Two articles by yours truly appeared on Ars Technica over the weekend. The first is a list of thirty games to play while surviving a global pandemic. Since I wrote only six of the thirty entries, it’s a good thing we’re not currently stuck at home with nothing but the list’s flimsier offerings. Which six did I write about, you ask? Good question. I’ll give you an easy clue: the best six.
The more substantive piece focuses on a handful of titles that are good picks for Earth Day. These are my favorite games for learning about this little blue marble we all happen to share, the interconnectedness of its climate and inhabitants, and our responsibility for its well-being. The first few titles are familiar family fare, but props to my editor for letting me include the last third, which consists of games you usually don’t see discussed on more mainstream sites. I hope someone picks up the Bios trilogy and goes cross-eyed at the lexical carpet bombing that is Phil Eklund’s principal mode of communication.
Evolution has always been a game of counting calories, though in a different sense than most of us are accustomed to. It’s anything goes all the time, with everyone consuming every last leaf, berry, and scrap of meat they can clamp their jaws around. I’ve both written and spoken about my love for Evolution in the past, but now it’s time to explain why Climate is the pinnacle of the series thus far.
If you haven’t played Evolution from North Star Games, you’ve been missing out. Not only was it incredibly smart, rightly portraying evolution as a raging contest of one-upsmanship between ever-changing species, it was also one of my favorite games of last year, and has been a regular feature at Château de Thurot game nights for so many months that we now play hands in between discussions about our vestigial kidneys and budding telekinetic powers.
Well, for all you creatures who missed out on the first (and second) of Evolution’s appearances, here’s your chance to finally shed that tail. Climate is soon in coming, and it’s set to heat things up a bit.
Look, we’re all grownups here. By now it’s obvious that the theory of evolution is a hoax. Just like dinosaur bones and Plaid Hat Games being sold to F2Z Entertainment, it’s there to test our steadfastness. So yeah, maybe I was tempted into agnosticism when Evolution appeared at my doorstep, box buckling under the pressure of a thousand demons and belting passages from The Communist Manifesto at the top of its lungs. It took a lot of soul-searching before I came to the realization that I’ve survived dozens of Tolkienist fantasies brimming with wizards and talking trees. Why not give a Darwinist fantasy a shot?
Long story short, I’m happy I did, because Evolution is easily one of the best card games of the year.