Release Date: 2020Players: 2-4
Designer: Emma LarkinsLength: 15-30 minutes
Artist: Bonnie PangAge: 8+
Publisher: GamewrightComplexity: 1.5 / 5
Plastic (by weight): <1%Air (by volume): <5%

Artichokes come in two main forms: globe and Jerusalem. Both are lovely vegetables with many health benefits. As culinary ingredients, some love their wonderful flavour, while others hate them for the same reason. However, we want to talk about globe artichokes specifically here. So while you might love these wonderful green plants, as relatives of thistles it is no surprise why one might be desperate to Abandon All Artichokes by Emma Larkins from Gamewright.

Vegetables Are Friends

Despite the game’s title, the publisher is actually on the side of the artichokes. Braised with garlic and lemon, they make a really tasty meal or so we are told. Yet, in Abandon All Artichokes it is your goal to get rid of them all. The first to start their turn with a hand that is devoid of artichokes merely needs to shout the game’s title out loud, reveal their cards and take the win.

It sounds pretty easy, but it is not. Everyone starts with a deck of 10 artichokes. Like all deck builders, on your turn, you draw five cards from the deck. You then get to choose a non-artichoke vegetable from the centre row of cards, thematically named the garden row. Now you can play as many non-artichoke cards from your hand and carry out their actions as you want.

Carrots allow you to banish, or compost, as it’s called in the game, two artichoke cards from your hand. Potatoes allow you to reveal the top card from your deck and if it’s an artichoke, compost it. There are many more vegetable cards with super powers that help you trim your deck and hopefully give you the opportunity to draw a hand without any artichokes.

Once you have played your non-artichoke cards or decided to pass, you discard your hand and draw up to five cards again. As usual, if your draw deck runs out at any point, simply shuffle your discard pile into a new draw deck and continue drawing cards as necessary.

Then it’s the next player’s turn.

a pepper card, a peas card and another pepper card
some of the cards you can take to help you get rid of your artichokes

Simple Rules with Positive Player Interaction

Abandon All Artichokes‘ rules are really simple. The game can be taught in a matter of minutes. Every card has its action printed on it. So you simply read the cards to decide which one to draw or play.

There is some player interaction in the game, but it’s mostly positive. One card allows you to compost an artichoke, but then you need to put it on another player’s discard pile. Another card lets you choose another player. You both randomly draw a card from each other’s hands and if they’re both artichokes, they get composted.

So while other games of this type have negative player interaction, Abandon All Artichokes focuses on positive player interaction. Even people who prefer multiplayer solitaire games will enjoy the interaction between players.

The colourfully bright illustrations by Bonnie Pang hugely add to the game’s appeal. It’s clear that Abandon All Artichokes is for the whole family and for experienced gamers as well as those new to the hobby, and the publisher makes a point of this. Also, when you see the lovely green tin in the shape of an artichoke on a shelf, you’ll be tempted to pick it up and buy it.

Yet, while Abandon All Artichokes might look like just another mass-market game, it definitely isn’t, and while it’s aimed at casual players, it offers something for everyone. For example, if you like building combos in deck-building games, you will enjoy playing multiple cards from your hand to draw more cards, play them and build up a long chain of actions in a single go.

The game has a really wide appeal.

Composting Time

I’ve now played Abandon All Artichokes many times and with different people and everyone always enjoyed it. It is always different, but it’s always close. In pretty much every game, when one player finished the game, at least one other person would have finished it if it had come back round to them. In fact, during one game I was about to win, when someone forced everyone to pass two cards from their hand to the player in clockwise order. My perfect artichoke-free hand was ruined with two artichokes given to me by the player to my right.

It’s really amazing how tight this game is, both through its limited rules as well as in the gameplay. Everyone can pick it up really easily and it’s a great game to start or finish a game evening. It’s great for all the family, casual and experienced gamers alike. So if you get a chance, I’d strongly suggest you try and Abandon All Artichokes.

Useful Links


Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
  • I was sent a free review copy of this game by the publisher.
  • At the time of writing, neither the designers, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the game supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

Music by


These are the songs I listened to while I was writing this review:

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