Beautiful art and engaging play are what Ecosystem are all about. You might miss it on the game shelf because it is quite small, but Ecosystem is a small box, big fun kind of game. You can find more small games to love in this post. Here is the description of the game:
Ecosystem is a card-drafting game in which players choose cards and place them into their play area turn by turn. The cards in a player's grid make up their own personal ecosystem, and at game's end, a player will have twenty cards in their ecosystem, with the game including eleven types of cards. Bears score by being placed next to bees and trout; trout score by being placed next to streams and dragonflies; and streams are compared at the end of the game, with the player who has the largest stream earning points. These are just a few examples of how scoring works in Ecosystem. Don't forget to diversify!
The game play is fast and fun but also very thinky. It takes a round for players new to card drafting to latch onto the concept, but after that they are ready to go. You can learn more about the drafting game mechanic in this post. The game plays over two rounds and has two parts to figure out as you play and pass. First you need to choose which card you will take. You will need to consider your current layout and your ecosystem's diversity. Once everyone has chosen, you will need to decide where you will place your new card. The cards work together to build points to win, but only if you work out the puzzle of perfect ecosystem layout. Once you place your card there is no moving it.
This is one of my favorite drafting games. It has gorgeous artwork. Game play is simple enough for new players and thought provoking enough for seasoned gamers. Our four year old can play it, not well mind you, and our 14 year old loves it. As a bonus it is also very educational. You will be seeing this game on our list of games for roadschooling next week. You can find the post here. It is a fantastic addition to your game shelf and gameschooling collection. You can find more great games for gameschooling in this post.