Sakura Hunt stood up in the list of potentials for Spiel due to its absolutely gorgeous looks and theme. But there was more.

For an abstract game, having a theme usually is a matter of pasting it on top just to add a bit of flavour. It is easy to recognise games that have no true correlation between the rules and the theme they intend to convey. Which I don’t particularly like, to be honest.

In this case, the theme is so romantic and poetic, so full of Japanese tradition that it just made sense and felt so right.

In this game, we are on the hunt for the perfect sakura. Sakura being Japanese for cherry blossoms, this game symbolises our journey to find the beautiful, but fleeting, blossom season. And to do that we are going to assemble cards on our table, simple as that. They will give us points depending on where we got them from, how many of them we have and how large our panoramic is.

With extremely simple rules but large replayability, the game had all the makings of becoming a favourite for me.

The three possible actions in any player’s turn – play a card and draw a card, swap a card from table with a card from your hand, or use two cards from your hand and one from the table to make a hanami. This turns Sakura Hunt into a very easy game to explain, quick to play and a ton of thinking and fun.

When I got the chance to talk to publisher and also the designer, I had to take it. It is not often that I get the chance to talk to designers from the other side of the world!

I got together with Mr. Takayuki Mizuki and Yu Maruno to ask a few questions about the game, gaming and cherry blossoms.

Hope you enjoy the interview!

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