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CO2 - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2012
39 17 3

In the 1970s, the governments of the world faced unprecedented demand for energy, and polluting power plants were built everywhere in order to meet that demand. Year after year, the pollution they generate increases, and nobody has done anything to reduce it. Now, the impact of this pollution has become too great, and humanity is starting to realize that we must meet our energy demands through clean sources of energy. Companies with expertise in clean, sustainable energy are called in to propose projects that will provide the required energy without polluting the environment. Regional governments are eager to fund these projects, and to invest in their implementation.

If the pollution isn't stopped, it's game over for all of us!

In the game CO₂, each player is the CEO of an energy company responding to government requests for new, green power plants. The goal is to stop the increase of pollution, while meeting the rising demand for sustainable energy — and of course profiting from doing so. You will need enough expertise, money, and resources to build these clean power plants. Energy summits will promote global awareness, and allow companies to share a little of their expertise, while learning still more from others.

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I play yellow
Stone of the Sun
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“A game for environmentalists and capitatlists alike”

Why did we get it?
My partner and I are scientists in the field of greener technologies, and we both talk about CO2 pretty frequently. This game was a no-brainer for us.

What is it about?
You are the CEO of an energy conglomerate with heavy focus on research and development. You develop and implement modern technology to decrease the amount of CO2 emitted per year before the earth chokes on its own emissions, while still making money for your company.

It has a semi-cooperative component where if the CO2 level goes beyond a certain threshold everyone loses.

The board is art is great, and really illustrates the air pollution that your company is racing to decrease, or at least stop increasing!

The game pieces are nice thick cardboard or wood. There are two things that bug me a bit:
(1) The cards are a little small with somewhat ambiguous images, so we frequently check the rulebook to clarify what the cards do. However, they are all numbered and well described in the rules so it is not too bad.
(2) The technology tracks are a little cramped, and it can occasionally be a pain to check what rewards are coming up next if there are a bunch of player tokens covering them.

There are a lot of rules, but they all fit together with the theme! I could go into detail about the phases and the mechanics, but for this game you will get far more out of a video review than from me going through each little piece. Instead, let’s paint a picture of one aspect of the game.

Each region has a different idea of what kind of green technology it wants. You can gain control of the region by having plants of the highest priority, and in the case of a tie, having plants of more kinds in that region. To be able to even build a plant you need to gain expertise in that area.

Say you wanted to build a recycling plant in Asia, because you have a card that gives you a bonus to build in Asia. You would first propose that project, and get a bonus from your card, but also by proposing receive a grant from Asia for choosing to do research there. This could be for money, for technology cubes, or to move or recruit a scientist. You can then send one of your scientists to work on that project, thus gaining you some expertise in the area of recycling. The next step is installing the project, which is essentially building a Pilot plant. You pay one Carbon Emission Permit (CEP) but gain resources from the installation. Once you have enough expertise you can actual go ahead and build a full plant, which, if it is the first, means that you gain control of Asia! In terms of energy anyway…

When you start to be able to replace the old coal power plants you can actually decrease the amount of CO2! Not only that, but you get victory points for having built the plant at all.

You can also gain expertise by attending summits, where you will also be able to learn about other technologies from other scientists attending.

You can install projects that other people have proposed, or build plants where that project has been installed even if you weren’t the one to start the ball rolling.

There is so much more to this game, but it is worth playing to find that out. There are many paths to victory, as everything you choose to do leads to further victory points, be it building, gaining expertise, visiting the ever fluctuating market to sell high and buy low, getting control of a region, buying UN goal cards, it all comes back to VPs.

Did I mention that each company has their own secret goals for even more VPs??

I really enjoy this game; it hits on a bunch of my interests! It is definitely a 2 h game and scales well as the number of decades you play and turns/decade is dependant on the number of players.

The mechanics of the game are also a lot of fun, for me especially in terms of sending your scientists off to gain expertise at fancy summits around the world then take what they learned and turn it into greener power plants.

There’s some backstabbing, like when you install a plant someone else proposed. There is much more than meets the eye with this one!


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