Last year I signed up for an interesting looking game from a Canadian Kickstarter.
The game is a science themed Solar System creation game.
The game arrived a couple of weeks ago so I set about opening the box.
The Objective of the game is set out in one of the images below.
Bottom line, players compete against time and each other to win as many points as possible by playing Evolution cards from their hands. These cards need resources from the solar system to activate them and to score points for the player.
Players take it in turns to either move one of four planet tokens or resources around the orbit tracks of our solar system.
Once they have the correct resources a card can be played (one per turn) to score points. The more complex the Evolution the more resources are needed and the more points are scored. At the end of each players turn they can draw Evolution cards to make their hand back up to 5 cards (or refresh a card from memory if they are stuck and need to try to score soon).
The final turn is triggered by one player reaching the end point on the Evolution marker track. At that point that player and then the following players have just that one turn to win extra points by playing any Final Evolution Cards from their hands.
Final Evolution cards can be held during the whole game or picked up later in the end game phase as the Evolution track is coming to an end.
A game can be played in less than an hour. It is designed for 1 to 4 players.
The box is on the heavy side as it contains a large card fold out playing board, a number of thick tokens, a pack of Evolution cards, a lot of resource tokens, planet markers, player mats.
The artwork is of a good quality and all the parts of the game are glossy and have a quality feel. There are also some plastic scoring tokens to identify each players ownership and score progression.
There were two rulebooks, English and French.
My copy also had some extra Evolution cards (sci-fi themed) and a bag for the tokens.
The rules are pretty straightforward to follow. One practice game and I have them 90% down in my head.
The resource tokens need to be placed face down at the start, shuffled, placed on the orbital tracks and revealed – a bit time-consuming.
The game cost $29 + $20 shipping to UK. About £35 UK.
That’s a fair price for a game of this quality. Strategy seems a little limited as players hold their cards in hand and moves can take player actions all over the gameboard.
However, even though my practice game ended up coming down to the wire on the last card play of the game I do wonder just how much excitement and replay value the game has. It comes down to just collecting tokens each turn and trying to play off Evolution Cards. Knowing when to take Final Evolution cards is one part of the strategy, but even so, there does not seem to be a lot of opportunity to interact or interfere with other players.
I need to play some more games to really find out what others think.
The solo game rules are to be honest not very interesting and I was a bit disappointed.
Bottom line would I buy this game off the shelf for cash in the UK if I hadn’t bought into the Kickstarter? Probably not. I will give it a 6/10 for price, quality, playability, replayability and atmosphere.
Some wine and house rules would probably make this an “8/10” game.