As everyone knows, dogwood trees don’t actually flower. In the middle of the night, Dogwood Officials sneak out and hot-glue hundreds of fake blooms onto the branches. That’s why they look like they can’t possibly be real: they’re not!
But the illusion must be maintained.

As a Junior Dogwood Official on your first spring mission, your duty is to affix as many blooms to branches as you can without getting caught, burning yourself with the glue gun, or making an obvious mistake like glueing flowers upside-down, or breaking the visual appeal of the arrangement!

In Dogwood, each player is trying to match the tiles they add to the common Tree with the Task cards. Both the pattern and the symbol need to match the arrangement you create, which is worth the value indicated on the card – and you score extra for the Ladder and Rope tiles!

The pattern-matching and the puzzly, spatial nature of the game are fun and challenging, as is trying to outwit your fellow Junior Dogwood Officials to get the best arrangements and win the Assessment.

Dogwood is beautifully illustrated by Cat Drayer, and the game is designed and developed by Cat and her husband, George, who together make up Drayer Ink.

Having never seen dogwood trees before her recent move to the USA from New Zealand, Cat was entranced by how strange and perfectly alien the flowers looked. Of course, an idea for a game was born, and hibernated through their first year in the PNW, coming to the surface in spring 2023.

Dogwood has been to Origins, Gen Con, the Oregon Coast, PAX West, and Gamestorm Summer, at UNPUB, and at the game table with friends and fellow designers, and now, it’s ready to meet the world.

Here’s a more in-depth video about the game:

And here’s the latest draft of the rulebook:

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