Conservation Crisis is a strategy board game where players take control of a wildlife reserve in crisis and help to save an endangered species. It is suitable for aged seven and above, and for two to four players.
This board game is very unique and educational. My family learned a lot through this game in helping to understand the current situation that many endangered species are facing.
This game comes with a game board, 120 tokens, 25 Event cards, four wooden playing pieces, 15 Community & Staff Meeting cards, 10 Bribe cards, four playing boards, a stack of paper money (60 x $5000, 60 x $20,000 and 20 x $50,000) and instructions. There is quite a lot to read before starting the game so make sure you get everyone together to read and understand it!
Setting up is straightforward. Place the game board in the middle of the table and each player chooses an animal to save (playing board). Place the corresponding wooden playing pieces at HQ. This game does not rely on dice to move as players choose their own path via the game board.
Each player is issued with a limited budget of $100,000 of funding per round. Players have to choose which projects to build and which staff to hire to rebuild their reserve and keep their wildlife safe. Besides that, you can also hire vets to ward off disease, train rangers to protect wildlife from the poachers roaming the area and build tourist lodges to generate more revenue for your reserve. I love that there are so many decisions to make in this game and we have to prioritise what we want to achieve first to protect a whole species from extinction!
Each player is also issued with $25,000 as a starting Crisis fund, which must be kept separate. Players need to manage their funds and ensure there is still cash in their Crisis Fund pot for emergencies that crop up to catch them out throughout the game.
There is also a checkpoint where players choose between waiting or paying a ‘bribe’ to the poachers to pass straight through. This definitely adds an extra dimension. If you choose to wait, it will slow players down, but those who pay the bribe must take a ‘bribe card’, but beware, this leads to consequences later in the game! The dangers of what corruption can bring! It teaches us that bribery is never been good!
Event cards could be good or bad. For example, it could increase or decrease your animal stocks, or cost you money by doing repairs.
Each time a player lands at the Headquarters, they have to perform the same set of actions listed on the game board. You will then learn what damage you did when you bribed the poachers! Also, donors may even decide not to fund you! This is a real life lesson for everyone!
Once the event Crisis Averted is revealed, play will end and the player with most wildlife at the end of the game is the winner! We do find it hard to save the animals and make income. It is not easy when you have to pay for bills and maybe pay the bribe.
I love the unique theme of this board game. It is fun and you have to try different strategies to maximise your wildlife. It shows you the dark side of human beings and the hardships of getting funding to save your animals. I would definitely recommend this game! Besides teaching us a valuable lesson, £2 of every sale goes towards funding conservation projects run by four key partner charities to help protect wildlife around the world. Hence, by playing Conservation Crisis, players are saving wildlife in the game and in real life too!
Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. We have included an Amazon affiliate link to the product. If you click on this and buy, we may earn a small commission.