PLAYlist 30: Citrus | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, June 20th, 2021  

PLAYlist 30: Citrus

Aug 09, 2018 By Austin Trunick Bookmark and Share

Few annual occurences are as rewarding as seeing a summer’s worth of sweat pay off as you watch your garden grow and bear fruit. Now, imagine that instead of a garden, it’s an entire orchard, and instead of real trees, your orchard is made up of colorful cardboard tokens on a game board. Got that? Okay. Welcome to Citrus.

Citrus is one of the best-regarded games from esteemed designer Jeffrey D. Allers (also author of the snappy-looking New York Slice, which we covered in a prior PLAYlist column.) The game was first released five years ago, but from a German publisher – meaning only those most up on their international game releases had the wherewithal to purchase it. In that half-decade, though, Citrus has picked up momentum through word-of-mouth and high ratings, leading to this wider release from North American publisher Tasty Minstrel Games.

The game begins with up to five players looking out over a nearly-oppressive sea of beige. The board won’t remain that way, fortunately, and this was one of those tiny cosmetic touches that occasionally enhance a game for me in big ways. As the game plays out, the board will gradually become a bright splash of colors – red, orange, green, yellow, pink – as your orchards take root and spread. This is a game that rapidly goes from butt-ugly to gorgeous, the way a freshly-tilled patch of dirt sprouts a colorful flower garden. It feels a little shallow to be going on about so much about something so cosmetic, but you shouldn’t underestimate the way clever aesthetic designs can really open up a game’s theme.

You and your opponents will be stepping into the shoes of Spanish citrus moguls as you try to cultivate and harvest the biggest and the best hauls of oranges, lemons, limes, and so forth. To come out ahead in the points game you’re going to want to have the biggest orchards, but also the most varied portfolio of fruits. The game doesn’t make it easy to have both, and that’s the puzzle of Citrus.

Well, see, you’ll need to buy the orchards before you can plant them. (They’re purchased from a zig-zagging, rapidly-changing market in rows of 1 to 4, meaning you’ll often need to also purchase fruit trees you don’t want in order to get the ones you do.) Of course purchasing takes money, and like in life there’s a limited supply of that. To earn coins, you’ll need to harvest some of your orchards. But when, and where? Holding out and cashing out larger plantations will yield more points, as well as hold down important territorial controls over valuable fincas – we’ll call them “houses” – which pop up across the board, and burp up tasty bonus points whenever they’re fully surrounded by tiles. If you don’t have a farmer hanging out in an orchard nearby, you won’t get in on that sweet point action.

So, you could stretch out and sit on a bunch of plantations all over the board, but you’ll soon run out of farmers and, worse, money. When you harvest, coinage isn’t determined by the size of your plantations, but how many farmers you’ve got hanging out back at headquarters not farming the board. (I guess they’re the ones actually selling the fruit?) This means that if you spread yourself too thin, when you do decide to sell out and harvest an orchard you’ll only get a piddly number of coins. Plant and harvest quickly for big money gains, or play the long game and exercise patience to earn points. The winner of Citrus will be the player who finds the best balance between the two.

Many sessions of Citrus will include more than one deliciously tense game of chicken. You’ll stare down your opponent as you each have orchards sprawling out from the same finca/house tile. You both want the points for it, but neither has the money to buy any more orchards to surround the tile and score it. You’ll stare your opponent down with cold, narrowed eyes, like a geeky Clint Eastwood – who’s gonna cave and be the one to take the money first, sacrificing potential points to their foe across the table?

Citrus offers a good amount of variety from game-to-game, with special action tiles being spread across the board that grant extra points at end of game or special, one-time-use abilities during it. The orchards and fincas will show up in wildly different orders every time, as well.

And here’s maybe the best thing: at a full player count, Citrus plays in a relatively quick 60 minutes. It’s a big-feeling game without a huge time investment. If that’s somehow not fast enough for you, the flipside of the thick board features a smaller playfield, which will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to get from game start to game end. You’ll also find a simplified family variant that makes the game more approachable for younger kids, but we’ll also mention that our 10-year-old playtester had no issues grasping the fully-leaded ruleset. This is a relatively easy game to learn and teach.

With an MSRP of $59.99, Citrus earns itself a worthy recommendation for fans of tile placement and area control. It’s fast, elegant-looking, and fun – and Tasty Minstrel Games have printed it on cardboard thick enough to feel like it will hold up for many years.

