Dive into science or keep it light – with Genotype you can do both


Remember? Biology, sometime in the second year of high school: heredity.

Your father has blue eyes, your mother has brown eyes. What colour eyes do you have? You know: dominant and recessive. From those dominant and recessive traits, you could make a diagram and thus predict the likelihood of offspring having brown or blue eyes.

On this topic, Genius Games made a board game.

Making science accessible with a game

Genius Games is an American publisher that exclusively makes games around scientific subjects. With Genotype, they managed to turn a complex subject into an accessible game. What I find strong about it is that you can also choose to play it as a ‘normal’ game and let the science be the science.

The game board may look a bit intimidating, but the game plays easily. Do take the time the first time to read the rules carefully and look at the options.

1. A player board full of pea plants

Each player gets a player board on which there is space for two cards. During the game, you collect cards of pea plants there each time and must meet the intersections on them. As soon as one of your cards meets it, you may remove it from the board and have space for a new pea plant. Why pea plants? With those plants lies the basis of heredity research.

2. Collect materials from the large game board

In the centre of the table is the game board where you will distribute your pawns. On the left-hand side, for example, you will find all the dominant and recessive traits. For each property (each with its own colour), you roll the corresponding dice and divide them among the boxes. So it could be that one time there is a lot to gain from FF (dominant plant colour) and another time very little. You need the dice to check off the properties of the pea plants on your player board.

If someone has taken the genetic material away from you, you can always place a pawn on the right-hand side of the game board. Among other things, you can get money for your research there, upgrade your research or buy new plants or handy garden tools.

Five rounds of two stages

The game consists of five rounds and it goes fast! Each round consists of two phases: the working phase where each player takes turns placing a pawn on the game board. Then comes the plant breeding phase in which each player goes on her own player board to see which properties the plants meet and how she can possibly expand her player board.

Now if you’re thinking: that all sounds very simple! That’s right, this is really a review in a nutshell. If you want to dive deeper into the game, check out this review. If you want to read more, read The Science behind Genotype, the booklet that comes with the game.

Want more inspiration for beautiful, fun, funny and original games? Then check out the complete A-Z here. Je hebt nog genoeg tijd om cadeaus te kopen die straks indruk maken! If you buy through a link in this review, you will also support this website!

General information about Genotype

  • number of players: 1 – 5
  • time: 45+ minutes
  • from: 14 years
  • price: around € 60,00 (Dutch price, fall 2023)

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