Evolution - Rules

Starting The Game

With /join 2-5 players can join the game. With /start the game begins. Alternatively, you can use the Game Tool!

Object of the Game

The players attempt to secure their species' survival by feeding them, increasing their populations and securing their best possible development through increases in body size and the acquiring of new capabilities. All animals start out as herbivores that eat from the food supply by the water hole. They can become carnivores through the respective property and then consume other species.

At the end of the game the players receive points for:

  • the food their own species consumed during the game,
  • the population size of the surviving species,
  • the nunber of property cards of the surviving species.

Game Material

110 cards, 14 of which are carnivores. The other 16 cards are each included 6 times. The food values are between -3 and +9. Animals and food in unlimited supply.

Flow of the game

A match of Evolution is played over several rounds. The game ends when the draw pile is used up, one more round is then played. Each round consists of the following phases:

  • Receiving cards
  • Selecting the food supply
  • Playing cards
  • Before eating
  • Eating
  • Scoring


Each card can be used for all of the above actions. Each card shows the food supply it brings to the water hole, if so played, in the upper left-hand corner. The picture and its name denote the property that it imparts on the animal, if so played.

Receiving cards

AT the beginning of each round, the players get 3 hidden property cards plus 1 more for each species they own.

Selecting the food supply


The players simultaneously select one card from their hands and place it on the water hole. The food cards determine how much plant food is available this round. However, these cards are only turned up at the beginning of the feeding phase. Until then, only any food remaining from the previous round is shown here.

Playing cards

Starting with the starting player (dinosaur symbol) and in clockwise (i.e. top to bottom) order, each player gets their turn and can then play as many property cards as they want. Cards that aren't played remain in hand for the next round.

Karte ausspielen

For each card the player can use one of three actions:

  • Obtain a new species
  • Enhance body size or population
  • Play a property

In order to place a new species to the left or right of the existing ones, the player selects first the card and then the respective button "Neues Tier". New animals cannot be placed in between existing ones.

To select one of the other two actions, click the card and then the animal you want to improve ("An dieses Tier").

Karte an ein Tier ausspielen

In order to increase body size (German "Körpergröße") or population, click the respective button to the lower left or right of the animal card.

In order to play a property, a player clicks the framed area in the centre of the card. A species can have up to 3 properties (only 2 with 2 players) and cannot have the same property multiple times. If a player wants a species that already has the maximum number of properties to obtain a new one, they have to replace one of the existing ones.

Before eating

Vor dem Fressen

Now the food cards are turned up and the food supply adjusted. If the resulting sum is negative, no food enters the game.

Animals with the properties

  • Long Neck
  • Fertile
  • Fat Tissue
  • Intelligence (only as herbivores)

can now use these, starting with the starting player, by clicking them ("Ausführen"). The cards that can be played are marked. In order to use intelligence, you must first select a card to be discarded.



Starting with the starting player, the players must now always feed one of their species by clicking it ("Fressen lassen"). This will make them get one (or through special properties also several) food chip. Attention: The feeding is repeated in playing order until all animals have eaten their fill or the remaining animals have no food left to eat. A species is hungry until the number offo od chips corresponds to its population size. Once a player has no hungry animals left, he is skipped and the other players continue feeding without him.

Feeding of herbivores

Every species starts off as a herbivore. All you need to do to feed it is a click on the animal They then get their food from the water hole shown to the upper right. Some properties like Foraging influence the amount of food a player may take from the water hole. A species can only get more chips than its population size by using Fat Tissue.

Feeding of carnivores

Carnivores must also eat as long as they are hungry. However they can never eat plant food, not even with properties like Long Neck or Cooperation. They eat by attacking other species. As long as carnivores are not full, they continue attacking even if the food supply at the water hole is already gone. A player might be forced to attack his own animals as well. An attack will always succeed if the carnivore's body size is greater than that of the victim and the carnivore has properties to eliminate any defensive properties the victim might have. All animals that may be attacked are marked when you select the carnivore, clicking one lets you attack. After a successful attack the population of the attacked species is reduces by 1. If the population sinks below 1, the species has become extinct (cf. Extinction). The carnivore then gets as much food as the victim's body size indicates. This doesn't diminish the supply of plant food.

A carnivore can use Intelligence to disable properties of other animals. He does this by choosing a hand card to discard, then activating intelligence and selecting the property desired. This property is now disabled in ALL species until the attack has been completed. Of course, this only applies to this carnivore, which is therefore highlighted in green.

It should be noted that a carnivore NEVER eats plant food, while a herbivore can eat meat through properties like Scavenger or Cooperation.

End of feeding

Die Fütterung endet, wenn alle Tierarten der Spieler so viel Nahrung aufgenommen haben, dass die jeweilige Anzahl an Nahrungschips der Größe ihrer Population entspricht oder wenn keine hungrige Tierart mehr Nahrung aufnehmen kann. Wenn eine Tierart nicht genug Nahrung aufnehmen konnte, wird die Population dieser Tierart auf die Anzahl der vorhandenen Nahrungschips reduziert. Wenn eine Tierart keine Nahrung gefressen hat, sinkt die Populationsgröße auf 0 (die Tierart stirbt aus ? siehe Aussterben). Alle Nahrungschips, die nach der Fütterung noch auf dem Wasserloch liegen, bleiben dort für die nächste Runde liegen. Jeder Spieler, der keine Tierart mehr hat, erhält kostenlos eine neue aus dem Vorrat. Alle Nahrungschips werden von den Tierarten entfernt und zählen am Spielende als Siegpunkte. Die anktuelle eigene Anzahl kann man rechts in seiner Statusleiste rechts an dem Sack sehen. Der nächste Spieler wird neuer Startspieler und erhält den Startspielermarker.


When a species' population drops to 0, it becomes extinct and is immediately removed. All food chips left on the now extinct species are added to the victory points. All property cards on the extinct species are placed face-up on the discard pile. The player now gets as many cards into his hand as were lying on the species. If a species that was in between two other species goes extinct, the other species are pushed together to close the hole.

End of the Game

Once the draw pile is empty. the discard pile is shuffled and used as a new draw pile. If this happens in the card receiving phase, this determines the start of the last round. The game ends after the eating phase. If this happens at any other point in the round, this round is completed and one more entire round played. Then the evaluation takes place. The last round is shown by the bell on the draw pile.


The players get points at the end of the game as follows:

  • per food chip eaten throughout the game, 1 point.
  • for the population size of each surviving species, 1 point per level.
  • for each property card still attached to the surviving species, 1 point.

The player with the most points wins.


If there are multiple players with the same number of points, the number of property cards on the remaining species is first tiebreaker.

The econd tiebreaker is the sum of populations of the surviving species.


All 17 properties and explanations can be found in the German orginal rules from page 6. There are also English versions on BGG but they tend to vary a little concerning the selection of different properties. A list of the card texts as shown within the game can be found here.