Welcome to the Amazon Rainforest. Life of the Amazonia is a new wildlife game from Bad Comet. Players run individual conservation organizations that are bringing life back to the rainforest. Starting with a couple hexagons, players will expand the land and waterways as they bring balance to their section of the forest.
Your starting plot of land will feel restrictive and limited. Players begin with 10 resources tokens in a bag. Throughout the game, you’ll use the items in this bag to purchase currency, water, fruit and leaf tokens. At the start of your turn, take 5 tokens from your bag and decide how you’ll spend them. Having plenty of currency is a must. Spending these coins can give you bonus actions that are vital to optimizing your bag of resources.
On your turn, there are 9 actions that you can take. This includes buying new resource tokens, placing animals in your rainforest, obtaining nature/plant cards and more.
4 of these actions are tied to the Waterfall of Life, a beautiful centerpiece where restoration of the rainforest will take place. You can add new terrain tiles, plant trees and gain aquatic flowers from here. Player markers will move along these tracks, gaining bonuses at different points. At the end of the game, players will gain victory points based on where their token is on tracks 2 and 3.
Bad Comet does an incredible job making games come alive with their components. Life of the Amazonia has a powerful table presence due to the variety of animal meeples in the game. During setup, you’ll set out 8 animal cards that have different costs and scoring criteria. 1 of the 9 actions during the game is to purchase an animal and add them to your rainforest.
Birds, reptiles, monkeys, giant otters and more will fill in the hexagons of your rainforest floor. You want to maximize points by making sure these animals are next to the right plant life and in their perfect environment.
These animal meeples look so good on the board and the strategy for their placement can be modified. Different sets of animal cards go from basic scoring to more advanced strategies. The game scales really well for players who are looking for a challenge or just casually playing with younger gamers.
Building an Ecosystem
The main mechanic of Life of the Amazonia is building your bag of resources. The 10 resources you start with are so limited and with time, you’ll purchase higher valued tokens that bring new life to your rainforest. During our first game, we realized the power of the “trash” bonus. This bonus allows you to discard a token in your discard tray or in your play area. It’s very easy to overload your bag with low value tokens that keep you from purchasing the best items in the game.
Two resource tokens of any type can be discarded as a single wild resource OR to pull a new token from the bag. It’s these little bonuses that players need to pay attention to when curating an effective bag of resources. Terrain tiles also have bonuses that can be triggered. Covering one of these symbols give you an immediate bonus such as a new resource pull from your bag, a worker token (wild) or a trash icon.
Welcome to the Jungle
Life of the Amazonia is a gorgeous game where players are challenged with building an efficient bag of resources as well as a high-scoring ecosystem. I found myself wanting to fit all the animals into my rainforest. While it may be pretty, having a focused ecosystem is the better strategy.
Paying for nature and plant cards can increase your scoring by targeting specific types of animals or plants. We’ve really enjoyed the balance of the game. There are plenty of opportunities to score points without sticking to the same strategy each game.
Even as a prototype, Life of the Amazonia has top-notch components. Players are discarding into wooden boats that hold used resource tokens. The cardboard trees look amazing against the animal meeples that fill the terrain tiles. Even the way that resource tokens are sorted feels special. The two cardboard crates containing the tokens keep everything tidy during the game and once it’s stored back in the box.
The game scales well between 2 to 4 players and even includes a solo mode along with a solo campaign that is being developed. Life of the Amazonia merges bag building and tile-placement to make a rich and vibrant game. Bad Comet is again bringing beautiful wildlife to your game table with this release.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign for Life of the Amazonia launching on October 12, 2022.
A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.