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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • An incredibly satisfying experience (growing is the best)
  • A very tight game throughout
  • Gaia is a fun and challenging opponent
  • It’s a beautiful game

Might Not Like

  • A lot of number crunching at the end
  • Maybe too tight for some, you won’t be able to do everything you want to
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Earth: Abundance Expansion Review


Earth, the soil that supports and sustains our beautiful planet, Earth. Over thousands of years of evolution and adaptation the flora and fauna of this unique planet have grown and developed into amazing life forms, creating symbiotic ecosystems and habitats.

It’s time to jump into these rich environments and create some amazing natural synergies that replicate and extrapolate on Earth’s amazing versatility and plethora of natural resources. Create a self-supporting engine of growth, expansion and supply where even your unused plants become compost for future growth.

Earth is an open world engine builder for 1 to 5 players with simple rules but tons of strategic possibilities. With its encyclopaedic nature and the enormous number of unique cards and combinations, every single game will allow you to discover new synergies and connections, just as our vast and fascinating world allows us to do!

EARTH is a 1-5 player tableau building game, based around flora and fauna, along with other ‘elements‘ such as climate, eco–systems and islands, where players build their island tableau.


With the introduction of the new Abundance expansion the aim of the game is the same, i.e. players compete to earn as many victory points as possible by the triggering of the end game sequence.

Along with extra cards, trunks, canopies, sprouts etc., which are in the original game, the new expansion comes with one extra player board, increasing the max players to 6, there is a new 11pt VP token and an Abundance board for each player.

Rules & Setup:

Set up is extremely easy, and is clearly explained for both the multi–player and solo player options. Depending on your player count, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 each player gets a player board, and 5 leaf counters in their player’s colour, which at the start are placed on their own board, but may be placed on an objective board during the game should you meet any of the 4 fauna objectives, or be the first to complete your tableau. You will gain victory points for completing these objectives.

Each turn the ‘main player’ will take one of the four possible actions, PLANT, COMPOST, WATER & GROW.

You have a 4 x 4 grid in which to play one of your cards, and your first card can be in any of the 16 spaces. However, your next and subsequent cards must touch another card when placed, either orthogonally or diagonally. You CANNOT place a card that is not touching another card under any circumstances.

The main player will get the stronger version of whatever action they choose to take, and the AI or every other player will to some extent get a lesser version of the same action, so during each players turn no–one is left out of the game waiting for their own turn to come round again.

Also, on each of the actions, except planting, you will also be able to activate certain cards already played into your island tableau, and on your main player board, if they are of the same colour as the action being taken, or are present on the multi coloured band cards. By this I mean that some cards have 3 colours on them instead of just one, and each action is represented by a single colour.

These cards are read / activated left to right, and top row to bottom row (just like reading a book) and also include cards on your player board as they too have the coloured bands on them. You must activate all the cards on your player board and then those in your tableau, or vice versa, you cannot flit back from one to the other during this activation sequence.

As players build up their tableau, they will be doing more of these activations each players activation / turn, and the order in which you lay the cards into your island tableau become important as some may give you benefits and resources to use on later activated cards in the sequence, so choosing where to ‘plant‘ your cards in your 4 x 4 grid is / can be crucial. You can to some extent move your tableau around, but only as a whole unit, not by moving individual cards once played, and as the tableau increases in size moving it becomes more difficult, until it is impossible to move as it must always stay within the 4 x 4 grid.

During the game you will be paying soil (the main currency) to plant the cards into your tableau, and on some cards you can also place sprout cubes, and / or tree trunks / canopies, and these can also be used to generate income / pay for actions, and will also score points at the game end depending on how many sprouts you have, plus if you have tree trunks, and if they are topped off with a canopy or not.

The game ends in the solo mode if the AI completes 2 full rounds of playing their 6 action cards (the AI does not build an island tableau), or you as the human player complete your 4 x 4 grid.

The AI player gains certain resources like trunks and canopies, sprouts and soil, depending on the cards they turn over, and the actions you then take as the secondary player. They also claim some of the objective board victory points.

Games of 2 to 5 players end once the first player completes their grid, and then each other player has one more turn as the main player, and it stops after the person prior to the player who triggered the end game sequence to begin.


If you play with 6 players you must use the expansion rules and all the new components or you may run out of cards / supplies.

New events and abilities allow players to plan ahead and convert resources, as well as adding a new layer of player interaction, with some of the new cards giving not only the card owner resources, but they also grant benefits to the other players, whilst some cards capitalise on your opponents tableau.

