Evolution, rolling dice, and Russian spies

A couple of quick hits this week from the wonderful world of board games.

A few of my crazy creatures

First a great first impression with Evolution: Climate. This beautiful card game captures all of the turmoil and drama of nature and evolution in a nice tidy one hour playtime. Players create new species, add various traits, increase the population and size of their creatures and then hold on and try to survive the round without anything going hungry.

The basic gameplay is really approachable, but immediately some really interesting strategies arise from these simple rules. Do you make your species a carnivore, hoping there’s another player’s species that you can manage to eat this round? Do you focus on more herbivore traits and try to grab as much food at the central watering hole before other players snatch it all up? Do you change size or develop defensive traits to fend off that jerk across the table who keeps eating your mutant furry turtles? These are just a few of challenges of this deep card game. This particular version also includes a climate element so that animals that do not have the proper warmth or cooling can be in big trouble depending on how the weather changes!

And really, I can’t say enough about the art. These water color pictures could happily be wall art, but here there are dozens of these pieces tucked into a great game.

Roll for It!

The second game is one that I am surprised no one invented fifty¬†years ago or so, as the basic concept of the game is incredibly simple. It’s called Roll for It!, and that’s exactly what you do. Players each have six dice, and there are cards laid out each turn that have a certain goal of what dice to roll, along with the points that card is worth. Players take turns rolling and assigning dice to cards, and if they complete the goal, they get the cards and the points. That’s it, roll the dice, assign to cards. The tactical decisions come from whether to go for the cards with more challenging six dice goals, or to go for simpler goals that take less dice to complete. Any dice actively assigned are dice that you are not rolling your next turn, so going big can mean not scoring many points at all if your luck doesn’t work out. A cute game to kill some time with, but not my favorite dice chucker by any means.


Red Scare

And finally, in news about upcoming games, here’s a strange new concept. A game about Russian spies called Red Scare where the innovative new element is a pair of special glasses that allow you to see text that other player’s can’t. I am always intrigued by a new gameplay concept, and maybe this will put a new twist on those betrayal and hidden role games I’ve written about before.

That’s all for this week. Happy gaming!

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