Masoud Tabatabaei
Luxembourg
Luxemborug
Luxembourg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I bought Evolution: Origin of species in Essen 2011 and after a some plays, although we liked the theme, I traded the game. The main reasons as far as I remember were
a) we felt it is too much based on the draw of the cards.
b) is prone to runaway leader (specially in two player games)
c) a lot of things could come and go without you feeling their affect at the end-game scoring.

As this game (Evolution) is based on the previous design, I would like to see a comparison between two games. Besides great artworks added to the cards, what are the significant improvements on the gameplay design, and how they change the feeling of the game?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Karl
Austria
Salzburg
Salzburg
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Scoring definitely is not limited to endgame now.
4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter 'Pedro' Goins
United States
Broken Arrow
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've not played Origin of the Species, but have played the newer Evolution quite a bit. The game has itself evolved a bit during playtesting, but based on a recent incarnation:

a) It will still be somewhat luck based just because it is a card game. They have worked quite a bit to keep cards relatively balanced. It no longer feels that obtaining a certain card is an automatic win.

b) The worst runaway leader cause was the Unstable DNA card, which will no longer be in the base game. With its removal we haven't had the crazy range of scores that we used to.

c) Because you score every round, you have to balance immediate gain vs long-term survive-ability of your species. Every round is equally important.
4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
badge
First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
masoudtab wrote:
I bought Evolution: Origin of species in Essen 2011 and after a some plays, although we liked the theme, I traded the game. The main reasons as far as I remember were

a) we felt it is too much based on the draw of the cards.
b) is prone to runaway leader (specially in two player games)
c) a lot of things could come and go without you feeling their affect at the end-game scoring.

As this game (Evolution) is based on the previous design, I would like to see a comparison between two games. Besides great artworks added to the cards, what are the significant improvements on the gameplay design, and how they change the feeling of the game?


a) First of all, we spent a lot of time balancing the cards. So the cards are now generally equal in power (depending upon the situation in the game). And most importantly, there are two additional things you can do with your cards. You can discard to increase the Body Size or the Population of a species. These are both powerful options, so you will not be overly disappointed with using that options if you did not draw the cards you wanted.

b) We mitigated the runaway leader problem in several ways. First of all, we limited the number of trait that you could play on a species to 3. This keeps someone from getting a huge Carnivorous species with a hundred defensive and attacking traits. Next, players draw cards equal to the number of traits on any species that goes extinct. This mitigates the number of cards you lose when your species gets no food or gets eaten. There is always a loss of 1 card for creating the species which is important, but now the sting is not so great. And finally, for the 2-player game, we further restricted the number of traits that you can play on a species to 2 traits. All of this combined does a good job of mitigating a runaway leader. And now that the cards are better balanced, there won't ever be a runaway leader based upon luck of the draw.

c) You score 1 point every time a species eats a food, so scoring takes place every round. There is additional end game scoring to keep the game interesting until the last round, but that account for about 25% of your score instead of 100%.

I hope that helps. If you'd like more information, you should read one of the many reviews that have been posted. Here are the links to two reviews that were posted this morning:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1176194/evolution-a-thorough...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1176210/evolution-by-north-s...
17 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Masoud Tabatabaei
Luxembourg
Luxemborug
Luxembourg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you very much Dominic, your explanation on improvements was very detailed and helpful!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
badge
First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
... And to be even more helpful, here are some quotes from those reviews...


Okay, I'm going to take a moment here to tell you a secret, so move in closer. Are you ready? Ok. Good.

I LOVE THIS GAME!


The opportunities for strategy abound and are not always immediately apparent. The luck factor is almost non-existent. Being able to decide what you keep and what you discard gives you the requisite choices available to allow you to control your own destiny. Nothing feels quite as good as building a super efficient food engine or constructing an insurmountable defense.

Thematically, mechanically, and artistically, this game just draws you in and goes straight for the throat and doesn't let go until you've stopped struggling. This game is just amazing and I cannot wait for my copy to arrive. Well done, North Star Games! Well done!


