— Rules of Evolution —

GOAL

The goal of Evolution: Climate is to thrive in the midst of an ever-changing ecosystem where food is scarce, predators lurk, and the climate can fluxuate between extreme temperatures. You will get points for feeding your species, increasing their population, and evolving them to best ensure their survival.

At the end of the game, players get points for:

• The Food their species have eaten during the game.
• The Population of their surviving species.
• The Trait Cards on their surviving species.

PLAYING THE GAME

A game of Evolution: Climate usually takes 5 to 7 rounds. Each round consists of the following 5 phases:

1 Deal Cards
2 Select Food Cards
3 Play Cards
4 Modify Environment
5 Feeding

PHASE 1: DEAL CARDS

Place a Species Board in front of any player who does not have one. If this is the first round of the game, then every player will get a Species Board. Put a green Wooden Marker on the “1” space of the Population track and a brown Wooden Marker on the “1” space of the Body Size track. Deal each player 4 cards from the Draw Deck, plus 1 card for each Species Board they have in front of them. If the Draw Deck runs out (or if it ran out when a species went extinct in the previous round), this will be the final round of the game. Shuffle the Discard Pile into a new Draw Deck (5-6 player games), or use the cards that were set aside as a new Draw Deck (2-4 player games).

PHASE 2: SELECT FOOD

Each player chooses a Trait Card from their hand and puts it facedown on the Watering Hole. These are called the Food Cards.

The Food Cards will be revealed in Phase 4: Modify Environment to determine two things:

• The amount of Food available for the round. The number in the leaf at the bottom right of each Trait Card represents the amount of Plant Food that will be added to (or removed from) the Watering Hole.

• Whether the climate shifts into a new zone. Some Trait Cards have Sun or Snowflake icons above the Plant Food number. Sun icons on the cards played will push the climate warmer and Snowflake icons will push the climate colder.

PHASE 3: PLAY CARDS

Starting with the First Player and moving clockwise around the table, a player may play as many or as few Trait Cards as they want. There is no limit to the number of cards a player can save in their hand for a later time. Play will go one time around the table which means every player will only get one turn during this phase.

There are three possible things a player can do with each Trait Card. They may be done in any order and multiple times each:

1) Play a Trait

A player may place a Trait Card facedown above one of their species. A species may not have any duplicate Trait Cards and may not have more than 4 Trait Cards.

2) Create a New Species

A player may discard a Trait Card faceup into the Discard Pile to get a new species. They take a new Species Board and put a green Wooden Marker on the “1” space of the Population track and a brown Wooden Marker on the “1” space of the Body Size track. The new species must be placed either to the left or the right of the player’s existing species; it may not be placed between existing species.

3) Increase Body Size or Population

A player may discard a Trait Card faceup into the Discard Pile to increase the Body Size or Population of one of their species by 1. A species cannot move its Wooden Markers beyond Body Size 6 or Population 6, but a species can effectively have a larger Body Size with a trait like Hard Shell.

Any time during their turn, a player may remove a Trait Card from any of their species and place it faceup in the Discard Pile. This may be done to make room for another trait, or because the trait is no longer advantageous to the species. Players do not get any benefit from removing a Trait Card in this way other than making room for another trait or removing a trait that is no longer advantageous to the species.

After a player has finished playing cards for the round, they may return any number of cards from their hand to the bottom of the facedown Draw Deck (to be dealt at a later time) and draw the same number of cards from the top of the Draw Deck. A player may not return more cards than are available in the Draw Deck. The newly drawn cards cannot be played as traits until Phase 3: Play Cards of the next round.

When everyone has had a chance to play cards, flip all of the newly played Trait Cards faceup.

PHASE 4: REVEAL FOOD

Check around the table for any Trait Cards that have this icon on the top left corner. These cards have effects that might trigger before the Food Cards are revealed. If a player has more than 1 of these cards in play, they choose the order in which their traits activate.

