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I’m super excited about all the new science games hitting the market lately.Cytosis, Terraforming Mars, CO2, Dinosaur Island (yeah, okay, but you are working with DNA), Bios: Genesis, and Evolution/Evolution: Climate are just a few examples.

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You begin the game with a small selection of seeds and trees that are immediately available, but everything else must be bought.

Planting a Seed: Seeds cost one light point and can be planted around existing trees.

Into the science game melee enters Photosynthesis, a game about growing trees and making use of the sunlight to help them reach their full potential (while also stunting your opponents’ trees). Just remember that sun is your friend, shade is your enemy.

Is it a game of happy little trees (oops, now I’m stealing from Bob Ross’ Art of Chill game), or does something dark lurk in this pretty forest? You are in charge of a species of tree (or you are the trees, however you want to look at it) and it’s your job to get as much energy from the sun as you can so that your trees can grow, thrive, produce seedlings for the next generation, and ultimately end their life cycle as strong, healthy trees.

Buying: Your player board is where your inventory resides and you will buy trees or seeds from your player board.

Once something is purchased, you place it next to your player board, indicating that it is ready to be planted.Of course, your opponents are trying to do the same thing so it’s difficult to keep ahead. But when the sun comes around to the other side, your shorter tree will be in the better position.And this triggers the need to constantly upgrade your trees and jockey for position.If you remember your high school biology, you’ll recall that photosynthesis is the process through which plants convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy that can be used to fuel growth and other cellular operations. Succeeding at this means, inevitably, weakening the other trees in the forest, but such is the circle of life. Anyway, a game of Photosynthesis is played over twelve rounds.A “round” occurs every time the sun moves to a new position.And unlike the other two games I just named, the perspective is ever-changing as the sun revolves around the board.This is the hook that differentiates it from others.Growing a Tree: You can replace a seed or tree with a tree the next size up.The larger you grow, the more light points it costs to make the transition.Seeds from smaller trees must be planted in spaces closer to the tree, while larger trees allow you to plant seeds further away.You can plant seeds in any direction, as long as the spaces connect.

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