Photosynthesis is a game for 2-4 players ages 8+ from Blue Orange Games. In the game you play as a variety of trees that competes for limited sunlight in a small but fertile forest by growing your trees and spreading seeds across the board. Using light tokens you will grow your trees from seeds to maturity eventually harvesting them to score points depending on where they were on the board.
Each turn conists of 2 phases, the Photosynthesis Phase and the Lifecycle Phase. In the Photosynthesis Phase players collect light points for each tree not in the shadow of any other tree depending on the angle of the light coming through the canopy. Each turn the sun moves so a tree that is not shaded this round may be next round or in further rounds depending on what grows around it. During the Lifecycle Phase players may:
Buy new trees by paying the light point cost and moving them from their player board to the ‘available’ area in front of them.
Plant seeds by placing available seeds on the board up to 3 spaces away from one of their trees (depending on the tree’s size)
Grow one of their previously plated trees by replacing it with a larger tree from their available stock and placing the removed tree back on their player board.
Collect one of their large trees from the board an pick up the top scoring token depending on what space the tree was planted on.
The game continues in this manner until the sun has completed 3 full rotations around the board with the player scoring the most points from harvesting their trees winning the game.
I liked that you can block people and that different size trees can block a certain spaces and that the bigger trees could throw their seeds further. I didn’t like that you could only do one action per space on each turn because then I couldn’t harvest on the last turn. I liked that where you were harvesting trees from got you more points because it made the game more fun and that there were rings of scoring circles like the rings of a tree.
I liked that you can grow trees for the light points and that the bigger the tree grew the more points it cost but that it earned more light points each turn. I also liked that the big trees gave you the biggest advantage because it took so much to get the but you only had two of the so you had to harvest them to get points and grow your other trees. I loved this game!