Evolution is a great game! It is much more fun than I originally thought. It quick, all the mechanics make sense as well as how the theme ties into them and it is so easy to learn and understand! You can have this from rule book to table in 20 minutes and once you have played a full round it makes complete sense and the fun ensues. The ability to evolve or adept species is a great fit and having strategies such as having to possibly eat your own species so your carnivores survive is brutal but surprisingly fun. This was a well thought out implementation of the theme and it shows.


This could be a front-runner for a perfect gateway game that is up their with Ticket To Ride or Settlers of Catan. For those whole love a good strategy game but don't want to be bogged down by difficult rules then this is a great fit for you. It lends itself to great socialization and due to the number of cards and their permutations this game has a ton of re-playability. Sometimes simple really is better.


This is not self-serving of course - I am just trying to be helpful.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kai Teo
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
curious was this based off the design of Evolution: OOS or was it designed on a separate track and happened to be very similar ?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter 'Pedro' Goins
United States
Broken Arrow
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
duckizz wrote:
curious was this based off the design of Evolution: OOS or was it designed on a separate track and happened to be very similar ?

It is based off of Evolution: OOS
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kai Teo
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ah ok i c..
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would also like to see a comparison between the two games. I know some places still sell the other version, and say they really don't like the new one.

So this confuses me, because I get the feeling there's no point in having both.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rainbow Snake wrote:
I would also like to see a comparison between the two games. I know some places still sell the other version, and say they really don't like the new one.

So this confuses me, because I get the feeling there's no point in having both.


Woah. I'd like to meet some folks who feel this way. It sounds kind of nutball. Maybe it's because there are expansions available for the old one and not the new one yet? That's the only thing I can think of. Maybe there are people who like strategy games where all your strategizing can be completely undone on the final turn?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've seen a quote from one of your NSG designers of this version who says it's effectively a different game, so I guess they're two different games that exist side-by-side - possibly only sharing a theme. That's why I'd like to see a comparison.

I've suggested that the newer game was a "fixed" version of the old one, but the fans of the older one say there's nothing wrong with it, and I don't know either game well enough to deny that. *shrug*
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
badge
First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wish I had the time to give a detailed explanation of both games right now, but I don't. I will give a few high level changes:

Evolution: Origin of the Species
1) Scoring only happens on the last round.
NSG's Evolution
1) Scoring happens every round with additional bonus scoring taking place on the final round.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
2) Roll 2 six sided dice at the end of the round to determine the food supply. When this leads to a roll of "2", it is very common for the last player of the round to lose 100% of their species. If this happens on the last round of the game (as it did to me once), you will end the game with 0 points. That roll eradicated everything I had done during the game and made it all seem pointless every other time I played the game.
NSG's Evolution
2) Every player submits a card into the center to determine the amount of food for each round. Manipulating the food supply adds a dynamic layer of strategy to the new version that did not exist previously.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
3) Lots of text on all the cards and lots of exceptions to the rules.
NSG's Evolution
3) Minimal text and almost no exceptions.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
4) A few unbalanced cards.
NSG's Evolution
4) A very balanced card set.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
5) Some cards have two different options if you play them upside-down. It leads to extra text, confusion for casual gamers, and adds to down time as people turn their cards over to see all of their options.
NSG's Evolution
5) Every card can be used as only 1 trait, but they can be discarded to increase Population and Body Size of any species. These additional options decrease the luck of the draw because the additional options that are provided are essential to any possible winning strategy.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
6) Carnivores kill any species they eat. That species goes extinct to the woe of the player being eaten. Sometimes it feels random that you were eaten, and it feels like you had no control over the situation.
NSG's Evolution
6) When a Carnivore attacks a species, that species Population is reduced by 1. Sometimes this turns into a balanced ecosystem where Carnivores trim the herd, but both are able to co-habitat and live together.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
7) A higher ratio of cards have no synergies with any of the other cards.
NSG's Evolution
7) We paid great attention to making sure that our cards provided synergies with multiple cards. This mitigates the luck of the draw and increases the depth of the game, allowing a typical hand to played out in a multiple of viable ways.


Evolution: Origin of the Species
8) Minimal art and inexpensive components. Some of the art is stylized and very cool (like the box cover), but some of the art looks downright cheap and poorly done.
NSG's Evolution
8) The art and components are AMAZING! (but the game costs more)
5 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.