Only have a few minutes to de-stress, let a Gentle Rain help.
|A Gentle Rain (2021)|
|Designer(s)||Kevin Wilson||Artist(s)||Chris Bilheimer||Publisher||
There are times when you want really heavy games that last for hours to really get your brain working hard, but then there are times you want a game that is relaxing but strategic requiring only 10-15 minutes to play. A Gentle Rain is a perfect example of a game that will allow you to take a mental break for a few minutes while also still reenergizing your mental energy. If you enjoy tile placement games and find your only have a little time to play, then look no further than A Gentle Rain. I have used this game as a solo game to give myself a break in between large work tasks and reviews. Once you are very familiar with the game, you can literally play a game in about 5 minutes, and it can be really motivating and satisfying when you manage to get a high score. There is certainly luck with this game, but not so much that you can't overcome it with a little strategy.
Box and Components
A Gentle Rain comes in a very compact box that is just big enough for its component and doesn't waste your precious shelf space with air. Roughly the size of 5 packs of Trident Gum (14 Sticks), so this can easily be tossed into bags for a quick session or as a filler at your larger gaming events.
The game includes:
- 28 Tiles: The square like tiles have quarter circle cuts from each corner. One each edge of the tile is a flower illustration; there are no repeat flowers on the same tile.
- Eight Wooden Tokens: There are eight wooden flower circle tokens each matching the types of flower shown on the Tiles.
- Small Rules
The component quality is very impressive considering its size. The tiles have a little heft to them making them feel great when you are placing them. I love that the design on the back isn't just printed on there; you can actually feel its texture. The wooden tokens are nice, but I wish they were ever so slightly smaller so they would fit better where they go during the game play (more on that below).
This game can be played solo or cooperatively. It is played the same way regardless except players will take turns.
The goal of this game is to place the least number of tiles while being able to play all eight wooden tokens; the less tiles you use, the higher your score.
- Setup a calm play area with some nice tea, nice lighting, maybe some calming music...whatever atmosphere you find calming at the time of play...even if that is a little Slipknot and a chaotic, messy table.
- Place the eight wooden flower tokens within reach.
- Shuffle the 28 tiles and make a facedown tile deck.
- Flip one tile face up into the center of the play area to be used as the starting tile.
Draw a tile and attempt to place it in a valid spot. Valid placements must be adjacent to at least one tile and match the flower(s) on all edges it touches.
- If after placing the tile you have completed a circle between four tiles, you may place one of the wooden flower tokens (a "blossom"). The placed wooden token must match one of the flowers completed around that circle, if you have one that has been unplayed; if you don't have an unplayed token matching one of the flowers, then you skip playing a wooden token.
- If you find you have no valid place to lay a tile, it must be discarded; it is still considered "played" for purposes of final scoring.
Repeat this process.
The game ends either when you have either played the last wooden flower token or have run out of tiles. The final score is:
- Number of Wooden Flower Tokens Played plus (+) the number of unplayed Tiles
The highest possible score is 21, which is very unlikely but possible if everything comes out perfectly.
We play a lot of tile placement games so this game instantly resonated with me. Looking at it made me think of lanterns, which is another tile placement game we really enjoy. Both games are meant to be very calming, look beautiful, but A Gentle Rain can be played very quickly. What I really enjoy about A Gentle Rain is the solo aspect and that it is almost selling itself as a meditation game, which is not the first game we reviewed of this type this year. The fact that is can be played quickly allows for it to be the perfect filler game on a game night or even something you can have on hand at work when you have a 10-15 minute break and need to destress.
The only negative I can say about this game is I wish the wooden tokens were slightly smaller so the tiles would fit around them perfectly. This is a very minor detail and can be overcome by placing the token slightly on top of all four surrounding tiles. Beyond that, the quality is excellent especially for what it is.
I have had this game for months and still have it sitting on my table and play it frequently. Often, I will play 2-3 games in a row before returning to whatever I was doing before. This won't be a game everyone likes, but I truly feel this will fit for people who understand the purpose and duration it is targeting. Be sure to check out A Gentle Rain if this looks like a game you would enjoy.
We received the product in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.