Let It Rain, Let it Rain in Petrichor | Casual Game Revolution

Let It Rain, Let it Rain in Petrichor


Petrichor is the lovely smell that comes from the first rain after a long dry period. It is also the title of this area control game in which you control rain clouds and bring down water onto crops.

Published by APE Games and Mighty Boards, Petrichor is a game for 1-4 players that can be played in about 20 minutes per player.


You shuffle the sixteen tiles and lay a certain number into a grid (depending on the player count). The different tiles represent different crops. Each player takes one cloud and places it on an empty crop tile on the board and places one water drop of his player color in it.

The scoreboard is set in the center of the table. This has two tracks: the score track and the voting point track. It also shows the four weather icons. You roll the three harvest dice and place them on the center of the scoring track board. Finally, the cards are shuffled and each player is dealt six or seven cards, based on player count. You are now ready to begin.

Each round, you play until someone passes. Once a player has passed, every other player can take one more turn, and then the round ends. At the start of the game, players agree whether to play four or six rounds.

On your turn you may either play cards or pass. When you play a card from your hand, you discard it and perform its effect. Each card will trigger one of the four weather effects.

Frost will allow you to add a new cloud onto the board on any empty tile and place one water drop of your color into it. The sun action allows you to take exactly two water drops from the supply and add them to any cloud where you already have at least one water drop. The rain action allows you to choose up to two clouds in which you have at least one water drop and place one water drop from each of them onto the tile the clouds are on (it does not have to be your water drops). The wind action allows you to pick a cloud with at least one of your water drops in it and move it to an adjacent tile (not diagonally).

It two clouds are ever moved onto the same tile, they merge. All water drops from one cloud are moved into the other, which becomes a thundercloud. Any cloud with four or more water drops also becomes a thundercloud. If a thundercloud ever has eight or more water drops, it overflows and all its water drops are placed on the tile it is on. Empty clouds are always removed from the board.

After you use the action on the card you must then use it to vote. On the scoreboard, you must either place a voting token on the weather icon that matches the card you played or the weather icon to the right of it on the board. Alternatively, instead of placing a voting token you may instead decrease one of the harvest dice by one and gain a point. If this causes the die to reach zero and show the harvest icon, then you gain an additional point. Once a harvest die shows the harvest icon, that die cannot be decreased any further.

If, at this point, no one has passed yet, you can also take an optional additional action. However, it will require you to play two matching cards to perform the action shown on them. Alternatively, on your turn, you may always discard any two cards to stand in for one single card. Your turn is now over.

The first player to pass must discard all remaining cards in his hand and also takes the first player token.

Once the round ends, you check which two weather icons on the score track have the most vote tokens, and only these two trigger special weather actions (during the final round all four will trigger). The player with the most vote tokens on each one advances one space on the voting track. At the end of the game, you earn points for how far along the voting track you are.

The four weather actions are frost, which will turn all clouds on the board into thunderclouds; rain, which will pour all water drops in all thunderclouds onto the tiles they are on; sun, which allows each player to choose one cloud with at least one of their drops in it and double their amount of drops; and, finally, the wind action which allows each player to choose a drop on any tile (not in a cloud and the drop does not have to be their own) and move it to an adjacent tile.

Finally, you check the harvest dice. If they are all showing the harvest icon, or it is the final round, you have a harvest phase. Each type of crop requires a different number of water drops on it in order to be harvestable. Some crops only count as sprouting when they have a set number of drops and require a specific weather effect to be used on them to develop them; their scoring will change based on whether they are sprouting or developed.

Each type of crop has its own unique scoring. For example, grass simply scores the player with the most drops on it the most number of points, the player with the second most the second number of points, and so on. Meanwhile, rice will score no points unless it is developed, at which point it will score each player one point for each water drop they have on it. At the end of the harvest phase, you remove all water drops from the tiles that were harvested and reroll the harvest dice for the next round.

Before starting the next round, each player is dealt the same number of cards they were given at the start of the game. There is no hand limit. At the end of the game, you check who has the most wheat tokens (the wheat crop always gives the player with the most water drops on it one token when it is harvested) and the player with the most wheat tokens earns an additional twelve points. The player with the most points wins the game.

Petrichor Components


Petrichor’s theme is very unique and is backed by excellent component quality and artwork. It’s a treat for the eyes. But the lovely look and relaxing theme holds a challenging logic puzzle as you try to plan several moves ahead and figure out how to manipulate the board to your advantage while your opponents are all doing the exact same thing.

There can be almost a take-that element to the game when you move an opponent’s drops or cause clouds to merge in ways that give you the majority over a crop when it harvests. There’s also a lot of player interaction as you compete in the voting. The voting is particularly interesting, as you have to weigh those extra points you can get from the harvest dice with wanting those points from the voting track and the potential ways each weather action will play out at the end of the round.

Turns don’t take too long, as you’re limited on the number of actions you can take each turn, so there isn’t too much downtime. Even when it’s not your turn you’re keeping an eye on how the board is evolving.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of rules to learn, and teaching the game is going to take a bit of time. Also, while there are player aid cards to help learn the actions you can take, there is no iconography on the cards to assist here. Therefore, while it’s a game runs smoothly once it's learned, it takes a while to teach, making it less ideal for new or casual players. It’s also a game that takes a couple of playthroughs before you get the sense of having a solid handle on strategies or how to effectively execute plans.

Despite this, the game has an accessible playtime, especially at three players, and the length can be further controlled by the number of rounds you choose. So if you are looking for something that has a bit more weight to the gameplay but not to the game length, Petrichor is an enjoyable area control puzzle, with lots of moving pieces.

Pros: Unique theme, component quality, player interaction, it is fun to pull off multi-step plans

Cons: Takes a while to teach the game, it can run a little long at the full player count

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