BoardGameGeek Reviewer EndersGame
The SPRING deck from the beautiful Apothecary series of playing cards
Seasons Playing Cards is the brand of designer Alex Chin, and in his Apothecary project he has produced a pair of decks entitled Primavera Ponderings & Inverno Insights (Spring & Winter). The name Apothecary alludes to Alex's own source of creativity. He describes it as the place "where curiosity thrives and inspiration is always at your fingertips. The Apothecary is an homage to the mystical, to the handcrafted, to the detailed, and to the inspirational. It emphasizes the craft of what it takes to create playing cards, embracing the mystery of what we strive for." So what kinds of curiosities might the Apothecary have in store for us? Well it turns out, two wonderful decks, Primavera Ponderings and Inverno Insights, Primavera meaning Spring and Inverno meaning Winter. In these contemplative decks, Alex has used a visually lush style to capture unique elements of the different seasons.
The standard versions of these decks have all the luxuries that people familiar with Alex and Seasons Playing Cards will expect: embossed tuck cases, gold and silver foil stamps, and beautiful metallic gold and silver ink. The tuck boxes also list mysterious and humorous "Ingredient Logs" and "Directions for Use". For example, the Primavera Ponderings deck sates the following: "Ingredient Log: Handpicked Primavera Ponderings distilled in essence of curiosity. Directions: Use to keep sense of curiosity high and inspiration at your fingertips. For best results keep Ponderings prominently displayed in the home or office for daily doses of inspiration."
The Primavera Ponderings deck features a soft red and blue, with gold accents. It uses similar artwork to its companion Inverno Insights deck, but has jet black cards. The use of ornate borders on the court cards also helps set this design apart from some of Alex's other creations. The Aces are gorgeous, and in the case of the Primavera Ponderings deck, it is the Ace of Clubs that has the honour of elaborate artwork, rather than the usual Ace of Spades.
Just like with his previous decks, this Apothecary deck is outstanding in every way. The theme of the Apothecary series is to create a tactile experience that goes beyond what the digital age can provide, and to encourage us to explore our curiosities, since "Curiosity is the engine of achievement." With this great deck, Alex Chin of Seasons Playing Cards has indeed achieved the creation of another outstanding set of playing cards that collectors and card gamers alike will enjoy.
- BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame