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A Barely Balanced Ecosystem Game

This game of strategy and surprising reversals based on ecological dynamics. The game is a small ecosystem in which groups of Rocks, Papers, and Scissors compete. This is a population invasion game in which winning depends upon entire neighborhoods of predators and prey.

Each of the three players takes a pile of pieces representing their chosen breed (rock, paper or scissors). Each breed is both prey to one breed and predator to another. You take turns placing your breed on the board, wherever you want. Then you take turns invading one of your prey. On your turn, you also may shield one of your pieces. You try to invade more prey by strategically placing your pieces on the board and choosing which pieces to invade and which to shield. Whoever has the most pieces on the board at the end wins the battle. Repeat until one player wins two battles. The player who first wins two battles wins the war.

Two games are included. The first takes place on a strange sandy island where rock, paper, scissors battle. In the second game included, the setting is microbial, with colorful microbes representing a microscopic version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. The microbial version roughly simulates three different strains of e-coli bacteria competing. The rules are the same in the two games, except the microbial game lasts longer so that you can experience dynamics, such as rebounds and reversals of fortune that actually occur in nature. As a mini-model of actual population dynamics, it can serve as an introduction to ecosystem modeling. The game demonstrates ecological phenomena such as the hydra effect, as the rule book describes. Very easy to use computer simulations of the game are included. The game can be a great educational tool to teach about ecological balance and system modeling, all while having a great time strategizing and immersing oneself in an imaginative fantasy game environment.

Note that we also have a simpler version of this game called "Little Tip."




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Average Rating 4 reviews
Publish Date May 10, 2016
Edition First
Department Board Games
Genre Science
Theme Survival
Setting Alternate Present
Audience Family
Primary Mechanic Dynamic Rules
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Why buy this?

interesting mashup of rock-paper-scissors and Conway's game of life

  • A game of invasion, resistance, based on ecological dynamics
  • Quirky, kooky art and prologue in verse
  • Has accompanying computer simulation


  • This game contains a premium upgrade called UV Coating that makes the printed components more durable.
  • This game contains a premium upgrade where the printed components will be embossed with a linen texture.
  • This game contains laser cut components. Laser cut items will have a slight amount of soot around the edges, which can easily be wiped off; and will have a campfire smell for about a week after you open them.


See It In Action

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Ratings and Reviews

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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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