And unlike the other two games I just named, the perspective is ever-changing as the sun revolves around the board.
If you remember your high school biology, you’ll recall that photosynthesis is the process through which plants convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy that can be used to fuel growth and other cellular operations. Succeeding at this means, inevitably, weakening the other trees in the forest, but such is the circle of life. Anyway, a game of Photosynthesis is played over twelve rounds.
A “round” occurs every time the sun moves to a new position.
After everyone has taken their light points, the Life Cycle phase begins. While you can do as many actions as you want or can afford, you cannot do more than one action that affects the same space on the main board per round.
So if you place a small tree on a board space, for example, you cannot upgrade that tree to a medium tree this round.
You begin the game with a small selection of seeds and trees that are immediately available, but everything else must be bought.
Planting a Seed: Seeds cost one light point and can be planted around existing trees.
The game ends after three full revolutions, or twelve rounds.[Author’s Note: I realized after publication (and only after having it pointed out to me by someone smarter than myself) that we played this incorrectly. We somehow glossed over the part in the rule book where it says, “Around the hex.” Apologies!
Playing it correctly would not have changed my overall verdict on the game, however.
Doing so costs four points per tree, but enables you to take the top scoring token from the pile that matches the type of soil your tree was rooted in.
Photosynthesis is one of several “line of sight” abstract games to release lately including Seikatsu and Topiary.