Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Board Game: Terra Evolution

Last blog post today. Maybe.

The Game: Terra Evolution
The Publisher: Mindwarrior Games
Time: Once you know the rules, probably 20 minutes
Players: Me, +Dirty Heart+Michelle Lyons-McFarland+Barbara Hilow

Game Play: Terra Evolution is a deck-building game, much like Dominion. In it, you're building a planet, then trying to get life to evolve from bacteria to fish to reptiles to birds and mammals. Your currency is population cards (all one value), and in addition to species you can buy catastrophes to fuck with your opponents' planets, which they can buy off with population. Unlike Dominion, in which you can only purchase cards with the currency in your hand on any given turn, you can build up population turn to turn, making a little bank for yourself. Also, though you spend population to buy species, you get it back when you play them.

The game's instructions aren't especially well-explained (I believe they are translated, poorly, from some other language), but once you get the game, it's pretty simple. First one to X points (depending on number of players) wins, provided that the winner also has a mammal and a bird. You can get to 10 points in a four-player game really easily, so it's mostly a race to see who can evolve fast enough.

Opinions: So, here's the issue: Look at the box art of the game:
Just took this on my phone. 
So, what the game seems to be promising is that you can evolve animals! Make weird-ass dinosaurs! The fate of the planet is in your hands!

Yeah, no. It's a deck-building game. The catastrophe cards are pretty, but the species cards are boring, and there's no evolving going on, you're just upgrading from "m" to "me" to "meh." The game mechanics aren't terrible, but the game is really quick and I can't see a lot of replay value.

I want to play it one more time now that I know how it works, and see if buying catastrophes earlier and aiming them at players makes the game more interesting. But otherwise...

Keep? Nah.