SNAP Review – A Gentle Rain

Anitra holding box for A Gentle Rain

I love small, simple, solo games. Sometimes, I play them to relax, instead of reading a book or playing a video game.

And one of the calmest games I’ve ever played is A Gentle Rain, which I discovered in 2022, and is now back in print with a new publisher.

Game

This is a SNAP review for the new edition of A Gentle Rain, now published by Incredible Dream and illustrated by W. Kozyra.

A Gentle Rain was designed by Kevin Wilson. It’s intended for a single player age 8 and up, although you can play cooperatively with a friend or two. Whether you play solo or in a group, a game lasts 15 minutes or less.

Art

So let’s talk about the art here. The game is simple tiles with cutouts in the corners, and round blossom tiles in eight colors.

Everything has been refreshed in this new edition.

There are really cool details on the tiles that make it feel more like a lake. There’s fish and cute little ducks. And the flower tokens match the tiles very nicely.

Flower token and duck tile

Mechanics

But that’s not what you really want to know. What you want to know is how to play this game! So let’s dive in to the mechanics of A Gentle Rain.

Shuffle the lake tiles and stack them in a pile face-down. Now, take a deep breath… and turn over the first tile, placing it anywhere on the table. Draw the next tile from the stack and place it so that it touches the first tile, along a matching flower edge.

Draw the next tile and look for a place where it will match one or more flowers. All the edges that touch must always match!

If you manage to complete a square of four tiles, you’ll see a little circle made by their cut out corners. Pick an unused flower token that matches one of the four flowers surrounding this circle, and place it there. A blossom has opened on the lake!

Of course, if all the flower tokens matching these colors have already been played, the circle has to stay empty.

When you place the eighth blossom on the lake, you’ve won! Count up the unplayed tiles left in the draw pile, and add eight for the number of blossoms placed.

If you run out of tiles before all the blossoms are placed, your score is just the number of blossoms that you managed. But don’t worry, you can always return to the lake and try again!

A Gentle Rain, first edition
First edition

Expectations

So, what did I expect from A Gentle Rain? I was intrigued by this game when I first heard of it back in early 2022. It seemed like it was a hit with everyone who tried it, but it was just really hard to get your hands on a copy.

I did eventually get my own copy, and I’ve played it at least 20 times. I was excited to see this new edition coming out from Incredible Dream, so many more gamers could enjoy this chill game.

Surprises

And that’s the first surprise: this really is, an incredibly chill and relaxing game. It reminds me a bit of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival – as you place tiles, of course you’re looking for the best placement, but you can also just enjoy the pretty patterns you’re making out on the table.

And A Gentle Rain gives lots of little wins – every time I make a match on multiple edges of a tile, or I open up a blossom by making just the right placement, I feel a little bit of joy.

The other surprises in this new edition mostly have to do with the components.

I do like this box style. But I don’t like the new flower illustrations quite as much as the old ones – they’re more polished, but they’re also more similar to each other, so I really have to depend on flower color, not the pattern, to match tokens to tiles.

And I am unreasonably irritated about the little nubs on the side of all the tiles here. It keeps them from sitting flush with each other, and I think I’m actually going to sand them off. So I can enjoy this game as it’s meant to be played.

But! None of that should stop you from trying this game. My opinion of the new art is just that -it’s my opinion. And it’s worth it, to make this game actually be available again.

Recommended?

I recommend A Gentle Rain for people who want to dip their toe into solo gaming with a low-stress environment.

It’s beautiful, it’s intuitive to play. It’s in a small box that’s easy to throw in a bag, and you can play it on a small table.

This isn’t a gripping theme, but the puzzle itself feels just right; like I mentioned, even if you don’t win the game, you still get a small rush every time you get a little bit closer – making a clever tile placement or putting out a blossom. And it’s easy enough to share, taking turns with your child or asking their advice while they’re watching you play.

I rate A Gentle Rain 4 ½ blossoms out of 5.

That’s A Gentle Rain – in a SNAP!

Get it from Incredible Dream, or look for it at your local Target.

A Gentle Rain - Incredible Dream edition

The Family Gamers received a copy of A Gentle Rain from Incredible Dream for this review.

SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?

A Gentle Rain
  • Blossoms
4.5

Summary

Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 1+
Playtime: 15 minutes