David McMillan
United States
Madison
Tennessee
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Thoughts

As far as worker placement games go, Cytosis isn’t anything new or innovative. You place workers and you take actions with them to earn victory points. It’s very standard and by the book. However, Cytosis isn’t your every day board game. It’s an educational game designed for teaching.

So, let’s deal with the obvious instinctual reaction to hearing the phrase “educational game”: namely, the urge to go do something else. Educational games aren’t known for being very fun or engaging. It’s very rare to find an educational game that manages to find that sweet spot between teaching you and also being entertaining. So, on which side does Cytosis fall?

It is definitely one of the latter. Without knowing anything at all about the process of cytosis, you could play this game and then be able to reasonably explain in detail just what that process entails. Cytosis manages the neat trick of distracting you with its game-iness (is there even a word for this?) while sneakily drilling knowledge in the center of your brain. As far as being an educational game that’s appealing and engaging, Cytosis performs brilliantly.

There's definitely a game here though. It’s got plenty of that going for it, too. There are multiple paths to victory and deciding which one to follow isn’t always an easy decision. Early on in my first game, I had decided to focus on cranking out all of the Hormone cards that I could. I was hoping to steadily crawl my way up the HP track and possibly grab up the appropriate Goal card to maximize my HP potential. However, that plan quickly fell through when it became obvious that my wife was going for the same goal. That meant I had two choices: continue down the path that I had already selected or change course completely mid-game.

Looking at my options, I noticed that I had one Enzyme card already completed and that there were at least two more in the Component card row. However, I had been collecting Macromolecule cubes that were primarily needed by the Hormone cards. So, I changed course. I went for the Enzyme cards and I made sure to grab the Enzyme bonus for a quick 3 HP and the hopes of even more HP when the game was done.

For being an educational game about cytosis, this is a game rich in these kinds of decision making and that’s why Cytosis is able to transcend the negative stigma that surrounds the games in the game space which it occupies. I have been consistently impressed with John Coveyou. I have no idea how he is able to look at some convoluted biological process and make a game out of it, but I’m glad he does. I really enjoyed playing Cytosis. I found it to be aesthetically pleasing, educational, engaging, and entertaining. Color me impressed! I’m fairly certain you’ll be impressed, too!

Cytosis is live on Kickstarter now! Check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/geniusgames/cytosis-a-c...

For the full review in which I go into more detail about the components and gameplay, just follow this link: http://www.meeplemountain.com/reviews/cytosis-a-cell-biology...
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John Burt
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Thanks for the review!

I notice that the game has a solo mode. Have you tried this, and if so, what do you think?
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Nick Stables
Australia
Lawson
NSW
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quill65 wrote:
Thanks for the review!

I notice that the game has a solo mode. Have you tried this, and if so, what do you think?


https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1744925/purely-cooperative

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