Growing up most children want a pet fish. I, like most people, have owned a goldfish from time to time. But once that child grows up & becomes an adult they tend to want something a little more. So when they look into the world of fish they prefer the guppy.

One thing we do have to remember is that guppies can be very aggressive to each other. In cases like this guppies have to be separated from each other. But what if we allowed guppies to battle it out for survival? What if guppies had to do whatever it took to survive? What would the evolution of guppy survival be? How would they adapt?

The answers are within a new game from designer John Wrot & Gate Keeper Games called A.D.A.P.T. In A.D.A.P.T. you as the player strive to become the last Masterfish in the sea. Take your guppy into the heat of battle & adapt it with other aquatic body forms from the wings of the flying fish to the jagged teeth of a great white shark.

A.D.A.P.T. is a two to three player game that can expand up to six player with expansions. It will take any where from 30-40 minutes to play & can be played with with players ages seven years & up. Each game of A.D.A.P.T. comes with three player mats & three sets of polyhedral dice, d4, d6, d8, d10%, d10, d12, & d20, which are required for play.

At the beginning of the game players will choose one of the three guppies, their correlating dice color, & a player mat. The adaptive gene deck is then shuffled & place to in between the two player mats. Three cards are dealt face up in the “gene stream” next to the deck.


At the beginning of the game each player will roll their percentile dice, both d10 dice. The roll decides on rather you collect one of the gene cards in the center of the table or gain experience. Once you are able to procure a gene you may adapt it to your play mat if able. If you are not it will be added to your “personal gene pool” which is located just below your play mat.

At the start of a players turn, that player will gain three experience points for surviving. Experience is to be tracked by use of the d20. After gaining experience the player will then continue to take actions in order.


The first action the player can take is the action to adapt. The player may adapt a new body or a part from their person gene pool if they are at the proper level to use the new part.

Second action is a buy action. This action allows a player to purchase a card from the gene stream. This is done by paying the listed amount of experience on the card. The player does this by adjusting their experience on their d20. If the card is to high in level then it is stored in the players personal gene pool.

The third action is to attack. If you are able to attack your opponent make sure you track your attack with one of the dice.  At the total rolled plus the bonuses on the other adapted cards for their ferocity. Once added that player will compare the total of that attack to the total of the opponents survival score. If the attack is greater than the opponents survival, then that opponent takes the amount of damage that the attack exceeds over the survival amount plus any bonuses that could be added.

If a player has a special action card they may take their special action from an adapted card.

And finally a player may wish to wipe clean the enter common gene stream. This allows the player to discard all the cards in the gene stream face down into the discard pile & then they gain three experience points.

If none of these actions can be taken then you can perform the “adapt by random selection” rule. This is the same action every player starts off with at the beginning of the game. If the player is successful at adapting or even if the player fails to adapt, that player ends their turn.

At the end of every players turn the three cards in the gene stream must keep moving. If there are three cards in the stream the card in slot three must be discarded. Each card is moved down a slot with the top card of the deck placed into the first space of the gene stream.

The more players added passed the original two, an extra card will be added to the gene stream. Each player gains an additional experience for each addition player at the start of turn. Plus the percentile chart changes at the beginning of the game for each player passed the original two.

If playing with younger children players can remove certain types of cards from the game to make it simplified. This will remove the more complex cards from the game. This will probably also work for the first game played by newer players.

The designer, John Wrot, has added in some variants, “School Battle” & “Kingfish Battle Royale”. School Battle is played with four players. This becomes a team battle with two players on each team. This allows the players to form a “School” with their fish & to share experience points.

Kingfish Battle Royale pits two teams of three against each other. One player on each team will be the Kingfish, while the other two become his vasselfish. Each turn all three fish on one team acts simultaneously. Kingfish may share their experience with their vasselfish. A kingfish can not attack or be attacked until one of the vasselfish is defeated. The team the defeats their opponents Kingfish wins.

The dice that are included with the game are gorgeous.

A.D.A.P.T. has a fresh feel & an interesting theme. The different types of evolution that the fish can go through makes this game feel like real fighting game. A.D.A.P.T. is an easy game to learn that takes should take no longer than thirty minutes to play.

I enjoy the different variations that John has added to the game to make it a little more complex & team oriented. A.D.A.P.T. is also a wonderful little game to teach your kids since there is a little math involved. Plus it can help children to sea what other creatures of the sea look like.

A.D.A.P.T. will be available on Kickstarter on January 19th, 2016. Everything you need to know, including a how to play video can be found here: A.D.A.P.T. Kickstarter. Expansions will be available for purchase through the Kickstarter project to add more players to the experience.

Upon campaign launch A.D.A.P.T. will have a companion app. that has a universal dice roller, experience tracker, & a stat tracker. It will be free for everyone.

So lets jump into the world of aquatic creatures & game on!

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW

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