Darwinauts, designed by Chris Bryan (co-creator of the Board With Life web series, and designer of Lanterns Dice Game, Favelas and Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell), is a light-to-medium weight Euro-style game of tile-laying, worker placement, set collection, and action selection.
During the course of the game, a player takes 2 actions on their turn, selecting from 5 possible actions; place an explorer, place a tile, replenish tiles and remove explorers, discover a species, and record a species. Whenever recording a species, a player immediately takes one of 5 possible bonus actions that allow the player to set themselves up for future turns or alter the landscape. Players continue to take turns until The Rift Tile is revealed, making the portal to the new world unstable. Once The Rift begins, players add an additional phase to their turns, taking part in dismantling the landscape they have opened up for exploration. The game comes to a close as they race to complete their tasks and return home. When the game ends, players receive prestige points for their recorded species and bonuses are earned for specializing in specific sets of species. The Darwinaut with the most points will win the game and go down in history as a pioneer in this new age of discovery.
Darwinauts is a game for 1-4 players, ages 13 and up and plays in 30-45 minutes.
We think Darwinauts is GREAT but don't just take our word for it! Check out these previews and other helpful links! (Please note that all pictures use prototype components and don't always reflect the final product.)
Check out the live play-through from Board Game Spotlight:
"Chaining tiles for resources, researching new species for VPs, and art from Vincent Dutrait makes this a fantastic, thinky filler with the depth of a larger game." -Derek Funkhouser, Board Game Spotlight
"The amount of fun in Darwinauts is exceeded only by it's ease of learning and ability to make you want to play it again and again! The Mechanics feel familiar enough that you understand it in an instant yet deep enough to make you want to explore more options during each play." -Dan Patriss, Geek All-Stars
Richard Ham of Rahdo Runs Through takes a look right here:
Click the logo below for a live play-through that Jason did with Infectious Play (Jonathan Gilmour and Ian Moss) :
Tantrum House shares their thoughts:
Edo take a look here:
"Darwinauts has a little bit of the feel of other tile-laying games like Carcassone, but the “remove explorers” action to acquire resources is new. I like how it keeps the game clock ticking, and pushes everyone inevitably toward the end. The one thing it doesn’t share with other tile-laying games is the way you can enjoy the map at the end of the game—because, by the end, there’s almost nothing left! If you like tile-laying games and far-out alien creatures, maybe you’ll want to become a Darwinaut yourself." -Jonathan Liu, GeekDad
"The growth and collapse of the map in each game of Darwinauts makes every decision feel vital. It’s a tight balance between efficiency and exploration enhanced by Dutrait’s excellent artwork!" -Draft Mechanic
"It’s the perfect combination of tension and strategy." - Angelica, Married Meeples
A video update from designer Chris Bryan about the journey to Darwinauts:
And more to come...
We have plans to add value (STRETCH GOALS!) to Darwinauts that we think you will really appreciate. We plan to add value by upgrading components and adding content to make this cool game even cooler! We have several stretch goals in mind and we hope to hit them all! But know that just as with our previous campaigns, we won't likely be adding more just to add more. We believe that more isn't always better, especially if it holds up production and delays delivery.
That being said, we'll be listening closely to your feedback and ideas and will carefully consider all the ideas that comes our way.
Here's a peek at the first few stretch goals! We'll announce more funding thresholds as we get closer to funding!
If you've checked out the videos and read the reviews and still want more info, you can check out the First Edition Rules PDF RIGHT HERE!
The rules are currently being edited and reformatted for clarity and to match the updated graphic design.
UK and EU copies will be shipping from within the UK with VAT paid! (Currently seeking alternatives to UK shipping in case Brexit becomes an issue!)
Note: International Backers outside of the UK and EU will be responsible for any import fees, brokerage or delivery surcharges, or applicable taxes that may be levied after we have shipped your package.
We have learned that shipping is a costly endeavor, especially with the ever-changing rates of the US Postal Service. We must try to keep our costs as low as possible to keep our games at an appropriate price point for when they hit retail.
We understand that shipping to our international friends can be cost prohibitive and that others have found creative ways to mitigate some of this cost. We have managed to work with a partner in the UK to ship our UK and EU packages to backers to help alleviate VAT charges. As a small company that mostly handles our own fulfillment, we simply pass our shipping cost on to our backers. In addition, it is our goal to continue to develop our network of awesome international partners that we have worked with to localize Darwinauts for game markets around the world.
Chris Bryan is a filmmaker and game designer. You might know him from the award winning web series he co-created, Board with Life. Or you might know him from the Golden Geek Award winning D&D Podcast, Board with Life: Adventures where he plays as a Tabaxi Fighter named Prince Smith Dith Rith the 5th, (the strongest boy alive.) His previous game designs include Lanterns Dice: Lights in the Sky, Favelas, and Dragonball Z: Perfect Cell. When he isn't writing bios about himself he enjoys camping, gardening, climbing, playing drums, and spending time with his wife, 2 cats, and tiny dog in Denton, Texas.
The visual world of Darwinauts was brought to life by legendary artist, Vincent Dutrait (Elysium, Lewis and Clark, New York: 1901, Rise of Augustus) who painstakingly crafted the various species by hand.
Over the last 20 years, Vincent Dutrait has become one of the most beloved illustrators in the board game industry. His body of work includes art direction, graphic design, and illustration in the game industry and in children's book publishing. Vincent currently lives with his family in South Korea. You can find out more about his amazing work here.
Graphic design assistance is provided by SplatteredInk's Darryl T. Jones (Into the Black Forest, Dobbers: Quest for the Key, Freshwater Fly, and the upcoming Alwaysgreen Garden).
Green Couch Games was founded by Jason Kotarski to release great little games that make great big connections. Darwinauts will be their thirteenth release following Fidelitas, Best Treehouse Ever, JurassAttack!, Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, Wok on Fire, Rocky Road a la Mode, OutLawed!, Ladder 29, Before The Earth Explodes, Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun, Filler, and Into The Black Forest. You can check out our other games right here on our website!
Jason is also a game designer and co-host of 20 Minutes of Filler and runs the 20 Minutes of Filler Facebook Group that seeks to create a larger platform for the best games that come in small packages.
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Risks and challenges
My experience with our previous campaigns, Fidelitas, Best Treehouse Ever, JurassAttack!, Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, Wok on Fire, Rocky Road a la Mode, OutLawed!, Ladder 29, Before The Earth Explodes, Filler, Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun, and Into The Black Forest has provided a solid foundation for me to build on. I plan to avoid delays and common pitfalls by paying special attention to the following areas and building on previous experience:
Art and Design. The art and design for the game is nearly complete so we'll be ready to print shortly after the close of the campaign. I always like to show you I mean business by paying for the art and design upfront!
Playtesting and Reviewing. Darwinauts has been tested by many different playtesters and even a bunch of game designers. I have sent a bunch of prototypes to a variety of reviewers. I want to earn your trust by providing you with a solid product that has been thoroughly tested and reviewed by folks from varying backgrounds and perspectives.
Past Experience. This is the thirteenth Kickstarter project I've run for Green Couch Games and I have helped with several other successful campaigns. Also, having spent many years working in retail and customer service, I understand the importance of treating backers with respect and following through with projects.
Of course, there are always unexpected circumstances that pop up, but I PROMISE to communicate every step of the way and do my best to use creative problem solving meet the challenges head on.
Thank you so much for giving Green Couch Games a chance. As a small company, I truly can't do this without you. I will do my best to thank you by creating great little games that you love to play.
Jason Kotarski, founder of Green Couch Games
- (25 days)