Reveal the Food Cards on the Watering Hole and complete the following steps in order:

1) Adjust the Climate

  • Move the Climate Marker 1 zone warmer if there are more Sun icons on the Food Cards than Snowflakes icons.
    • Move the Climate Marker 1 zone colder if there are more Snowflake icons on the Food Cards than Sun icons.
    • The Climate Marker does not move if there are an equal number of Sun and Snowflake icons on the Food Cards.

 

2) Trigger Climate Events 

The Climate Marker indicates the current Climate zone. If there is a Climate Event Card in the current Climate zone, read the card and do what it says. Read the Reference Section – Climate Event Cards if you have questions about how to resolve a Climate Event Card. Resolved Climate Event Cards are placed at the bottom of the appropriate deck (unless otherwise indicated). When a Cold Snap or Heat Wave occurs, disregard the Climate effects on the current Climate zone for that round and use the Climate effects on the Climate Event Card instead.

3) Climate Population Loss

Six of the Climate zones contain a Body Size icon and a Climate icon (Suns or Snowflakes).

Species within the Body Size range indicated in the zone lose one Population for each Climate icon in that zone.

Suns represent Population loss due to heat, and Snowflakes represent Population loss due to cold.

ICE AGE Every species loses 4 Population due to cold. 

  • FREEZING Each species of Body Sizes 1–4 loses 2 Population due to cold. 
  • COLD Each species of Body Size 1 or 2 loses 1 Population due to cold. 
  • TROPICAL Each species of Body Size 5 or 6 loses 1 Population due to heat. 
  • HOT Each species of Body Sizes 3–6 loses 2 Population due to heat. 
  • SCORCHING Every species loses 4 Population due to heat.

    Every species in play loses Population at the same time according to the current Climate zone. Species that go below 1 Population go Extinct. See Extinction on page 11.

    Species may have protective traits that prevent some or all of this Population loss. The effects of protective traits are cumulative. For example, a species can prevent up to 3 Population loss due to heat if it has Burrowing, Migratory, and Nocturnal.

 

4) Adjust the Plant Food

Add (or remove) Plant Food to (or from) the Watering Hole based upon the Food Cards and the Climate zone. The number in the leaf at the bottom right of each Food Card represents the amount of Plant Food that will be added to the Watering Hole. First total all of these numbers, then adjust that amount by the amount printed in the leaf on the current Climate zone. Sometimes there will be no Food in the Watering Hole for a round and sometimes Food will be removed! This is not unusual when the Climate is very cold.

 

5) Replace Climate Event Card

If a Climate Event Card was triggered, draw a new Climate Event Card from the appropriate deck (cold or hot) and place it under the appropriate Climate zone. This new Climate Event Card cannot get triggered until the next round. There will always be 2 face-up Climate Event Cards on the Climate track at the beginning of each round (1 cold and 1 hot), and only 1 Climate Event can get triggered each round. 

PHASE 5: FEEDING

In this phase, players will take turns feeding one species at a time in a rush to eat from a limited supply of Food. Play will move clockwise around the table until every species is done feeding or all hungry species cannot eat. This means a player might get several feeding turns during the Feeding Phase, but it also means that a player might not get a single feeding turn if Food is scarce!

A species is hungry if it has less Food on its Species Board than its Population. Each Population that does not have Food is a hungry Population.

Beginning with the First Player and continuing clockwise, each player must feed one of their species. A player may pass only if none of their species are hungry or if it is not possible to feed any of their hungry species. Passing on a feeding turn does not prohibit a player from feeding on a future feeding turn in the same Feeding Phase.

When a species takes Food, place the Food in the space above the Population track starting with the “1” Population space. A species may never take more Food than it has Population unless it has Fat Tissue.

Feeding Non-Carnivores

Take 1 Plant Food from the Watering Hole and place it onto the Species Board of the species you are feeding. Some traits (like Foraging and Cooperation) modify the amount of Food a species takes from the Watering Hole.

Feeding Carnivores

A species with the Carnivore trait is a Carnivore. Carnivores can never take Plant Food, not even with the help of traits such as Long Neck or Cooperation. They feed by attacking other species. A player may attack any species including their own. Carnivores continue to attack even if the Watering Hole runs out of Plant Food.

