to teach children about colors and helping with dexterity.
The pieces within Orchard are really lovely with nicely sized wooden, chunky fruit that can be easily placed on the tree. The die, as mentioned, is nice and chunky and the baskets can hold quite a bit of fruit. Everything feels nice and looks high quality, especially for a children’s game. The fruit also came in a paper bag, instead of a plastic one, which is a really nice touch.
When we played we were able to beat the crow, but often found ourselves neck and neck with them. I quite liked the puzzle piece aspect as the puzzle slowly came together, showing off the menacing bird hoping to have a full tummy! We really enjoyed our time with Orchard and the kids played around with the pieces afterwards as well, which was fun to see, before putting it away. I am satisfied that this game is one that they could pull out and play together with minimum direction, as well as play with the adults in the house.
You can purchase Orchard on Amazon.