Evolution is a very popular strategy card game that teaches the basics of evolutionary adaptation and decision-making skills. Evolution The Beginning is a new version of the game specifically designed for families and younger children, and it’s a real winner in our book!
Disclaimer: This review was not solicited, we bought the game with our own funds. This post uses affiliate links, please see my disclosure page for more information.
Evolution The Beginning Game Review
What makes Evolution The Beginning different from the regular Evolution game?
Well, for starters, Evolution The Beginning is a slightly less-complicated version of Evolution. Game play is the same, you just have less adaptations you can make to your species. Evolution is recommended for 2-6 players ages 12+, Evolution The Beginning is for 2-5 players ages 8+.
Second, Evolution is expandable with the purchase of additional card sets, Evolution The Beginning is not. Evolution The Beginning is an entirely self-contained game.
How to play Evolution The Beginning
I was worried that this would be another really difficult to learn game, but I was wrong. Evolution The Beginning‘s game play is very easy and by the end of your first game you’ll have a good feel for how the game works and how you can combine cards to make the best plays.
The whole point of the game is to create a species that will survive. You are assigned one species at the start of each turn and through the use of adaptation cards you tweak what kind of animal they are. You create new species while simultaneously increasing the population of your existing species, all while keeping in mind that your herbivores will need to share the limited food supply and your carnivores will need to eat the herbivores.
Not only do you build your population of species, but you need to try to decrease your opponent’s species population by creating carnivores that are adapted to eat them.
It sounds more complicated than it is, I promise you’ll get the hang of the game very quickly! And don’t worry, the game comes with a handy sheet that will remind you of each step to take during your turn!
What makes Evolution The Beginning educational?
Well, first there is the obvious lessons about evolutionary adaptation and survival of the fittest. Your child will learn about how animals adapt to better suit their environment, and the environment in every round of Evolution The Beginning is different!
This is also the perfect game for teaching strategy. Your child will soon learn which adaptation combinations make the perfect carnivore and herbivore, but they’ll also learn how to switch adaptations to change as the game changes. Your child will also learn decision-making skills, like how and why they should sacrifice one population for the good of the entire species.
Can I Adapt Evolution for Different Needs?
Moderate reading skills are a requirement, however it’s possible for children to quickly memorize the cards and their functions.
Evolution is an untimed game, making it a good choice for players who need longer processing times.
Players who are ready for an extra challenging game may wish to bypass this version and go straight to Evolution.
What did my kids think of Evolution The Beginning?
We played the game shortly after we purchased it and the verdict is a definite “LOVE”. My kids (18, 13, 11, 9) liked it so much that they played several more rounds when we were finished, and they picked the game out to play the next day too! It’s so unusual to find a game that all of my kids love, so Evolution The Beginning is a winner in our books!
Buy it on Amazon
Gameplay: ~30 minutes
Parental involvement: not necessary
Reading Skills: moderate
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Meg Grooms is a decades-long secular homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle, currently calling Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.