ID for evolution-themed '80s board game
May 23, 2011 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Half-remembered board game ID question: In the mid-'90s, my family was visiting some friends who owned a strange board game involving evolution, species, a hexagonal grid, and lots and lots of dice. What was it?

Here's what I can remember about this game:
  • Each player played a single species, trying to manipulate its traits in order to allow it to take over an island.
  • The island was irregularly shaped and divided up into hexagons — on the order of 40-50 of them. The hexes had different colours depending on the type of terrain they were supposed to represent (grassland, forest, mountains, etc.)
  • Each of the four players had a supply of about 30 small six-sided dice (in different colours) used to represent the population of their species. So as a species grew fruitful and multiplied on a given hex, you'd put a die on that hex with the 1 on top, then later turn it so the 2 was on top, then later the 3, and so forth.
  • You could swap traits that would help you survive and multiply faster. Certain traits allowed you to survive in more environments, or to be able to migrate between hexes, or to increase your population more quickly. However, you usually had to trade off between these traits.
  • The game already seemed kind of old when I saw it; if I had to guess, I'd say that it was published between the late '70s and mid-'80s. But I could be way off on that.
Does this ring any bells for anyone? Googling has yielded nothing definitive.
posted by Johnny Assay to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
It is Evo.

Quite a fun game especially nice for kids as they get to build themselves a dinosaur.
posted by koolkat at 7:06 AM on May 23, 2011

Response by poster: Nope, not Evo — though it does seem to be very similar in style, and might have been inspired/influenced by my mystery game. But the timeline is wrong, and I distinctly remember the large number of dice used to represent the populations, which feature Evo doesn't seem to have.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:19 AM on May 23, 2011

Possibly Survive?
posted by Falwless at 7:40 AM on May 23, 2011

Best answer: Extinction?
posted by amyms at 7:52 AM on May 23, 2011

I think amyms has found it!
posted by Falwless at 7:55 AM on May 23, 2011

Response by poster: Extinction is it! For those who are curious, here's the BoardGameGeek entry for it. Now to track down a copy....
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:23 AM on May 23, 2011

If you can't find it, I think these games scratch a similar itch. I haven't played Extinction, but I have played all of these.

Primordial Soup
Dominant Species
American Megafauna (this is a seriously heavy, complex one)
posted by mkultra at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2011

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