Meadow is a 1-4 players card drafting and tableau-building game about nature appreciation. Players go on a hike and try to see the most beautiful landscapes, and observe as many animal species as possible. Retail release will begin in mid April for Europe, and the US will follow.
The game is played in 6 rounds of five turns each. On each turn, players select one of their five tokens and use it to claim a card on a shared display. As the round goes on, more and more tokens are placed and the possibilities become more limited. Once you have placed your token and taken the card in your hand, you can play a card, either in your personal meadow area or in your own surroundings area. Alternatively, you can place your token around the campfire board to benefit from a special action or fulfill a bonus scoring condition, but you won’t be able to play a card this turn if you chose so.
Cards show three different characteristics: they have a trait, a set of requirements (that is, traits from other cards), and a specific amount of victory points they will score at the end of the game. To place a card in one of your two areas, you must have all the corresponding requirements showing in your meadow or your surroundings. The card then covers the trait of one of these requirements cards, and its own trait may be used to fulfill a requirement in a later turn. For instance, the hoopoe requires a card with the worm trait and a card with the bug trait to be in your meadow, will cover one of these, and add the bird trait to your meadow. Only the ground cards keep their trait even when covered.
At the end of the game, you simply tally up the victory points from all the cards in your tableau, and the player with the most points wins.
In the solo game, you will face an AI opponent called Rover. Rover drafts cards in a semi-predictable fashion by drawing a random token. All the cards drafted that way will be scored in the end, and you win if you get a better score from your tableau. Additionally, you may try to get as high a score as possible, to achieve the best possible rank.
The game also comes with an index card that lists all the Latin names of the species displayed on the cards, and that doubles as a journal for you to write down the place and date of observation if you are lucky enough to spot them in the wild.