No board game playlist yet has been this effortless thanks to the number of great musical acts weirdly named after citrus fruits. Our hour-long playlist for this column includes rising indie stars The Lemon Twigs, Dev Hynes’ latest musical incarnation as Blood Orange, bubblegum psych rockers The Lemon Pipers, seminal U.K. post-punk unit Orange Juice, Evan Dando’s classic output with The Lemonheads, and influential electronic pioneers Tangerine Dream. Drink up!


Previous PLAYlist columns: History of the World, Altiplano, Pioneer Days, Crystal Clans, Jurassic Park: Danger!, Photosynthesis, Ice Cool, Food Truck Champion, Ars Alchimia & Lemuria, A Game of Thrones Catan, Troyes, Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition, Flip Ships, NMBR 9, Unearth, Escape from 100 Million B.C., Orleans (plus Trade & Intrigue), Whistle Stop, Caverna: Cave vs Cave, Twilight Struggle, Honshu, Bärenpark, Notre Dame & In the Year of the Dragon, Yokohama, Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, Villages of Valeria, New York Slice, Watson & Holmes, Hanamikoji.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

August 11th 2018

Very good brief and this post helped me a lot. Say thank you I searching for your facts. Continuous it..
Islamic Voodoo Spell

August 11th 2018

I am glad to see this brilliant post. all the details are awesome and good in this post.
Get Vashikaran Love Solution Baba Ji

Symptoms Vashikaran Baba Ji
August 11th 2018

I like the way you conduct your posts. m

August 11th 2018

I like the way you conduct your posts. m
Symptoms Vashikaran Baba Ji

August 13th 2018

Always a lot of experience when I surf the internet and this is one of them! I visited the best blog
Couple Problem Solution

Harry Watson
August 17th 2018

Dial HP Computer Support Number 1-855-376-1777 for tech support any issue for related hp desktop, computer hp phone support for USA/Canada

Mobile Mechanic Raleigh
August 22nd 2018

IUt’s also one of my family’s favorite games!
Jeff owner of Mobile Mechanic Orlando

John Fanney
August 23rd 2018

Thanks for sharing this artilce. if any one need social legal service Visit Our Website :-
Board Certified in State & Federal Criminal Law, criminal defense practice with a focus on DWI defense.

August 27th 2018

You guys should play this game. It’s extremely atractive. Try n U will like it.

August 29th 2018

Very effective post, it’s give me new ideas on my life.
Free Solution Husband Wife Disputes Problems

August 30th 2018

Thanks to all the articles that you serve. I must recommend your website to friends. Good Luck
Muslim Black Magic Experts

August 31st 2018

I Have Never read this type effective And Unique content! Keep Undated….
Muslim Hypnotism Specialists

September 1st 2018

I’m Very Impress your written skills!
Home Remedies To Reduce Shani Ki Sade Sati

BIG John Webb
September 4th 2018

Nice article.
Contact Webb Law Firm in Saco Maine if you have been charged with OUI, DUI, or other serious criminal charges.

Dodge Jones
September 7th 2018

Good article. For any Dui legal assistance regarding contact Dodge Jones Law Firm.

Dodge Jones
September 7th 2018

Good article. For any Dui legal assistance regarding contact Dodge Jones Law Firm.

executive resume
September 7th 2018

Perfect playlist. My daughter likes many of this games. When you work as a teacher it is easier to make some games for own children. I thought it is difficult to find work with little child for me. But I ordered perfect resume in the special service . And many employers invited me to the interview after.

September 8th 2018


September 8th 2018

I Am happy and geld your post layout!
Janampatri To Predict Your Future

September 10th 2018


Danny Glover
September 14th 2018

Good article. For any legal assistance regarding contact The Glover Law Firm

$1 domain registration
September 28th 2018

Work to with it, not considerable.

Polson & Polson, P.C
November 5th 2018

Good article.
For any legal assistance regarding DUI charges please contact Polson

March 6th 2019

Good article. For any Dui legal assistance regarding contact

B Phillips
July 17th 2019

Great blog!  Keep it up.

September 5th 2019

Thats some great information.  Thanks for putting it together

write my essay
November 23rd 2019

Ensure that you deliver your products on time and be ready for suppliers as agreed.

Tow Truck Fort Collins
February 22nd 2020

These babies are adorable, watching them eating lemons is priceless. :) Towing Fort Collins

TalktoAstro is a leading astrology prediction platform. Here you can talk to India’s best astrologers, tarot reader, Vastu experts or numerologists over call or order report with just Rs 100.