What is more terrifying: A pack hunting carnivore or a pack hunting carnivore that can fly? North Star Games has stepped up the competition in Evolution, their game about constantly competing species with the Flight expansion. In this expansion players can take their species to the sky and explore a whole new set of trait cards focused around flying creatures. If you are curious about the base game, you can read my review of it here.
During the ‘Play Cards’ phase of the game players can discard two trait cards to create an avian species, instead of discarding one trait card to create a normal species. These avian species come with the permanent trait of Flight that cannot be discarded and takes up one of the three available trait slots. This trait allows the species to feed from a special area called the cliff. The cliff always gets food equal to the number of players every round, so there is always some food up there regardless of the cards played during the Feeding Phase. This access does come at a cost, avian species must eat extra food to compensate for the extra energy needed for flying. This food is not scored like regular food, and instead is discarded after every round.
The expansion also includes new event cards that can be played during the course of the game to impact the ecosystem. Additionally, Flight includes a handful of new traits. These new traits are focused on the avian species, but can also augment land based species.
Overall there is not a huge divergence from the feel of the base game, players are still competing to survive and adapt to the changing ecosystem. Flight does add more options for divergence of strategy, but does not address any of the downsides introduced in the base game.
Designed by: Dominic Crapuchettes, Dmitry Knorre, Sergey Machin
Published by: North Star Games
Time: 60 minutes
Mechanics: Card management, Adapting playstyles, Simultaneous turns
People who did not like the base game are not going to find anything to change their opinion in this expansion. But, for those who really enjoyed the struggle and tension of Evolution, this is a great addition to the game. Flying, new traits and event cards: what more could you want in an expansion?