The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadows of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don't forget that the sun revolves around the forest. Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game!
In Photosynthesis you are sowing the seeds to grow a beautiful woodland. As the sun moves around the board each day, you will harvest more sunlight with larger trees, which might overshadow others in the forest.
At the start of the game each player will take turns planting a tree until everyone has two small trees along the outside of the board. Every round of the game, each tree that isn’t obscured by shadow will generate sunlight, which acts as a currency to grow and spread your trees.
Each player will then take turns spending their sunlight (or saving it for the future) before the round ends with the sun moving to its next position on the board. Once the sun makes a full rotation of the game board, a day has passed. The game typically ends at the end of the third day, though there is a long game option at four days long.
Sunlight can be spent in a variety of ways, each player has a hand and a player board, trees and seeds in your hand can be used, but in order to get them into your hand you have to spend some sunlight. The amount of sunlight increases both by the size of the tree and by the number of that tree type you have already removed from the board.
The second thing you can spend sunlight on is to plant seeds, so long as you have a seed in your hand you can plant it, the larger the tree you are planting it from the further the range of spaces you can plant in. Finally you can spend sunlight to upgrade trees, you can turn a seed into a small tree, a small into a medium, medium into a large or cut down a large tree to score points. For all but the last action you need to have a tree in your hand, the previous tree/seed gets returned to your player board.
Points are gained exclusively from having trees finish their life cycle, with more points being gained the closer you are to the centre of the forest. But you don’t necessarily want to rush in chopping down your trees, trees generate sunlight and bigger trees generate the most, not only that but they also case longer shadows, and if you manage to encompass an enemy’s tree in your shadow then they won’t produce any sunlight. Timing when to cut down your trees and when to let them endure for more currency is a key decision.