top of page

Ecosystem Card Game Review


WBG Score: 8

Player Count: 2-6

You’ll like this if you like: Misty, Cascadia, Azul

Published by: Genius Games

Designed by: Matt Simpson


This is a review copy. See our review policy here


Ecosystem is a remarkably straightforward game that you can easily grasp, understand, explain, and play in less than thirty minutes. After playing, you'll likely feel calm, content, and perhaps even a little bit more knowledgeable. It appears that this game was designed with this in mind, and it succeeds. Setting aside the fact that shuffling so many cards of this size without damaging them can be quite a task, I am a fan. But how does it play? Let's bring it to the table and see.


Ecosystem Card Game Review

How To Set Up Ecosystem


Shuffle the cards and then deal out ten cards to each player. Give each player a scoring aid. You are now ready to start playing!


How To Play Ecosystem


Players will now choose one card from the ten in their hand to keep. They will place this face down in front of them, starting their own personal ecosystem. When all players have chosen, pass the remaining nine cards to the player to your left and flip over the card you just placed face down so that it is now face up. Now choose one card from the nine in hand and do the same thing, passing the remaining eight left. Continue until all cards have been chosen and all players have ten cards in front of them. Cards must be placed adjacent to a previously played card. This is orthogonal, not diagonal. So, to the left, right, or above or below a previously played card. In total, you will create a five by four grid. Five along, four down. So, you must also not break this size.


 There is something so therapeutic about playing this game. Even when your Ecosystem is not quite working out as you like, it still looks beautiful. But when it clicks and all comes together, which it usually does, it feels wildly satisfying. There is always a good card, and as much as you won't always win, you will generally create some interesting combos and get a decent score. However, the final three to four cards can often catch people out. Your options for where you place cards at this point are obviously limited. And the type of card that could be placed to score well, or score at all becomes significantly reduced. The Diversity point system really comes into effect here.  I would recommend this game to anyone who likes set collection, tableau building, or drafting games, and is looking for something that they can get out and play quickly in most situations. It works in the pub, as a filler at game night, or a light family game.

When this is done, grab another load of cards, deal ten more to each player, and run round two just as you did round one, but now passing to your right. When round two is over, score your ecosystem using the handy score sheet.


Players will go through each animal, scoring them in turn. Players will then total all cards that had no effect. Players will then score based on their ineffective cards. The Diversity scoring. To see how each card scores, take a look at the below guide.


Ecosystem Card Game Review

Is It Fun? Ecosystem Card Game Review


Ecosystem is one of those simple small box games that you always are happy to play. It's simple but rewarding. Small but substantial. And I always want more after one game. The distillation of drafting and tableau building is a classic mix in card games, and with this theme, you will be instantly absorbed in your new little world that is being formed right in front of you.


You can play this game so many different ways. Getting into the stream or Meadow game early can make the chase for those cards, as well as those that work with it such as the Dragonfly and Trout a real battle. As you make your Ecosystem, you can see the other players own tableau forming at the same time. You will start to get an idea as to what they are chasing as well as be on the lookout for the cards you want for your own area.


Do you take the Stream card now, knowing there were none left in the hand of cards you just passed to your left, but there is only one trout card in this hand? Will anyone else take this card before it comes back around to you again?


Ecosystem Card Game Review

There is something so therapeutic about playing this game. Even when your Ecosystem is not quite working out as you like, it still looks beautiful. But when it clicks and all comes together, which it usually does, it feels wildly satisfying. There is generally a good card, and as much as you won't always win, you will often create some interesting combos and get a decent score. However, the final three to four cards can often catch people out. Your options for where you place cards at this point are obviously limited. And the type of card that could be placed to score well, or score at all becomes significantly reduced. The Diversity point system really comes into effect here.


I would recommend this game to anyone who likes set collection, tableau building, or drafting games, and is looking for something that they can get out and play quickly in most situations. It works in the pub, as a filler at game night, or a light family game.

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page