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Photosynthesis» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First time playing (2 - player) - had a great time rss

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Jeff Knapp
United States
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Amazon had suggested this game a few times to me, and it's on my wishlist, but I kept aiming for heavier games when it came to spending money, so I kept letting this one slide.

This past weekend we visited a brand new boardgame cafe here in Dayton, OH, and when I saw this on the shelf, I instantly grabbed it and took it to our table.

A quick online video (the cafe has tablets at each table!) taught me how to play in less than 10 minutes, and after a few quick glances at the rules, we were off to the forest.

It only took a few turns for us to grasp the concept, and our forest pretty quickly became cluttered with trees of various sizes. The colors and artwork of the board really are refreshing, and the play is fairly fast and efficient.

I'm usually a person who plans several turns in advance, especially in games that have a lot of "actions" to choose from when your turn comes around. Photosynthesis is fairly "rinse, wash and repeat," but at no point did the game play feel boring or stagnant. I'm sure I could have spent more time calculating the value and effect of each tree as the sun continued to spin, but honestly it felt relaxing to just sit back and let nature do its thing.

The best part was when we both realized, "Oh wait - we have to cut these things down to actually get points" - and started doing so - and somehow finished the game with 51 points each (probably a low score compared to seasoned players) and had to break a tie by count of trees/seeds on the board. Usually when my wife and I play a new game, I get way ahead in score. But I think that, due to the more-or-less random way we chose places to put trees, trees to upgrade, etcetera, we ended up playing very similarly to each other.

I enjoyed Photosynthesis. I look forward to a four-player game which I know will be much more challenging, but also visually beautiful on the table.

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John Rudolph
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Do you feel like it is a worthwhile purchase if mostly being played as a 2 player game?
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