Over the past few years, we have seen an incredible influx of nature-themed games that capture the beauty and complexity of our natural world. From games about ecosystems and gardening to ones that explore the depths of the ocean, designers have found inspiration in the diverse landscapes and wildlife that surround us. As we continue to grapple with the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, these games offer a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature and learn about the importance of conservation. One of the latest additions to this growing collection of games is Ecosfera, a cooperative deck-building game that challenges players to restore nature before it’s too late.
1-4 players, ages 8+
Playing time: 60 minutes
Designers: Julia Johansson & Albert Pinilla
Artwork: Albert Pinilla
Publisher: Julibert Games
Ecosfera is a cooperative deck-building game where players team up to save nature. The game offers various difficulty levels and challenges, but the ultimate goal is constant: to collect seven biome tiles before obtaining all seven extinction tiles. Players acquire cards from the plant and fungi kingdom by using water, time, earth, air, and sun elements. They must also deal with natural disasters that can be countered with additional abilities like changing cards, drawing extra cards, or passing cards to fellow players.
🌿 Cards from the plant and fungi kingdom have symbols at the bottom indicating the required elements and symbols at the top showing the biomes where they thrive. Animal cards only show the biomes where they live at the bottom.
🌞 Every turn, players examine the four cards from the plant and fungi kingdom to determine the required elements for each card. If they have the necessary elements on cards in front of them, they can use them to take the corresponding plant or fungi card and add it to their line of cards. Obtained cards only count as used once they are used to acquire another card or obtain a biome tile.
🐾 To obtain animal cards, players must combine two plant or fungi cards with at least one biome in common. Similarly, combining animal cards that share a biome allows players to obtain biome tiles. Reactivating one of the previously used ability tiles is possible when players have two animals that share a biome.
🔥 If a player cannot obtain any cards or place a biome tile, they receive a disaster card, ending their turn. Additionally, if a player has three cards of the same element or three disaster cards in front of them, their turn will also end, resulting in them receiving an extinction tile.
🍃 In Ecosfera, there are two ways the game can end. Players win if they collect all seven biome tiles but lose if they get all seven extinction tiles.
We had the pleasure of playing a prototype of Ecosfera ahead of its upcoming Kickstarter launch. And let me tell you, it was an absolute delight! This game provides players with a challenging and fast-paced experience that can be played solo or cooperatively with friends. With simple rules that hide a surprising depth, Ecosfera manages to be both accessible and entertaining. We were impressed by how much fun we had during our playthrough and can’t wait to see how the game will evolve during its Kickstarter campaign.
🌻 As we dove headfirst into Ecosfera, we initially thought it would be a breeze to pick up and play. However, as we delved deeper into the gameplay mechanics, we quickly realized that there was much more to this game than what appeared at first glance. The rules themselves were easy to understand, but the strategy involved required a delicate balance between working together as a team and making use of our abilities. Every turn was a new challenge that tested our coordination, and it was a true testament to the power of teamwork and strategy. Despite the difficulty, we loved every moment of it and couldn’t wait to play again.
🍄 While the prototype we played of Ecosfera only featured a handful of cards with artwork, we were immediately impressed by the promising visual design of the game. Even in its early stages, the artwork showed a level of detail and care that hinted at a truly immersive gaming experience. What’s more, the iconography used throughout the game was straightforward and intuitive, making it easy for us to dive into the game mechanics without feeling overwhelmed or confused. Overall, we are excited to see how the final version of Ecosfera will look and feel with its full range of artwork and design elements.
🌍 Ecosfera’s streamlined deck-building mechanics and fluid gameplay captured our attention and kept us hooked from start to finish. Each play presented us with a fresh challenge to tackle, and we relished the opportunity to work together to solve it. We couldn’t help but appreciate the game’s high replayability, which left us eager to try again and experiment with new strategies after each loss. Whether we were racing to collect the elusive biome tiles or frantically fending off extinction cards, Ecosfera kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end.
💭 To wrap things up, Ecosfera is an absolute gem of a game that promises a one-of-a-kind and thrilling gaming experience. It’s the perfect game for anyone who enjoys flexing their strategic muscles and values teamwork. Personally, I can’t recommend it enough! The prototype we played already had us hooked, and we’re eager to see the final version with all the gorgeous artwork that’s sure to take this game to the next level.
The Kickstarter campaign for Ecosfera is just a few days away: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ecosfera/ecosfera-rewilding-the-world