I’m not going to lie, at first I was not a fan of Evolution. Me being an dull old man, board games really need to visually stimulate me to get my attention: i.e. bright colors, happy characters, dancing girls wearing turret lights… Jen backed the Kickstarter for the first edition of Evolution and I was not impressed by the artwork. It sat on the shelf for months before she forced me into playing. By forced, I mean she hid my wallet and cigarettes in the house until I played, good thing I’m not diabetic.
After our first game though, I guess you could say that it grew on me. I still had some trouble with the artwork and I did have some difficulty cleaning up afterwards, trying to find bits of “food” all over the apartment. Jen usually just runs off wailing her arms around, making car noises after she’s beat me, so she’s too busy to even care to clean up. You can see our older review here.
Now this takes me to our newest review of the newer edition of the game.
The first thing you notice right off the bat is that the box art is all new. Brighter, bolder colors made me want to tear the wrapping off the box and see what other good things were inside. Almost everything has been redesigned with new art and even the included food bags have higher quality printing. Yes, even the watering hole has been redesigned so that you can actually see the food! No more lost food tokens equals no more “Hey, what’s that stuck to the bottom of your foot? Let me lick it.” Beyond all that there are a few changes to the game that make the game run smoother.
As you may already know, the game puts you in control of your own eco-system. By playing God you control the “evolution” of your “animals” by playing “traits” on them. A few changes have been made to some of the traits, such as Fat Tissue. This card has now made sure that the food that it stores will always score. Yes, get those cards as soon as you can. Another one of our favorites (and by ours, I mean Jen’s), is Fertile (no jokes here, please). While Jen quickly became overrun by her little dinosaurs with this card originally, (I imagine tiny Apathasauruses (let’s assume that’s the correct plural), running all over the place), she now has the issue of only using this power when there’s food in the watering hole. Yes, it definitely made it harder for her to win this time around.
Another thing you may notice is that the numbers on the food cards are different. I believe this was to make for a more balanced game. Can I please note that while this may have been the case in our previous two games, I still lost. If the creators could make a game where I could win using my witty tongue and dashing good looks, I think I would be more favorable to that game. In the mean time, we’ll have to make due with this new version of Evolution. It’s good if you’re playing one-on-one, but it’s even better if you’re playing with more players, especially as it gets a lot more brutal. A note of warning: there will be table-flipping. See the sabre-tooth tigers fly on their Kickstarter here!
P.S. If you haven’t noticed already, all the “flying” talk is our way of hinting at the Evolution expansion coming soon to theaters near you. Along with Jurassic World, which will actually be in theaters soon.
P.P.S Evolution has REPLACED Power Grid in our house. :p