Canopy paves the way as an environmentally friendly game where a tree is planted for every copy sold and the only plastic you'll find in this game is the small pieces of tape securing the box for sale.
When we heard about just how environmentally friendly this game was, we had to give it a try to see if the game play matched up to the environmentally friendly claims it was making. From what we had seen and heard it looked like an intriguing game and we were excited to give it a try.
When the game arrived, the box art was gorgeous and vibrant and the eco-claims were looking promising. Upon opening the box, I was a little confused by what appeared to be 2 rules sheets included, however I soon realised that 1 was the main rules (for 2 players) and the other was variant rules for 3-4 players and solo play. I continued unboxing the game and was impressed at how well they had managed to make the game completely environmentally friendly, there wasn't any plastic inside, even the bags for the tokens are made from paper!
Game Play Overview
Once I'd established the difference between the two sets of rules, I got on with reading the main rules for 2 players. They were well explained and not too lengthy. The game is played over 3 rounds, each round consisting of several turns. Each turn, the active player will look at the first pile of cards under 'new growth 1' and decide whether they wish to keep the cards in that pile. If they keep them, they add all of them to their play area and resolve any abilities with a lightning bolt in the bottom left corner; the remaining cards will have an ability or scoring mechanism for later in the game. If they decide they don't want the cards in the first pile, they add a card from the current season deck to the pile and then look at the next pile (under 'new growth 2') and then 'new growth 3' if they don't want the second pile. If they don't want the third pile, then they must take a card from the current season and add it to their play area. Once all the cards in the current season have been played and there are no piles left to take from the new growth, the round ends and an interim scoring takes place. Completed trees, weather and plants are scored, hazards and seeds are resolved and the award for the rounds tallest tree is presented. Weather, plants, hazards and seeds are discarded and then the next season begins. Once 3 seasons have been played, final scoring takes place and points from your wildlife will be awarded. The player with the highest score wins.
Pros and Cons
Canopy is a beautifully illustrated game that has been well designed for 2 players. It doesn't take long to learn and is easy to teach to others although there is a couple of rules that do need explaining in detail. It has a fairly unique gameplay despite using some more common mechanics such as set collection and push your luck and the rounds don't feel dragged out. The game has been designed so that every element is environmentally friendly but without compromising on quality, the only downside of this is the paper packets for the tokens as they don't seal.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game and couldn't wait to play it again! I loved how forward thinking it is on caring for the planet and that a tree is planted for every copy sold but also that this doesn't detract from the game being well thought out and good fun to play.
In conclusion, we would rate this game a 9/10