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Cherry Picking

I am a fan of Zoch's lighter games and am surprised that they don't get seen at games clubs. This might be due to the lack of advertising outside of Germany.

The latest game from Zoch continues the line of easy to play, whimsical and attractive fillers is Cherry Picking

The players are harvesting fruit and score points for making sets and for the face value of cards that they collect. Contents - Six different fruit trees (laid on the table) - a card deck made up of 4 different types of cards - Fruits corresponding to the tress with values 0 - 6, Ladders, Wild cards and baskets (values 0-9). The cards are shuffled and six are laid out, one under each tree. The players are then dealt the remainder of the cards.

All players simultaneously choose a card from their and reveal. If anyone has played a ladder they go first and pick a card  from underneath any tree (the card they placed replaces the card they took). The card taken goes in their harvest pile which scores at the end of the game. If more than one ladder was played then the players just put the ladders in their harvest pile without collecting a card from under a tree. Not a total disaster as ladders score their square at the end of the game –for example 6 ladders = 36 points. Then the same happens with Wild Cards - you usually want to see more than one wild card so yours goes into your harvest pile and is not left on the table for someone else to snatch later  - Wildcards can be winners!. Then the fruit cards are resolved in number order - If I play a 6 Cherry I take whatever is under the cherry tree, and if you have played a zero cherry you get the 6 Ieft under the tree. So high values might get you a card you need but leave value for someone else to snatch away.   Lastly baskets play in number order and may take from any tree. This sounds a bit procedural but actually plays very quickly. When everyone has played their last card the game is scored - squares of ladders + face values of all cards + 10 points for each set of all six fruits + 10 points for a set of 4 of the same fruit which becomes 20 if you manage 5. Harvest piles are usually played open so you can see what other players are going for.

Like most Zoch games It's not brain surgery. You are likely to have a plan how you want to play from your starting hand, and what card you might want to play last so it can’t be picked up by anyone else. However it will change as you play out as Ladders become more or less valuable to you, as wild cards appear and as low value baskets start to litter the fruit trees. A lovely way to pass 20 minutes.