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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)
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The expansion, for me, adds three improvements over the base game.
The additional 5th player is nice for that once a year group game you can get started. If you play more regularly the game's new proto-animal adds some new challenges and variety.
The additional starting biome tiles add a bit more potential wiggle room in the early game.
I like the end game potential of having at least one wild trait to play with. The new gene types add several new options for potentially getting mid/late game wild traits. They can also hinder early development if you pull too many early, as many of the new cards have gene prerequisites.
I bought it. I love the game and hope that purchasing the game will support Sierra Madre Games continue to make extremely complicated esoteric games.
If the expansion worked with the first edition it'd be a no-brainer; but needing to buy the second edition base game as well triples the price. The oddity is, it says the expansion requires the second edition, yet there's apparently very little change to the rules. So why does it require it? The best I can come up with is because it's in colour.
If you're going to WBC this year you can look and feel both the expansion cards and the 1st edition cards to see if you can get away with just buying the expansion.
It's very good. The game comes with a solo variant that's highly entertaining, challenging, and quite different from multiplayer play. You can also adapt the regular game if you're willing to play more than one evolutionary branch (i.e. multiple sides) at the same time, and you adjust the method of acquiring genes (from an auction to a straight purchase system).
About once a year I get to where I really, really want to try this. But realistically, no one I know will play it except for _maybe_ Frank. How is the solo game?
Theme is brilliant, and blends perfectly with the mechanics, which means you can be wiped out randomly, regardless of how well you play.
In a nutshell, it's a pure experience game. If you like that sort of thing, and the theme grabs you, you'll probably like the game. There's a good official solo variant session report here . (It's a bit technical in terms of rules and evolutionary terminology, but it might give you a sense of whether this game will be to your liking.)