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Tabletop Spotlight: Photosynthesis

3 Minute Read
Aug 31 2017

Can you master the art of managing your trees to overcome your opponents? In Photosynthesis it’s all about the trees!

Walking the floor at GenCon 50 there were a LOT of things that grabbed ours eyes and Photosynthesis was one of them. This game was just really pretty to look at and when our friends at Dragon’s Lair pulled out a copy for us to take a look at I was already hooked:

The basics of Photosynthesis are that you’re a particular tree type and you’re trying to score more victory points than your opponents by placing your trees in the best spots to get sun and then harvesting them at the right time to collect points. Sounds simple right? Well there are a few catches! The first one is that the trees do grow over time and as they grow they block sunlight. Oh that’s right – there is a sun tracking element to this game. You need sunlight for Photosynthesis to occur after all!

A big part of the strategy is determining when you “grow” your trees, when you place new trees, and when you harvest them. The harvest mechanic is particularly intense because the more trees that are harvesting can impact the number of points you can score. Each ring of hexes on the board determines what the possible values are for harvesting the trees in those rings. It’s actually a really well designed system! If you’re really into resource management and placement strategies then you’ll really enjoy the mechanics of this game.

On top of having some excellent mechanics, visually this game is fantastic. The art and colors are vibrant and inviting. Its just a pleasant experience looking at this game. Also, as the “Forest” grows the game visually changes but looks really pleasing still – the more you look at it the more this game grows on you!

Photosynthesis is a great game for players of all ages. The mechanics are really good, the art is fantastic and the quality of the parts are great, too. This game really hits the trifecta in those terms. On top of that, its easy to learn but a can be a really challenging game depending on the other players – which is a good thing! I really liked Photosynthesis for all these reasons so if you get a chance to check it out, DO IT! You won’t regret it.



Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game! Plant and shape the ever-changing forest as you cultivate your seeds and your strategy. Take your trees through their life-cycle, from seedling to full bloom to rebirth, and earn points as their leaves collect energy from the revolving sun’s rays. Carefully pick where you sow and when you grow, as trees in the shadows are blocked from light, and from points. This game features realistic gameplay and beautiful graphics.


Photosynthesis – where the colors are bright and the mechanics are ice-cold!

Author: Adam Harrison
  • IDW Gen Con Booth