“Fun, inspired by nature” is the tagline for Montrose Biology, the creator of this really cool game. There are three different versions, each with their own set of biomes:
1. Ecologies: ☃️ Tundra, 🌊 Marine, 🌲 Coniferous Forest, 🌳 Temperate Forest, 🌴 Tropical Forest, 🌾 Grassland, 🌵 Desert
2. Ecologies: Bizarre Biomes: Cave, 🏫 Urban, 🐿 Chaparral, 🐟 Riparian, 💧 Vernal Pool, 🐊 Swamp, 🐠 Mangrove
3. Ecologies: Hidden Habitats: 🐳 Antarctic, 🦞 Hydrothermal Vent, 🐙 Coral Reef, 🏝 Tropical Island, 🦀 Intertidal, 🦗 Salt Marsh, ☁️ Cloud Forest
In ECOLOGIES, you build and maintain food webs in diverse biomes around the world. Each biome has a different ecology, and gives unique rewards when it is healthy and balanced. But watch out, your opponents may decide it’s easier to disturb and degrade your ecosystems than nurture their own. In this hectic environment, you must choose how best to protect and care for your ecologies.
Designed by a biology teacher, the game includes 77 unique organisms, 7 biomes, and beautiful vintage Victorian art. (108 cards total)
The goal is to build healthy food webs in different biomes. If you create a healthy ecology you are rewarded with the perks and powers of that biome. Each organism card lists what it eats and what it’s eaten by. Cards are arranged with plants on the bottom, predators on top. There is a trade mechanic similar to Settlers of Catan where players trade with others based on what their individual needs are. It is a race to get 12 victory points and different organisms give different points. There are biotic/abiotic factor cards that can affect opponents and different strategies such as focusing on one biome, going for perks and bonuses, or disrupting other ecologies.
The gameplay is rooted in authentic science, as it is used in the classroom to teach real concepts to biology students. While it is scientific enough for the classroom, it is also strategic enough for any game night.
The points system is based on ecological trophic levels. The producers (plants) are worth less and as you make your way up the pyramid organisms are worth more as it takes a lot of energy to sustain them. In real life only roughly 10% of the energy makes it from one level to the next, meaning you have to have acres of land and hundreds of animals just to sustain one apex predator. There is a 24 page rulebook included with the card game that also gives an overview of the science.
The games sell for $25 on Etsy, and you can find them HERE