A game for 1 – 5 players
Play time 45 – 90 minutes
Publisher: Inside Up Games
Earth, the soil that supports and sustains our beautiful planet, Earth. Over thousands of years of evolution and adaptation the flora and fauna of this unique planet have grown and developed into amazing life forms, creating symbiotic ecosystems and habitats.
It’s time to jump into these rich environments and create some amazing natural synergies that replicate and extrapolate on Earth’s amazing versatility and plethora of natural resources. Create a self-supporting engine of growth, expansion, and supply where even your unused plants become compost for future growth.
Maxime Tardif is the designer of Earth. Earth is an open world engine builder for 1 to 5 players with simple rules and tons of strategic possibilities.
Are you ready to create your own world in Earth?
Let’s get it on the table
Place the Fauna board in the center of the table, you can use both sides, but one side is for an easy game (marked with a flower icon). On the easy side you will place 4 Fauna cards, randomly decide a side of the cards, on the normal side you place 4 Fauna cards and 2 Ecosystems cards.
At the beginning of the game, every player receives an Island card, Climate card and an Ecosystems card. You can give players more challenge by giving them 2 cards and let them pick one card from all the 3 different card types. After this, you choose one side of these cards and place them onto your board. Also, the players receive a player mat/ board and 5 Leaf Tokens.
The players now start to draw several cards as described on their Island card, including the number of Soil and how the number of cards that goes from their hand to Compost.
The first player receives the first player token and the active player token.
During the game you’re going to create your own planet and you plant cards in your own 16-card tableau in a grid with 4 cards wide and 4 cards tall. You can place Growth and Sprouts on Flora cards; Growths are the colored ones and the last one is the top of a growth. Sprouts are green blocks that you place on the bottom of a card. You score VP per Sprouts and VP when a Growth is completed. When you receive cards, you can also receive event cards that you can activate during your turn and these cards can give you some extra options.
On your turn you can choose any of the 4 actions that are on top of your mat/ board. Mark your action with the leaf token, to remember your action. Important note: you can choose every action you want to play.
The different actions are:
Planting: The active player may plant up to 2 cards and take 4 cards an choose 1 to keep. The other players can plant 1 card and take 1 card. By playing a card or cards, you pay the Soil (top left of the cards).
Activate the cards with a green ability
Composting: The active player gains 5 Soil and take 2 cards from the draw pile and place them onto their compost pile. The other players gain 2 Soil or Compost 2 cards from the draw pile.
Activate the cards with a red and multicolored ability.
Watering: The active player gains up to 6 Sprouts from the supply, you must place them on Flora cards with empty Sprout spaces. You can’t take them into reserve to use them later. Also, the active player receives 2 Soil. The other players may gain up to 2 Sprouts or gain 2 Soil.
Activate the cards with a blue and multicolored ability.
Growing: The active player draws 4 cards and place up to 2 Growth on any of your Flora with room on the Growth space. The other players may draw 2 cards or place up to 2 Growth.
Activate the cards with a green and multicolored ability.
When you take your actions, the other player(s) can take the action below your action. When everyone is done all the player activate the abilities of the cards in their tableau. You activate the ability of the cards that are matching the color of the action the active player has chosen.
During the game you can score extra points by looking at the Fauna cards that are on the Fauna board. When a player fulfills at the end of a turn on ore objectives on Fauna cards, the claim the highest available spot on the Fauna bord.
At the end of the game, players can also score points with ecosystems cards. There are 2 cards on the Fauna board and 1 on each player mat/board.
The Game ends
As soon as a player has added a 16th and therefore last card to his tableau, that player places one of his Leaf tokens onto the Fauna board for 7VP. Continue the game and all the players have had the same number of turns, the game ends.
All players count the victory points they have earned.
You can score points with:
VP from your Island and Climate cards
Add VP from cards in your Event space
Add VP per card in your Compost
Add VP per Sprout in your tableau
Add 1 VP per Trunk in your tableau unless the Canopy has been placed. In that case you score the completion VP instead of 1 VP per Trunk.
Add VP from any terrain in your tableau with an end game scoring bonus
Add VP from any fulfilled Ecosystems objectives, including your personal and the two shared Ecosystem cards
Add VP from leaf tokens placed on the Fauna board.
The player with the most victory points is the winner!
Final Conclusion & rating:
Weight: 2.86/ 5
My rating: 9 out of 10 dices
Earth is a surprisingly fun board game; it’s not a game you spend an entire evening playing. We have always played it around 5 quarters of an hour over so far, with different numbers of players. I think this is also because you get to perform an action during another player’s turn as well.
Earth has many recognizable mechanics from other games, I’ve even seen some comparisons to Terraforming Mars and Ark Nova where Earth is mentioned as a faster and slightly easier variant. I kind of get this, anyway the graphics on the cards. Other than that, I think Earth is just another cool new game.
You can perform 4 standard actions in Earth of which you can perform 1 in your turn, the nice thing is that you can perform the same action more often and are not blocked in this. In addition, the game runs smoothly, partly because there is no downtime. During the turn of other players you may perform an action and also activate cards, this really ensures that you are always performing an action, regardless of whether it is your turn or not.
While placing cards, you may place them anywhere as long as they are connected to another card, making it possible to plan cards to place and thus score points for e.g. the end of the game. But placing growth or sprout also gives extra points but you can also decide where to place them.
The Fauna board is a nice addition, so you can score extra points. What is important is that you pay attention to this and make sure you can score points here, because otherwise it will be difficult to claim victory.
The replayability of Earth I find very high, there are many of all types of cards in the box, and many of the important cards are also double-sided. The playing material is also very good looking, in this review I have also shown the playing mats that you can buy extra and I really like them! They are nice to place your cards on but they also look very nice.
Earth is one of the best games of this year and I can’t wait to play it again.
I want to thank Inside Up Games for letting me review this game. Are you curious about their other games? Be sure to check out their website