Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game is a worker placement, dice-drafting game set in St. Thomas’ Abbey, where Gregor Mendel performed his paradigm-shifting experiments. 1-5 players take the roles of research scientists competing to collect and validate experimental data on pea plants. Players will spend time working on the monastery grounds, simulate plant breeding with dice and Punnett Squares, and use funding to further their research opportunities.
Plan your research wisely, demonstrate your knowledge of genetics, and use the harvest schedule to your advantage to excel among your colleagues.
In Genotype, players collect experimental data on pea plants by observing how the plants inherit key traits from their parents: seed shape, flower color, pod color, and plant height. Throughout the game, players collect Pea Plant Cards that show a set of traits they are studying. Each round, the players will roll and select Offspring Dice to represent these traits. The Dice are keyed to a grid of genetic options (a Punnett Square) which will determine the distribution of available traits.
The game is played over 5 rounds, each with 3 phases. Players start by working, placing their Action Markers throughout the monastery. Next, they will breed plants and take turns selecting Offspring Dice that match traits on the plants they are studying. Finally, players may use funding to acquire upgrades that will advance their research opportunities.
Players start each round by taking turns placing Action Markers to do things like acquire new Pea Plant or Tool Cards, declare special research goals, or reserve an earlier shift (to get first pick of the Offspring Dice). Above all, players may Garden to score completed Pea Plants, begin work on new ones, and gain new Plant or Tool Cards.
Unlike many “worker placement” games, most of the actions spaces in Genotype don’t directly advance your research goals. Instead, they let you tend to your research in smaller ways, preparing to make the best use of the next generation of Offspring Plants.
Once all Action Markers have been placed, plant breeding takes place. Players roll all the Dice and check the Punnett Squares to see the results. Decisions made while working may make some outcomes more likely and others impossible. Dice can also roll mutations, which provide opportunities to find unlikely results or means of additional funding.
After the Offspring Dice have all been rolled and sorted, players will take turns selecting them to validate the traits appearing on Pea Plant Cards. Covering all of the traits on a Pea Plant Card, thereby completing it, is the main way to score points in the game.
When players have run out of space for Dice or Dice that match their traits, they may purchase funding upgrades. A dynamic market offers chances to hold more Plant Cards, take extra Dice, take more actions each round, or draw more Pea Plant or Tool Cards when Gardening.
Genotype includes 8 Automa Cards for “Brother Johann,” an automated solo mode opponent designed by Steve Schlepphorst. You take all of your turns like in a standard multiplayer game, but your opponent will intervene, grabbing Action Spaces and Dice before you have a chance. But as in a multiplayer game, you will be able to see what Brother Johann is beginning to research and may contest his efforts with your own.
The Solo Mode is in the final stages of development but still needs art. Draft rules and more information will be available before the end fo the campaign.