Monday, 3 August 2020

Conservation Crisis Family Board Game Review (age 7+) Sent by Tunza Games

Our latest game review has been sent to us by a smaller independent company, who are the kind of people I like to support because you can find some hidden gems. Conservation Crisis is an easy to play board game where you take the role of head of a wildlife conservation. Suitable for 2-4 players aged 7+ or teams, you have to work to save your species, and it really does make you think...

Conservation Crisis Family Board Game Review Pack shot of box with wild animal images

Inside the box is everything you need and it's entirely plastic-free and incredibly Earth-friendly. Main playing board, 4 x wildlife reserve boards, instruction booklet, wooden playing pieces, press out cardboard tokens. Event cards, bribe cards, community meeting cards and money. It will only take a minute to pop out the tokens before first play, after that there's no set up time needed. 

Conservation Crisis game review box contents strewn across table

Each player (or team) chooses an animal to work to protect, and is given their first funding. Each time you go around the board, you have to spend all of your funding in order to get any more. You can pick which route you take, and that decides what you spend cash on - research, vets, livelihood schemes for ex-poachers, rangers, fences, education etc. 
Conservation Crisis game review playing board

The more resources you have, the more animals you can keep safe in your reserve. You will also hold community and staff meetings, and the card you pick up can earn or lose you money or wildlife. 

Conservation Crisis game review playing board community meetings

Each trip around the board passes the Poachers Checkpoint, and you can either wait (miss 2 turns) while you are searched, or pay a bribe. Just like in real life, paying a bribe might seem the easy way out at first, but it will cost you dearly. You take a Bribe Card and don't look at it until you are back at HQ.

Conservation Crisis game review HQ end of lap actions

Each time a player lands at the Head Quarters they have to perform the same set of actions, starting with any Bribe Cards. Then you learn what damage you did - poachers may see you as an easy touch and demand more from you, or may use the money you gave them to smuggle wildlife. Donors may even decide not to fund you for the next year. This is a real life lesson. 

Event cards and meeting cards Conservation Crisis game review

Then you turn over an Event Card, which affects ALL players. They can be negative, costing you money or repairs, or even some of your wildlife, or they can be positive, your animal stocks increase and your conservation is doing well - often it depends on what resources, staff and wildlife you already have. 

Conservation Crisis Game review table top layout gameplay

The aim of the game is to save as many wildlife as possible. A 'Crisis Averted' Event Card is in the bottom 1/4 of the pack, and when it's drawn the game ends. The player or team with the most wildlife in their reserve is the winner. 

Conservation Crisis was designed by a real life animal conservationist, and you can tell. It shows the darker side, the complications with getting enough funding, and the hardship when you have to pay out in an emergency. It gives a clear insight into the relationships between the conservationists, the poachers and the communities, and a small idea of just how tricky it all is. There's plenty of food for thought. 

Conservation Crisis Game review table top layout gameplay 4 player mid game

Conservation Crisis is a really good game with plenty of room for strategy. You will improve as you play, and you'll quickly learn that paying bribes doesn't help anyone! It is suitable for age 7+, but adults can enjoy this even more than youngsters, as you can appreciate the subtleties and foresee the dangers. 

* I have a UK giveaway for a copy of Conservation Crisis here - open until August 30th 2020 *

Conservation Crisis is available to buy now, RRP £29.99, and £2 of every sale goes towards funding charity conservation projects to help protect wildlife around the world. You can buy direct or on Amazon (affiliate link below). 

The Tunza Games website has loads of information, and a section on good news and humour to make you smile - because conservation definitely isn't all bad news. 


We were sent our copy of Conservation Crisis for review. Amazon links are affiliate, which earns me a thank you of around 5% if you order through my link, but you don't pay any more. 

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