My daughter enjoys the board game Evolution and North Star Games has been trying to port it out as a video game. (donate via kickstarter if you are so inclined) However, the game is too one-dimensional: the be-all and end-all is how much food you and your progeny eat. There are too few variables to make the game fun or to use strategy. I’m not going to go into all the rules and etc. here, you can find that elsewhere. Here are her suggestions to NSG on how to improve the game, thought up by her and her alone:
My father and I play Evolution a lot and have some ideas on how to make the game more interesting and competitive.
2 features stood out that we felt limited the game: the 2 foods per turn, every turn, and the limited way that traits affected a species (mostly defense, some extra food or extra population.
A major innovation we came up to shake up the game and make it reflect “evolution” and the uncertainties of climate, earth techtonics, weather and other variables was the idea of an “EVENT CARD”.
Also, the idea of SEASONS: Each round of turns among all the players would constitute one SEASON, starting with SPRING. You could have a marker, a dial or a die where the first player of every round would set the new season, SPRING SUMMER AUTUMN WINTER in turn.
You cannot increase population on WINTER rounds.
You can use a card for DOUBLE population in Spring.
Food would also be affected by what season it is.
Event cards would be weather, climate, precipitation, astronomical events and other natural occuring phenomena which would affect EVOLUTION and the survival of species.
Each turn, in addition to the 3 TRAIT cards you get one EVENT card.
All EVENT cards have a small number (FOOD NUMBER) on a leaf in the upper right hand corner for 0-5 foods for that players turn (instead of the predictable 2 foods per turn).
These numbers would be affected by SEASONS, for example, in SPRING you would get +1 food added to the FOOD NUMBER for that turn.
No population can be added during WINTER rounds. POPULATION can be increased DOUBLE per card during SPRING.
This would add some variety and reduce the predictability of the normal 2 foods per turn. This would also allow food to build up in the FOOD POND and that food would be affected by subsequent EVENT.
In addition, EVENT cards would have an event that would affect different species with different TRAITS differently, adding another dimension to the strategy of adding traits, for example (these descriptions would be on the card so a lot of new rules wouldn’t have to be added to the rules list)
REGULAR EVENT: affects PLAYER who draws the card:
FOREST FIRE: SPECIES without one of the following TRAITS would lose 1 population:
SPEED FLYING BURROWING
LIGHT DROUGHT: -1 food from FOOD POND
MODERATE DROUGHT: -2 food from FOOD POND
SEVERE DROUGHT: -3 food from FOOD POND and SPECIES with FUR would lose 1 population
FLOOD: BURROWING creatures lose -2 population per species
SPECIES without SPEED, FLYING or LUNG/GILLS lose -1 population per species
LIGHT, MODERATE and SEVERE BLIZZARD: Removes -1, -2 and -3 food from FOOD POND respectively
Species without FUR lose -1 population in SEVERE BLIZZARD
LUNAR ECLIPSE: PREDATORS with NOCTURNAL trait -1 population per species
NON-PREDATORS with NOCTURNAL trait +1 food that turn
SOLAR ECLIPSE: Disrupts mating, no population can be added that turn
DISEASE: Species without Disease Resistance would lose -1 population
CARNIVORE DISEASE: All Species with CARNIVORE trait -1 population
TRAIT SPECIFIC DISEASES: Species without Disease Resistance would lose this trait on every species they have: like FEATHER DISEASE affecting flyers, HIP DISPLASIA affecting SPEED animals, NIGHT BLINDNESS affecting NOCTURNAL, GILL ROT affecting LUNG/GILL trait), HORN DELAMINATION affecting HORN TRAIT, NECK VERTEBRAE WEAKNESS affecting longnecks, etc.
VARIOUS, “Chance” type cards:
“Record growing season: Gain +4 FOOD”
“Longneck fertility increases, Gain double Longneck population”
“One of your CARNIVORES falls in a crevass chasing game: -1 population CARNIVORE”
Most cards would be this type instead of catestrophic problems like the previous ones, but would add some action and variety to the game.
RARE EVENTS: affects every player for one round
RARE EVENTS: EXTINCTION EVENT, like an asteroid strike or major climate change would automatically remove half of all population of EVERY player.
RARE EVENT: EPIDEMIC: Species without disease resistance lose -2 population
RARE EVENT: CARN EPIDEMIC: All players’ species without disease resistance -1 population, NON-CARNIVORES with FAT LAYER get +1 free population per species
RARE EVENT: MUTATION: Caused by solar radiation
POSITIVE MUTATION: Allows players to add one EXTRA TRAIT to every species (now 4 per species instead of 3)
NEGATIVE MUTATION: Forces all players to remove one TRAIT from every species, can be re-added later
RARE EVENT: VOLCANIC ERUPTION
Results in one entire year (4 rounds) of WINTERS, all FOOD numbers -1 and no population can be added.
RARE EVENT: TEMPORATE PERIOD of very stable, warm weather, would double population increase per card and double food (Noted on EVENT cards) for that round for every player.
RARE EVENT: HOT PERIOD +1 food for every card this round, species with FUR -1 population, BURROWING +1 population
RARE EVENT: RAINY SEASON YEAR
Results in one entire year (4 rounds) of SUMMERS, all FOOD numbers +1 and GILL/LUNG
population cards double value (makes 2 new population instead of just one)
and BURROWING and FLYING SPECIES -1 population
RARE EVENT:TRAIT SPECIFIC EPIDEMIC: same as TRAIT SPECIFIC DISEASE, but affecting ALL players instead of just the player who drew the card.
These types of events would cause players to use their resources to best survive the hard events and gain population during good event.
NEW TRAIT CARDS
Fur – The creature can survive blizzards and will lose one population inside Droughts, conversely, creatures WITHOUT fur would lose one population in the event of a BLIZZARD card.
Scales – The creature develops scales which discreases chances of getting attacked, and they can survive drought better.
Gills + Lungs- Is able to swim but not able to survive droughts because of the lack of water, but can survive floods.
Disease resistance- battles disease events
Each FOOD consumed would still be +1pt
Each Species surviving at the end of the game +5pts
Each Population +1pt