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If a game about planting trees and growing them while trying to ensure they get plenty of sunlight sounds like a thematic successor to Photosynthesis (Blue Orange), that's because it is! Evergreen is by the same designer, Hjalmar Hach. However, they are completely different games and will appeal to different kinds of gamer.

Published by Horrible Guild, with art by Wenyi Geng, Evergreen is an engine-building face-up card-drafting action-selection game, with the 2-4 players each developing their own world and the only interaction being via the card selection process at the start of each turn (so, naturally, there's also a solitaire option). The card you choose determines which of the six board regions you can take your main action in, as well as which bonus action you can take. One card will be left over in each draft and that helps determine which regions will be worth the most bonus points at the end of the game. This can be significant sometimes, but most of the time players will just be choosing whichever card is most useful for them that turn.

The basic actions primarily involve planting three new trees or growing two existing trees in your card's region for that turn. The bonus actions improve in strength the more you take them, creating the engine-building dynamic and rewarding a degree of specialisation. Even so, everyone will mostly be trying to grow trees in diagonal formations as quickly as possible.

For gamers who enjoy optimisation challenges where you don't necessarily need to pay too much attention to what opponents are doing, this is a fun yet easygoing experience that is well themed, well presented and enjoyable from start to finish.

(Review by Matt Young)

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