At the beginning, there was a planet. Bare and lifeless. And then something happened. Over thousands of years, it began to swarm everywhere and life began to flourish. Genes develop and convert according to their environment. Adaptation is the most important quality of life. Because of it, we can find it in the least likely places and its strength never ceases to amaze us.
Similarly tenacious will have to be players in new card game ADAPT, created by John Wrot. His work can be seen through campaign on Kickstarter. But we missed that time with article by few weeks, because it has ended on start of March. Nevertheless we believe, that this preview will grab attention of some readers and they will look for the game, even at a slightly higher price, than it was offered during the campaign. Game was very successful and with the support of 783 people gathered over forty thousand dollars.
What makes ADAPT be different from other card games? We start back in the early development of organisms, just like in Evolution: Origin of Species. But this older game from RightGames had a lot of shortcomings and also unnecessarily complex rules. Will this new game do it better?
Everything suggests, that it could. Game begins with the fact, that each player has his board with a small animal. It will grow for him, as he with each succeeding round acquires new genes from the bank, which is a public space in middle of the table (several revealed cards). Currency to spent is experience, that grows in each creature as time passes (two experience per round is guaranteed income).
Much more important, however, is event phase. Here, a player can always choose one action of five available. For the accumulated experience, players can buy new body parts and store them in their gene pool. Only in the following rounds, that card can be physically attached to body on the appropriate place. This improvement has its own clearly defined rules, that limits unrealistically rapid growth.
Crucial role in this game is played by dice. Their role, however, in most situations is only to record some status. Players count their experience through them. And yet, attack is also result of dice added to the creature’s fury and attacking player compares result with enemy survive ability. Victory can be achieved only by hurt an opponent. But attacking stronger creatures is also worth it, because creature gains experience.
Gene pool offer obviously varies with course of rounds. But whole thing is only a pretext to fight for survival. Without it, ADAPT game would miss its whole meaning and eventually only the strongest can outlast others in game of adaptation. One player comes to the end of his evolution and his creature becomes basis for all future life.
This game looks definitely interesting and very conflicting. The game is not somehow extremely fast and will last at least those thirty minutes, which can be seen as a sweet spot for such fun. Basic version is designed for two players, while you can find special rules for larger number in the manual. But we enjoyed ourselves just with two players.
Due to the constant evolution of organisms, game does not get samey even after repeated playing. Players must also cope with a certain influence of luck, that is needed in deciding on the results of the fights, but also about card offer in the middle. Who caught which gene is only about speed and a bit of luck.
ADAPT seems like first part of Spore (digital PC game) on a table in a card shape. As you swim in a premordial soup, trying to obtain the best genes for yourselves and attack others, you will be part of evolution. In doing so, you have to watch out for opponents, who may have more teeth or claws, than you. But you can learn from them. ADAPT is a card game, that is poised in very good direction.