Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Tiny Footprint is an easy-to-play action selection co-operative game where players are working together to reduce carbon emissions to zero in just five turns. The game can take up to six players and can be played as a solo game.
Players represent the members of a family. They each draw mission cards that, when satisfied, reduce emissions on one of the four tracks (transport, food, housing, consumption). Through the game, they will be drawing resource cards (commitment, finance and discipline) to carry out the actions they set out and, most important, to complete mission cards.
Players place out cubes to select the actions they want to take: draw one or more cards, play a card or attempt a mission. Some missions simply require the player to contribute the requisite resource cards but others may additionally require a successful die roll (5+ on a 10-sided die). The die roll may be pre-modified up or down by cards already in play, and modified upwards by other players contributing 'support' cards; tho' this will cost them one of their actions in addition to the card itself.
Tho' the mechanics in Tiny Footprint are very straightforward and can be quickly picked up even by those coming new to modern board games, it can be tough achieving the scale of reductions demanded for a win. Many of the missions deliver only very modest reductions in emissions yet players are required collectively to take emissions in food and consumption down to zero from starting points of 21 each, with transport and housing both starting at 49. Saving the planet isn't going to be easy. Who knew?
The mission cards all contain genuine practical suggestions for reducing carbon emissions. So much so that you might well think Tiny Footprint straddles the boundary between board game and propaganda. Certainly, designer Marcus Jargarden and publishers Gaard Games intend the game to be educational and to broaden players' awareness of the practical measures that ordinary families can take to reduce their carbon footprint. Too often, we think of carbon emissions and climate change as issues to be dealt with by governments. In an enjoyable and accessible game, Tiny Footprint focuses our attention on what we can all do as individuals to make a difference.