Genesis is relatively obscure Knizia game. I was surprised to find it in deep storage since I thought I had gotten rid of it years ago. And I was glad to see it since it’s remained stuck in my head, despite having not played it very much.
It’s one of his tile laying games. And, while the theme is all about life emerging in the deep past, the theme is completely arbitrary. While I don’t think Knizia is as guilty of paper-thin themes as he is accused of, the paint on this theme is so thin, you can see the wood grain on the other side.
It’s a tile-laying game where you roll two dice to determine what color tiles you can place. But two of the faces are wild and you can choose to ignore the dice and just place one tile of any color. When you only have three empty spaces, groups are scored by size.
It has been many years since I last played Genesis, hence the very vague rules description. I remember before I played going in with two impressions. That the board was wide open and it was going to be random since there were since there were dice.
And I remember in my first play both of those things were very wrong. The board turned into a maze of bottle necks very quickly. And 1/3 of the die rolls being wild and the ability to ignore the dice by dropping a placement really moderated the luck.
The other thing I remembered is that I enjoyed Genesis and wanted to play it more. And now I found out that I can!
Simple doesn’t always means good. But Knizia has a good track record of making simple good and Genesis is one more example.
No, it isn’t Tigris and Euphrates or Samurai or Through the Desert or Ingenious (Knizia has made a lot of games, tile laying or otherwise) I still look forward to playing Genesis again.