Teaching Evolution Through Board Games

THE GAMES

A.D.A.P.T.

Playtime: 30 minutes

Teach time: 20 minutes

Game difficulty: Moderate

Number of players: 2

Timespan: not specified or relevant

Key educational concepts:  evolution arm's races

 

 

Overview and Review

In A.D.A.P.T. players evolve a fish species by physically modifying different body parts (dorsal and tail fins, organs, etc.) to out-compete the other player's species.  My favorite thing in this game was the Frankenstein-like actions where you combine novel body parts with your archetype fish (portrayed as a guppy) from the pool of mutation cards.  However, when compared to similar weight games on the market (e.g. Evolution), we felt A.D.A.P.T. was inferior in most aspects. Much of this stems from the gameplay feeling too fiddly, requiring lots of bookkeeping and die rolling to resolve actions, and frequently referencing the rulebook for each new card. Gameplay was further impeded by the game's large lexicon and many ambiguous rules.  Lastly, the components were not great. The folded player mats never sat flat and the graphic design could have been a lot cleaner.  With the upcoming release of Darwin's Choice, a game that shares our favorite mechanic from A.D.A.P.T. (the adaptation via Frankensteinian evolution), it may push this game further down the list in an already crowded market. Though the game has moderate value as an educational tool, we recommend most other games over this.

 

 

A player mat with traits (image credit: KeeperoftheGate)

Box cover

Game contents (image credit: KeeperoftheGate)