As a biologist, I couldn’t help but be attracted to a game called Evolution. Naturally, a bunch of graduate students and myself had to get together to play this game. Details about it can be found here. Now there are a lot of science-themed games in existence but other games are usually either trivia based, extremely complex, or not written in English. Evolution, however, is designed by scientists and aimed at everyone.
Things that benefit this game:
- Great artwork. The images are not only beautiful, but they are colorful and creative. This game manages to take you back in time via artwork alone.
- Simple game play. It does not take long to learn this game and while it is backed by science, it can be easily played by those that don’t always have science on the brain. They chose simple concepts to depict that anyone can understand and appreciate. But, maybe the evolutionary biologist will appreciate it a little bit more.
- Room for growth, already this game has a flying expansion pack and the Kickstarter has begun for a new version that considers climate as a serious factor. See the Kickstarter here.
Things that hurt this game:
- The gameplay is almost too simple. It’s difficult to play this game repeatedly because there are a limited number of possible strategies and after one or two rounds with the same people you start to get bored.
- It is impossible to incorporate all factors of natural selection into a board game. I’m sure there are many out there that would be sad to see there favorite niche or limited resource missing from the game. It is possible that further expansion packs and editions will make this game more and more realistic.
- The price, for a maximum of 40 minutes of game play, is really steep. If I wasn’t so interested in evolutionary biology I probably wouldn’t have put up the funds for this game. That being said this might be a fun gift for a science-minded friend.
Overall I give this game a 3/5, but I reserve judgement after investigating future editions and expansion packs. I think this is a solid start to a board game, but there is a lot of room to grow.