I got a review copy of Terra Evolution in Lautapelaamaan con and I’ve now played it five times, on two occasions. Both have been my Monday circus school games with Janne, so all have been two-player games.
So far, I dig it. I’d rate it a 7, so probably not a keeper, but I did choose to play it again this week and didn’t choose something new, so that’s something. The two-player game is fine, it takes about 20-25 minutes and while the strategy isn’t terribly deep, there’s still interesting choices. The basic process of bilateria to fishes to reptiles to birds and mammals is set in stone, but do you take the side trip to insects (no evolutionary process or important fossil track points, but a boost in population cards ie. money)? First that seemed obvious, but it isn’t.
Also, very important: the disasters! If you don’t buy any disasters, it’s a race and whoever gets the better draws wins the game, pretty much, if both players know what they’re doing. So you need disasters to slow down your opponent. Which and more important, when? You need to hit your opponent so it hurts. I did that today, snatching Janne’s reptiles when he only had one reptile card in play, halting his progress for a while. That hurt and it was an easy victory for me.
Few issues… I’m not sure how well the disasters work in the multiplayer game. If A hits B with a disaster, I’m afraid it’s C and D who reap the biggest benefits. Somebody has to take one for the team and hit the leader with a disaster, but who wants to do it? I’m not sure if the dynamic works like this, but this is what I fear. Of course, this problem doesn’t exist with just two players.
We’ll see. As it is, Terra Evolution is at least a pretty fun deck-building game (sort of) for two players.