Organism is an elegant and abstract strategy boardgame for 2-4 players about evolving cellular creatures in a competition to dominate the petri dish arena of play.
Creates are composed out of heart, body, blocker and tooth cells. Each kind of body part gives your organism a different kind of ability, and your game strategy emerges as you choose from a set of randomly drawn pieces. There are different ways to win Organism, including suffocating your opponents’ creatures by completely surrounding them, eating your opponents’ hearts, or ending up with the biggest organism on the board at the end.
You move your creature around the arena with a very amoeba-like flowing movement, and one of the things I like about the game design are the variety of ways that you can design your creature as you play. A small creature bristling with teeth, a defensive creature with a frontal wall of blockers, and a huge multi-heart monster are all viable evolutions. Depending, of course on what your opponents are doing at the time.
The game was originally comissioned by ArtByte Magazine in the late 1990s, and I worked with designer Karen Sideman on the visual design of the game. Recently Garage Magazine approached me about doing a project, and I suggested republishing the game. Garage gave Organism a visual refresh and also published an interview between myself and writer Anna Craycroft. You can download the print-and-play game materials and rules and also the interview with Anna below.
Thanks to my collaborator Karen Sideman, and Anna Craycroft and Joan Juliet Buck at Garage for helping to make this happen.