Population is central to this game! You'll want the population of your species to thrive because each token, regardless of color, is worth 1 point at the end of the game.
These boards represent your species. Each one has 10 spaces for population tokens, but the species will overpopulate if a population token must be placed on the space with the fishbones. Overpopulation leads to disease, which means a huge decrease of that species' population.
A species feeds on the population of another species by using the attack icons on their traits:
The Reef starts with population, but when it runs out, it will stay empty unless an event brings more population into it.
A species feeds on population in the Reef by using the forage icons on their traits:
The population in the Ocean is limitless. When the first Ocean zone runs out of population, take population from the next Ocean zone. The last round of the game triggers when the final Ocean zone runs out of population.
A species eats population from the Ocean when a gains icon is triggered:
Two random Scenario cards will be placed on the first two Ocean zones each game, encouraging players to explore a variety of playstyles.
There are 12 traits in the Surface deck, 10 copies of each. During the game, you will adapt your species with traits to help them thrive in an ever-changing environment.
The Surface traits represent the known world: things that have already been discovered by science. These traits bring consistency to the game's ecosystem.
Every card in the Deep is unique and very powerful.
The Deep traits represent the unknown: things that have not yet been discovered by science. These traits bring excitement and variety into the game's ecosystem.
Cambrian Explosion Card
The game is divided into two halves, split by the start of the Cambrian Explosion. The rate of evolution doubles once you've entered the Cambrian Explosion.
The Player Screens keep the scores hidden. Each turn, you will score 1 population from each of your species and place them in a score pile behind your Player Screen.
The Bonus Tokens are used during setup to offset the disadvantage of going early in the player order.