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RomyCat

Photosynthesis --perfect game for lumberjacks

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My Secret Santa recently sent me Photosynthesis as a present. Its theme of growing seeds into tall trees appealed to me. As I played the game with my sister and several friends, I enjoyed the deep strategy hidden in this charming game with its bright, cheerful artwork. As I chopped down a tall tree (the instruction book words it "when a tree reaches the end of its life cycle"), I found myself thinking of Dog Might and the wonderful products they make.

The game actually is very competitive, especially with four players where there is limited space. Everyone is trying to soak in as much sunlight as possible, growing your trees taller than others, casting smaller trees into shadows and preventing them from collecting light points. You only score points by letting tree mature into death (aka, chop them down). But once you chop down a mature tree, you will no longer get sunlight from it. Timing is so very important in this game. The sun keeps rotating around the board, so you actually need to think constantly in the fourth dimension--time.

When the sun moves this time, I will get 10 sun points. But on the next rotation, I only will get two. Better grow another tree quick. Yikes, someone just blocked me! 

My sister kept wishing she could hire a lumberjack to chop down my tallest trees. Fortunately for me, that's not in the rules.

 

 

 

 

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They fit in the box like that. No need to disassemble them to put it away.  I was surprised how much strategy one needs to win a game about growing trees.  I  recommend the game.

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20 hours ago, RomyCat said:

Orange2-36377.jpg

I see the KickStarter green trees, Sapphire trees, Canarywood trees and Bolivian Rosewood trees. Looks like the DMG backyard... :) 

Edited by Serge Darveau
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This is 5000% my style of game and I immediately grabbed a copy when we were at PAX Unplugged. I love competitive board games like this but love it even more when those mechanics are paired with adorable foxes hidden inside of gorgeous trees. I love everything about this game and I haven't even gotten to play it yet! (Our group was too big over the holidays.)

I was super impressed with the punch-outs and that it comes with dividers for the deep box that it comes in so you don't have to worry about your pretty trees getting crushed or having to dis-assemble. Really well done all around.

And the seeds are all properly paired with the right type of tree and everything!

I just love this game so much. 😭

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This game reminds me of my mom.  When she and my dad came for a visit 30 years ago, we went for a walk to stretch our legs and see the neighborhood I moved into.  Every time she saw a blue spruce, she pointed it out to my dad "Look Donald, what a cute blue spruce."  After she did it like 9 times, I thinking to myself, what's up with that?  That was until my dad muttered under his breath about not giving a "darn" about blue spruces, my mother then nudges me in the ribs with her elbow, and gives me a wink.  Cracked me up.  When I moved into my new house, she bought me a dinky little blue spruce tree.  Every year she would get her picture taken with her blue spruce tree.  It got taller than her by the time she couldn't travel anymore.  Now when I see blue spruce trees, I think of her.

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@Barb Bliss, that is simultaneously beyond adorable and very touching. Thanks for sharing that story. I'm gonna think of her every time now, too!

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52 minutes ago, Zoe said:

@Barb Bliss, that is simultaneously beyond adorable and very touching. Thanks for sharing that story. I'm gonna think of her every time now, too!

Her name was Ruth.  The one sane person in a house of crazy.  Not sure how she did it.  She was a character.

When she came to visit Minnesota after my dad died, we'd go somewhere pretty, and she's "steal a rock" to take home with her.  One time while I was at work, she bought a box of tulip bulbs and started planting them.  She missed seeing them in Florida.  I told her to take a few home with her, put them in a paper bag, chuck them into the freezer until spring, and then plant them.  She did, and about a week later, she had about 20 people come by to see her tulips.

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She sounds like a great a woman. I miss having a flower garden myself. I use to live in the country and had lots of flowers beds and a huge veggie garden. Now I have a few hedges. I tried growing flowers but the area around my house floods every year and seeds don’t fare well.  At least I can play games about growing plants.

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2 minutes ago, RomyCat said:

She sounds like a great a woman. I miss having a flower garden myself. I use to live in the country and had lots of flowers beds and a huge veggie garden. Now I have a few hedges. I tried growing flowers but the area around my house floods every year and seeds don’t fare well.  At least I can play games about growing plants.

Beats pulling weeds :-)

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@RomyCat you won me over with your description of this one. And as @Zoe can attest, I am easily persuaded into getting more gaming goodies.

So far I’ve tried it out at player counts of 4 and 3.  I enjoyed it more with 4 players, but think it will be good with 2.  In my opinion perfect information games can be tough with 3 players.  I also think I will like it with the fourth rotation to lengthen the game, and possibly with the rule prohibiting growth of trees in shade that turn.

One thing I really enjoyed was just how good it looked on the table, and how the flow of the game built up the wood then ebbed back to a meadow at the end.  Here are some photos from the 4 player round. My apologies for the various camera angles.

 

 

Initial set-up:F00F5445-F37F-4F38-8282-FEE048A52013.jpeg

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The forest returns to a meadow after the large trees reach the end of their life-cycle:

AAA67E57-58D2-4368-9228-D48395193BD0.jpeg

Edited by LuckyIke
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LuckyIke, glad you are enjoying the game. I have not played it with 3 players yet, just 2 and 4. With two there is a lot more room and the tension is less. With 4, by the third round, there is lots of competition for spots to grow trees. And you get blocked a lot by your opponents. Lots of fun...especially if I have the tallest trees. :D

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@LuckyIke Yay!!! I'm so glad, bwehehe! (That's a crafty giggle.)

Ooh, maybe I should just do a 2 player game with my boyfriend.. We keep trying to do a 4 player game, but our group keeps being 5-7 people, which isn't quite enough to warrant splitting up, generally.

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I've been wanting to get this for quite a while, but me and the wife want to try it out first to make sure we enjoy it. Our LGS does board game day every sunday where the group plays whatever games are in the store's library or people bring stuff from home, so hopefully we'll get a chance soon.

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@Blinkus Maximus it's a fun one.  After playing it, my FLGS owner nfortunately couldn't order stock from her distributor, Blue Orange Games can be tricky in this regard sometimes.  

 

Bonus use for the components, you have a great looking forest ready for RPGs or various minis games!

Edited by LuckyIke
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20 hours ago, LuckyIke said:

 

Bonus use for the components, you have a great looking forest ready for RPGs or various minis games!

Actually, that was why I first put the game on my BGG wishlist, I wanted trees to use in Gloomhaven. When my Secret Santa sent me the game I was delighted. I enjoy the game and love the artwork. The trees are very sturdy and make great props for RPG’s and other games,

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