A Carnivore can attack another species only if all of the following are true:

  • The Carnivore is hungry (or has the option to eat because of a trait like Fat Tissue). 
  • The Carnivore’s Body Size is greater than the Body Size of the species being attacked. 
  • The Carnivore has the traits necessary to overcome the attacked species’ defensive traits.

    After a Carnivore has attacked another species:

  • Reduce the Population of the attacked species by 1. If this reduces its Population to below the amount of Food already eaten, place the excess Food in the attacked player’s Food Bag. If this reduces its Population to 0, see Extinction on page 11. 
  • Take Meat Food from the Food Bank equal to the attacked species’ Body Size.

IMPORTANT FEEDING RULES

  • A species must eat if it is hungry and there is Food available. This means a Carnivore must eat a species with Horns if it is the only legal target, even if it is that player’s own species! 
  • When a species eats from the Watering Hole, it takes 1 Plant Food (unless a trait modifies this amount). When a Carnivore attacks another species, it takes Meat Food equal to the Body Size of the attacked species. 
  • Non-Carnivores normally eat Plant Food, but they can also eat Meat Food with traits such as Scavenger or Cooperation. A Carnivore may never eat Plant Food under any circumstance. 
  • A species can never take more Food than its Population unless it has Fat Tissue.

END OF FEEDING

Feeding ends when all species are unable to eat, or when those species that have a choice (because of Fat Tissue or Intelligence), choose not to eat.

  • If a species did not eat Food equal to its Population, all hungry Population from that species are lost. Move the Population marker down to the number of Population that received Food. If all of the Population on a species are hungry, it goes extinct. See Extinction on page 11.
  • Players remove the Food from their Species Boards and place it in their Food Bag. 
  • Any Plant Food remaining on the Watering Hole stays there for the next round. 
  • The game ends if the Draw Deck ran out during Phase 1: Deal Cards of this round or if the Draw Deck ran out due to a species going extinct in the previous round. See End of Game Scoring on page 11. 
  • If the game did not end, pass the Incredibly Awesome First Player Marker to the left and begin a new round starting with Phase 1: Deal Cards.

EXTINCTION

  • If the Population of any species is reduced to 0, it goes extinct and the owner immediately does the following:

    Discards the Trait Card(s) on that species and draws 1 card from the Draw Deck for each discarded card. If the Draw Deck runs out of cards, shuffle the Discard Pile into a new Draw Deck (5-6 player games), or use the cards that were set aside as a new Draw Deck (2-4 player games). The next round will be the final round of the game. 
  • Discards the Species Board and places any Food on that Species Board in their Food Bag. 

• If the species that went extinct was between two species, close the gap between the adjacent Species Boards.

Reminder: If a player loses their last species, they will receive a free one at the start of the next Deal Cards phase.

END OF GAME SCORING

Scoring attempts to gauge how well your species flourished during the game and how likely they are to thrive in the future. The amount of food a species has eaten over time is a proxy often used by evolutionary biologists to measure the relative success of a species. The game ends if the Draw Deck ran out and had to be re-shuffled at any point in the previous round.

Scoring:

  • The game ends if the Draw Deck ran out during Phase 1: Deal Cards of the current round or if the Draw Deck ran out due to a species going extinct on the previous round.

    Scoring:
  • Each Food in a player’s Food Bag is worth 1 point.
  • Each surviving species is worth points equal to its Population.
  • Each Trait Card on a surviving species is worth 1 point.

    Add up each player’s points to determine the winner. If there is a tie, the player with the most Trait Card points is the winner. If there is still a tie, the player with the most Population points is the winner. If there is still a tie, then you must immediately order pizza (either a meat lover’s pizza or vegetarian pizza) and play again.

    Scoring is an attempt to gauge how well your species flourished during the game and how likely they are to thrive in the future. The amount of Food a species has eaten over time is a proxy often used by evolutionary biologists to measure the relative success of a species.

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