Habitat – Review
Habitat was first published in 2008 by Valley Games Inc. It is now in its 2nd edition.
- Designed by: Elliot Hogg
- Published by: Valley Games Inc.
- Number of players: 2-6
- Playing time: 30 min
- Player ages: 8+
A Quick Overview
In the Northern forests, you create a Habitat and build a diverse ecosystem consisting of resources, complex organisms and deadly predators of the forests.
Your habitat can consist of multiple food chains and a variety of wildlife. The winner is the one with the most biologically diverse ecosystem.
There are two game phases in Habitat. The first is the growth phase that occurs simultaneously. The second phase is the event phase where each player takes a turn to play an Event card (which affects ecosystems) or exerts Territoriality.
Events range from seasons (Spring/Winter) to natural disasters (Wildfire, Pollution, etc.) Each player tries to attract a diverse ecosystem consisting of cards numbered from 1 to 8.
The winner is the one that has an ecosystem with at least one card numbered from 1 to 8.
Disclaimer: This game was provided as a sample game by Valley Games Inc.
I have played Habitat a few times now and I kind of like it. It is a card game and it can be played very quickly though we found our games taking about 30-45 minutes.
There is a lot of “luck” involved in this type of game because of the card draw. The goal is to get a numbered set of cards from 1 to 8. This is a little difficult to do as there are only three “8” value cards (Cougar, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear).
There are also three “Wolves” cards which are numbered “7*” with the exception that if you have two of these distributed along your food chains, they count as BOTH “7” and “8” value cards.
The idea of the game is to build a habitat consisting of resources (eggs, plants, fruits and berries, etc.) which have a value of “1” and add animals that subsist on them. You can only add to a food chain an organism of a higher number or, thematically, an organism that feeds on the item below it.
It is a nice concept and the cards are lavishly illustrated giving you the feel of actually nurturing a habitat. I have played this game with 2 and 3 players and I prefer playing it 3 players.
The designer took pains to make the ecosystem building process thematic and I appreciate that. I think younger children would enjoy a nature lesson that these cards provide.
It is a little more complicated than a game such as For Sale.