Skip to Bloom Game Instructions
2017 is in full swing and everyone seems determined to make a change in the new year. I am observing many friends and family resolving to work on themselves, whether it is clean eating, exercising or organizing their homes.
There is a different type of resolution that I would like for you to consider: resolve to play. And I mean this in the broadest sense – play doesn’t merely consist of sports, games and toys. To borrow from Ian Bogost’s 2016 book, Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games, the secret truth of play is that it isn’t about freedom from constraints but rather the opposite – the fun is in the limitations. Our world is full of these constraints and it’s when we recognize and respect these limitations, our lives become more playful. Games, in essence, have specific rules (constraints) that make them fun. An easy example of this: a ball only becomes a soccer ball when there is the constraint that you can’t touch the ball with your hands.
That all being said, I’d like for you to invite play into your life via games as well, specifically by establishing a game night. You’ll have to define what “game night” means for you: perhaps it’s a weekly game night of pizza and board games with the family, or a biweekly game night of Dungeons and Dragons at your dorm or a monthly get together with a local gaming group/game store. Whatever game night means to you, establish your constraints and discipline yourself to either hosting or attending one on a consistent basis.
Why Should You Have a Game Night
Fun aside, there are a ton of additional benefits of game night. Here’s a noninclusive list:
- Spending quality time with friends and/or family; building stronger relationships
- Meeting new people
- Playing in what we call the “physical-social space”
- Preserving brain tissue!
- Doing better in school
- Preserving antiquity (as games have been played since ancient times)
- Being offline – I don’t know about you, but I crave some good, old-fashioned analog fun
Game Night Resources
Do this one thing: pick up vlogger Teri Litorco’s book, The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming – she has tips and etiquette rules for hosting a game night. It’s personable, hilarious and super useful – I loved it so much I actually bought a copy for Nefer Games’ Final Boss Neal for Christmas.
Don’t want to constantly buy new games? As someone who formerly owned over 30 different copies of Monopoly, I don’t blame you. It’s a strain on both the wallet and the closet. Consider a BYOB (Bring Your Own Board) game night, where the onus of bringing/choosing a game is on a different person each time. Check to see if your local library lends games, many do! You can also find games to play at many bars, restaurants, coffee shops, teahouses and breweries; I see games everywhere – you may even have a trendy “game cafe” near you.
Sedis is great for those on a budget; Nefer Games intern Branden told me that as a frugal college student, that was his favorite thing about Sedis – as a generic game system, you can use it to play a myriad of games. I suppose it could even be infinite number of games, if you continuously create your own games with Sedis.
How to Play Bloom – A Sedis Game
Build a flower.
Recommended # of Players: 2-4; Playable by up to six.
Estimated Time: Varies.
Difficulty Level: ••◦◦◦
Objective: Create a Bloom pattern.
- Place all 60 tiles face down and shuffle them.
- Each player takes seven tiles at random.
- Each player should attempt to create a pattern of six tiles (called petals) surrounding a seventh central tile, called the pistil. Any tile can become the pistil or a petal.
- Players must match the pips on any side of a petal with the pips on one side of the central tile exactly.
- Sides of outer petals that touch must have at least one matching pip
- If no one is able to complete a full seven-tile Bloom, choose a first player to begin discarding tiles. The first player discards the tile of their choice (usually one not already assigned to the pattern) and draws a new tile to play with.
- Play continues clockwise, with each player discarding a single tile and replacing it with a drawn tile in their hand. A player’s pattern may be changed by at any time, using the seven tiles in their hand. The winner is the first player to complete a full Bloom.
Alternate Play #1: Collaborative Bloom
Build multiple flowers.
Difficulty Level: •••◦◦
Objective: Create one Bloom for every player.
Setup is the same as traditional Bloom.
Gameplay for Collaborative Bloom is the same as gameplay for traditional Bloom, but with one exception: Players may agree to trade tiles to give them a better chance at achieving the game’s objective.
Alternate Play #2: Advanced Bloom
Bloom with your mind.
Difficulty Level: •••••
Objective: Create a Bloom without first arranging it.
Setup is the same as traditional Bloom.
Gameplay for Advanced Bloom is the same as gameplay for traditional Bloom with one key difference: players may only look at the tiles in their hand and may not arrange them on the board prior to arranging their Bloom. This means players must arrange the Bloom in their heads prior to arranging it on the table, and may only arrange the Bloom on the table once they have the necessary tiles.
I really enjoy the collaborative version; it’s great for those learning how to read a Sedis tile or playing games with overly competitive players. In fact, when we taught Collaborative Bloom to tween Natalie (pictured above), she was initially confused. “How does someone win, then?,” she asked. We explained that everyone can help each other – it took a minute for her to wrap her brain around it, as it was different than the competitive nature of games she was used to. She ended up really loving the collaborative part – and I felt we taught her a good lesson.
Resolve to Play
Comment below how you resolve to play this year. Will you be starting a game night? Do you already have a game night or do have a venue that features games? If you do – comment and tell us about it! We might just send you a Sedis game system to play with your group before it’s available. In the meantime, sign up to be notified of when Sedis is launched!