No introduction needed…

Well, well, well. I would imagine that anyone out there in the board gaming universe already knows quite a bit about Tang Garden… so I’ll be briefer than usual!  You’re welcome! 😉

(Plus, this gives me a boost to my lazy-as-heck retired persona!! 😊🎉

Let’s start with a little explanation about what the upgraded bundle entails and why I also have straight-up base games with only the sleeves on offer. Well, long story short, since my initial retailer backing of Tang Garden for 6 copies, I have shifted the way I think about Upstart.

OH heck… let’s save that for later. First the game!

Tang Garden is an amazing little slice of gorgeousness that adorns your gaming table like the finest holiday centerpiece ever crafted. The garden comes to life as you build scenery, add Koi ponds and bridges (and all sorts of other horticultural wonders) that will have smiling away at the scene unfolding.

Purposeful hyperbole aside, this is an AMAZINGLY beautiful game that is also a ton of fun to play! My good friend Jeff likened Tang Garden to “An amped up Photosynthesis vibe with a solid Chinese theme!” And he said I could use that quote.. so I am using it! 😉

Now, in fairness, the game stands on its own right and is certainly not any sort of Photosynthesis knock off.  But, the idea that structures are built in a 3D landscape and that having a line of sight to said structures influences points is spot on (noblepersons visiting the garden looking at their chosen decoration/scenery-type versus trees needing line of site to the sun)!

And, they are both visually stunning on the table.

I recall fondly walking by Photosynthesis at various conventions thinking “I really have GOT to try that game” just on the visual alone! And, Tang Garden has that same ultra-high curb appeal! You step out of the car, turn to the real estate agent, and say, “Momma’ I’m coning home…” Oh wait… that’s Axl Rose… haha.  Well, you get the idea. I’ve had too much coffee.

But also like Photosynthesis, when you sit down to play Tang Garden you are equally satisfied by the smooth game play and the strategery required to master the art of Zen Garden construction… and win!

Gameplay ultra-brief

I won’t get into the gameplay itself as most of you already know this game and I will provide videos for that at the bottom of this write up. But what I will say is that I found the game play to be a simple, elegant set of mechanics that kept with the Zen-like vibe of the entire game setting. 🌳🦢

Although I felt that happy tingle of tension at wanting to optimize my strategy, or the hope that I might score the nobleperson of my choice before someone else… it wasn’t of  the high-intensity, too-much-Red Bull, nail biting, I’ve-put-4-hours-of-my-life-into-this-and-I-have-to-win variety. It was… well, it was a more peaceful and serene sort of tension. Truly.

I love that the actual gameplay found a way to tie into the theme in a subtle way. Maybe that’s due to my own personality… or maybe the visual impact of the game just made me feel at peace… but it’s worth mentioning. Very, very cool!

OK… videos

Here’s a SOLID how-to-play overview by Brody at Meeple Mountain. Well done! The video is HERE.

And for my solo hobbyist friends… here is a wonderful solo video by Marcus at jPlay. The video is HERE. I’m not sure how I never stumbled across his videos before.. but I am definitely a fan!

Two green thumbs up!

This is a wonderfully fun and beautiful board game that provides a tranquil (but positive tension’y goodness laden) gaming experience! Which, is a much longer-winded way of saying, I LOVE THIS GAME! And I want to shout it from the top of a mountain! But I don’t have a mountain.. I have this site… 🏔🎥

Anywho… this game will not disappoint! The possible actions one takes each turn are simple… but the choice between them and the strategic implications therein provide the perfect setting for an awesome gaming experience! And, it’s also just so darn beautiful!!

Continuation of my story above (not critical to purchasing decisions or gameplay details!)

Ah yes… the end to my tale above! I need to get that taken care of… Mind you, only the most die-hard of Upstart friends are still reading right now…  hehe… so this is for them! Thank you so much everyone! 😁🤓🤗

Now where was I… OK.. so, while I will continue to support and back smaller publishers and lesser known games, I am also trying to meet the needs of you all – my trusted friends and supporters! I’ve noticed that the demand signal for the larger, more deluxified, outrageously huge games is a bit higher than my standard supply (6 games) can support.

On the other hand, it’s difficult financially to buy, say, 18 copies of Tainted Grail (for many thousands of dollars)… and pay for those games now… and then not even be able to offer them on the site for 15-18 months. Repeat that same process by 30 games and well… things get tight!

But, I’m trying to make this work because I really want to be offer more people the opportunity to get a wonderful game to the table at a super-fair price! Sure, I could be living in the street any day now.. but it’s worth it! Hahahaha. No, really… 🏕

So, I originally ordered 6 copies of Tang Garden with the Wayfarers and Swans and Apricot Trees and then later asked to increase my order but was only able to increase the number of base games. 😔

Sadly, Thundergryph decided not to offer the metal coins to retailers. I respect that decision, of course! And the people over at Thundergryph are quite nice (thank you for the tremendous support and assistance, Luis!!)… but still… it hurts my heart to not be able to offer you all the goodies. <sigh>

Well.. that about wraps it up! I hope all are well!

Tang Garden – snag a copy today and bring a little Zen-garden peace onto your table and into your life!

Ages: 14+
Players: 1 – 4
Play Time: 40 – 60 minutes
Publisher: ThunderGryph Games
SKU: Thundergryph Games 001
The wayfarer mini is selling for as much as $35 alone on eBay
Base game alone (no sleeves) selling for $46-50 on various sites
[listing edited OCT 2020 to lower prices]
Our Price:
$35 – base game and card sleeves
$60 – base game, card sleeves, wayfarer, apricot tree, swans
Link to BGG:




Tang Garden is HERE!!  And it is GORGEOUS!!

Tang Garden is a Zen-like game that will take you to the first golden age of China, where players will progressively build a garden by creating the landscape, placing the scenery and projecting their vision through vertical panoramas. During the construction, noblemen will visit the garden to admire the surroundings and the way the natural elements coexist in the most breathtaking scenery humankind has ever laid their eyes upon.


Draw two decoration cards and place them face up to create the decoration showcase.


  • When a player decides to “place a decoration”, instead of performing the normal action, they may choose a decoration from the showcase by paying 1 coin.
  • If a player performs a normal “place a decoration” action by drawing cards, instead of discarding the remaining cards, place one in the decoration showcase and discard the remaining cards, if any.
  • Once the decoration showcase reaches 6 cards, discard all the cards and draw two new decoration cards to form a new decoration showcase.
  • As an optional action, during their turn, a player can pay 2 coins to shuffle the discard pile back in the draw deck.

Note: The lantern to place two decorations cannot be used to take cards from the showcase.

~description by publisher


Additional information
Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Tang Garden

Base Game, Swans, Apricot Trees, Wayfarer, card sleeves, Base game only plus card sleeves


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