OBJECTIVE OF ECOSYSTEM: The objective of Ecosystem is to make your stream larger than any other player’s by the time the game comes to an end. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6 Players 

MATERIALS: 130 Playing Cards, 1 Scorepad, 6 Player Aids, and Instructions 

TYPE OF GAME: Drafting Card Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 10 and Up 


Each player will create their own ecosystem using the cards that they draw from the deck throughout the game. The players will end with twenty cards that make up their entire ecosystem. There are a variety of types of cards, so don’t be afraid to diversify. The player with the largest stream, and thus the strongest ecosystem, wins the game! 


The setup for this game is ridiculously simple and fast. To setup the game, simply shuffle the entire deck of cards. Then, place them in a pile, facing down, in the center of the playing area to create the draw pile.  

Each player should then draw ten cards from the top of the deck, ensuring that they are not checking the cards as they are drawing them. Once everyone has their ten cards, the game is ready to begin! 


Ecosystem is played over the course of two rounds. The difference between the two rounds is that the cards will be passed in different directions. For the first round, the cards will be passed to the left. On the other hand, everything switches in the second round, and the cards are passed to the right.  

In front of them, the players will begin to form a grid, which represents their own, personal ecosystems. They will form this grid by playing cards to the area. The grid must follow the specific dimensions of five columns and four rows. The cards must be placed adjacent to another card, with the exception being the first card.  

During a round of gameplay, the players will complete five actions in order. Firstly, they will choose a card from their hand to place on their grid. The rest of the cards are passed to the player on their left or right, depending on which round the players are playing. After all the cards have been passed, the players will show everyone which card they chose to keep.  

The card that they chose is then placed onto their grid. The cards that were passed to the player will have the same thing done with them until there are no more cards remaining for the players. At this point, ten new cards are dealt, and the next round begins. The game continues in this manner until the second round comes to an end. 


The game comes to an end when the second round of gameplay ends. Each type of card scores differently than the others. As players score a variety of points, their stream will grow bigger and longer. If the players do not have enough diversity, they may actually lose points.  

Once the players have tallied their points, they are able to determine a winner. The player with the most points, wins the game.   

Ellie Phillips
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