Publisher: NORTH STARS DIGITAL STUDIOS
Developer: NORTH STARS DIGITAL STUDIOS
Release: July 14th, 2021
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
If you haven’t played Evolution, now is a perfect time to pick it up, as a new addition to the game Climate is available. You’ll need to have the base game (if you do, Climate is an available expansion for $9.99 on the eShop). If you don’t already own the game, you can buy the base game and the expansion for $24.99, saving you $5 if you were to buy them separately.
The Climate expansion adds a whole new dynamic to the game. The expansion incorporates a climate bar, which can be manipulated by the different cards that each player lays down during the food phase. The new cards associated with the expansion have two different symbols on the cards, a sun and a snowflake, and each card has a different number of symbols. After the food phase is calculated, the number of symbols are added up to determine if the marker on the climate bar goes to the right (more temperate) or to the left (more frigid). Each space on the climate bar will also tell you the impact of that climate. For instance, more temperate spaces will increase the food source, but will also cause extinction of species with larger body numbers. The colder spaces lower the food source available and will cause the extinction of species with smaller body numbers. There’s a lot more strategy involved with the climate bar, and it’ll require you to pay close attention to what happens in the next phase on the climate bar.
At the end of each side of the climate bar is a cataclysmic event that will cause havoc in the game. Ideally, you’ll probably want to steer clear of these events, but if things are going south for you, that may be an opportunity to get back into the game. Besides the events at the end of the climate bar, every so often random, timed events will appear on the bar as well which cause far less damage than the cataclysmic events, but still will require some damage control after the event takes place. Again, it’s how you want to play. Perhaps you notice your opponent has a lot of cards with smaller body numbers, so you may want to cool things down and cause their extinction.
Besides the symbols on the expansion cards, the cards themselves offer special traits that can help your species survive the temperature changes. For example, there is one called Heavy Fur that prevents species loss due to cold temperatures but increases population loss with temperate spaces on the climate bar. The addition of the new cards with the expansion also comes with the addition of a new trait slot on each one of your species, giving you a total of four trait slots. This is a nice improvement, allowing you to play a mix of different traits to create the best species for that round.
Final Grade: A
After playing a few rounds of Evolution with the expansion rules, I couldn’t play the base game anymore. The inclusion of the climate bar and the effects that each space has really adds a whole new dimension and evens the playing field, as the tides of the game can sway pretty quickly. The game includes a short and easy to understand tutorial of the expansion and after playing through it, you’ll want to incorporate the expansion in all the games you play. Playing on the Switch is a fantastic way to play Evolution, and with the expansion, it’s certainly one that you’ll want to play with family and friends.