Grow Your Own Tree in Kodama: The Tree Spirits | Casual Game Revolution

Grow Your Own Tree in Kodama: The Tree Spirits

Kodama: The Tree Spirits

Grow your tree, earn the favor of the tree spirits, and be remembered for generations for your green thumb!

In Kodama: The Tree Spirits players add branches onto their trees, scoring points for collecting matching tree features and for meeting the desires of their Kodama tree spirits.


Each player starts with an oversized trunk card that has one of the six possible tree features on it (features include such things as flowers, caterpillars, and stars). Each player is then dealt four Kodama cards. Each Kodama card will score you points for meeting different criteria.

The game is played over three seasons, with each season having a different decree. Depending on the decree drawn each season it may alter the way certain features are scored or offer an extra way to score points at the end of the season.

All the branch cards are then shuffled, four are placed face up in the display, and the game begins. Players take turns selecting a branch card from the display and adding it to their tree. Once a card is taken from the display it is immediately replaced with one from the deck. Branch cards may be added to your tree if the card can be placed so that it only touches one other card on the tree, it does not cover any of features on that card, and the bark on the edge of the card touches bark on another card.

Each branch card has at least one of the six tree features. After you add a new branch, you score one point for each occurrence of a feature in a continuous line starting with the new card and leading on down to your trunk card. So, for example, there is a flower and one star in your new card. If there are no flowers on the tree branch card this new card is connected to, you will score no points for the flower. However if there are two stars in on that card and one on your next, this is a continuous line of four stars and you will score four points. However, you may never add a new branch to your tree that would score you more than ten points.

After each player has taken four cards, the season ends. Each player chooses one of their Kodama cards to play and score. After a Kodama card has been scored it is discarded. Each Kodama card will score you points for different things such as keeping all your branch cards within a certain distance from your trunk or choosing a card and scoring points for the number of a certain feature on any adjacent cards.

A new season then begins with a new decree card being revealed. The player with the most points at the end of three seasons wins the game.

Kodama: The Tree Spirits Components


Kodama: The Tree Spirits has lovely, whimsical artwork and theme. It’s elegant and pretty, and it’s enjoyable to slowly piece your tree together and see the elaborate shape it starts to take as your branches reach out in various directions.

There’s plenty in the game to bring variety and change things up each time you play: the cards in the display, the decrees, the Kodamas you are dealt. The game comes with a number of Kodama cards and a number of season decree cards. The same strategy won’t work every time you play.

Some of the Kodama cards are definitely more powerful than others and some work exceptionally well together as combos, meaning that luck of the draw can play a heavy part in how things turn out. There is also next to no player interaction outside of the possibility of taking a card another player had their eye on.

The game is still a pleasant experience, soothing and light with plenty of strategic decisions left to be made and a scoring system that is both interesting and engaging. There are some balancing issues in the Kodama cards, but there are also rules included to help keep things fair for everyone — for instance, the player with the lowest score becomes the start player each season, and a maximum of 10 points can be scored on a turn.

Pros: Variation between games, building your tree is enjoyable, great artwork & scoring system

Cons: Kodama cards are not entirely balanced, limited player interaction

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.