The main new action is called ‘Germinate’ which allows the player to dig through a card deck to find a card with a specific scoring objective. By returning a seed to the supply, you search for your specified card, and you must take the first card of the specified type that you find during your search.

All players start the game with 2 of the new seed tokens, and you can gain extra during the game by activating abilities or by converting your leaf tokens or sprouts on a conversion basis.

These seeds can themselves be used to take additional actions to exchange / convert a seed for;-

3 Sprouts

3 Compost from the draw pile

4 Compost from your hand

2 Soil

2 Growth


Also, unlike in the base game, sprouts can now be stored on the new Abundance board, as long as there are no spaces for sprouts on any of the cards in your tableau. Sprouts saved in this way, can only be moved onto cards at the end of each turn. Any sprouts left on your board at the end of the game do not turn into VP’s, and are simply lost. Also, saved sprouts can only be used for any type of conversion once they are moved onto available spaces on cards in your tableau.

Theme & Mechanics

The nature theme to this game has been done exceptionally well, and is at the very core of the game, and everything is built around you assembling your perfect island tableau for the flora and terrain to produce the best combination of points and benefits to your end scoring objectives.

Mechanics in the game are some of the best I have seen for tableau builders, and if you are a fan of this type of game you are going to absolutely love this, as will anyone who has a strong interest in nature and the planet as a whole.


You can tell the gameplay has been a true labour of love, and that the final product has been extensively tested.

Seamless in its‘ simplicity, yet complex enough in the amount of variations you can achieve within your tableau with the literally hundreds of main cards you get with the game (and I’m sure the possibility of more with expansions) to make you want to play it again and again.

I played this solo first (and lost), and then played a 4 player game (which I won by 10pts) and each of the group picked up how the game worked by the time the first full rotation of turns were complete, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, with 2 of the group saying they would be getting it, if only to play solo.

Artwork and Components:

The majority of the game pieces are wooden, with only the first player markers, soil and leaf tokens made from sturdy cardboard, and they are all very well made.

The player boards were a little warped upon opening the contents, but were easily bent back into shape within seconds.

I purchased the neoprene tableau mats, and I’m extremely impressed with their quality and they definitely made a huge difference to the look on the table, and ease of placement of cards.

Every card has a different ‘photograph‘ on them instead of just artwork or illustrations, and this is another brilliant touch from the game designers / publishers, especially bearing in mind there are 354 cards in the game and every card has a different picture on them, and two on those that are double sided.

The Good:

The photographic artwork, the components, and the overall gameplay, both solo and multi–player make this an exceptionally good game. The rulebook is easy to follow and is very well laid out with lots of examples, pictures and descriptions of gameplay and situations that may occur.

The fact that there is only one version is also another nice touch, and the only Kickstarter exclusives were a few extra promo cards and some wooden soil tokens to replace the cardboard ones, but you certainly don’t need these to play or enjoy the game to its‘ full potential.

Too many crowdfunded games give vast stretch goals that induce FOMO, and a lot of these are simply overkill in my opinion. Well done Inside Up Games for going the route you have with the main game, and with only two add–ons as far as I know, those being the neoprene mats and some storage trays / inserts.

The Other:

The only changes I would make would have been to have the box big enough, and deep enough to fit the neoprene mats laid flat inside the box, and for the base game to provide thin card versions of these, or for there to be a downloadable file to print out something to use, because if you don’t buy the neoprene mats you are simply placing them onto the table surface, and might get a little messy or mixed up.

I feel the same way in regard to the tableau area for Everdell, as this would definitely assist in making everything neater on the table itself.

However, saying this, I’m sure people will either sort their own things out, or there will be places that offer to supply mats if you can’t get the official ones if they are out of stock etc.

Final Thoughts:

I love Everdell as a tableau builder, but for me this goes above it on the ‘which I would rather play ‘ charts.

Personally I think EARTH was my ‘Game of the Year’ at the end of 2023, and the addition of the first expansion for this excellent game will give players old and new an ‘ABUNDANCE’ of new strategies and combinations to try.

I can only end by saying that for all future plays of EARTH, the Abundance expansion will be used every single time, as in my opinion it makes an excellent game even better, and if you haven’t tried it already, you’re missing out on one of the best tableau builders you’ll ever play.

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • An incredibly satisfying experience (growing is the best)
  • A very tight game throughout
  • Gaia is a fun and challenging opponent
  • Its a beautiful game

Might not like

  • A lot of number crunching at the end
  • Maybe too tight for some, you wont be able to do everything you want to

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