I’m not going to bee-t around the bush; I’m introducing Beecarbonize to you: a new strategic card game where you must work to combat climate change through mitigation policies and brand-spanking new tech (including robo-bees!).
I had the chance to play Beecarbonize pre-launch and I’m having a wonderful time. Or, at least, as wonderful a time as my morals let me while figuring out how to protect ecosystems and also further the human race’s achievements and sustainability.
Created by Charles Games – known for the iconic title Svoboda 1945: Liberation – Beecarbonize is a different type of title for the studio, and is made in collaboration with leading climate experts to give a correct message, and represent real advances that we’ve made. The developer took inspiration from notable card-based games like Cultist Simulator and Stacklands, which is evident in the clean design and easy playability of Beecarbonize.
Let’s get into the game: The main focus in Beecarbonize is gaining resources and spending them on new cards or mitigating natural disasters that pile up at the top of the board. This aspect is reminiscent of SimCity Build It or even Civilisation and provides an addictive gameplay loop.
The gameplay is easy to get into and has plenty of cards (120 to be exact) to ensure different results when new things are tried in each run. There’s also speed options if you want to hurry up your industrialisation or slow it down a bit.
You have three resources and four sections of cards, each costing slightly different amounts and combinations of money, people, and science resources, and each card represents an invention, law, or social reform based on real-life science. You can upgrade most cards you place to cleaner and quicker items, though the cost can get quite high for the new-fangled technologies.
Essentially, you must keep some money rolling in and your population growing, while also making sure emissions don’t creep up and destroy the planet. The more emissions you produce, the more disasters and events you need to mitigate, costing precious resources. I for one keep running into world hunger issues as my renewable energy efforts, unfortunately, don’t bring in stacks of cash. I did restart and have now started a very successful run involving plenty of eco-friendly policies, though, so wish me luck!
As I mentioned above, Charles Games created Beecarbonize,, an impactful studio making games that focus on real-world issues, such as DigiStories: Nela which shows the effects of cyberbullying, or Ashti – a title made to teach youths how to manage water consumption.
Charles Games developed the game with People In Need, a Czech nonprofit, non-governmental organisation providing humanitarian relief and long-term development projects, especially for crisis-stricken areas. Beecarbonize is also part of 1PLANET4ALL project, which raises awareness among Europe’s youth about climate change as a global threat. All in all, both Beecarbonize and its creative teams stand for a good cause and aim to teach us a good lesson.
The game hammers home its message, and with good reason. It opens our eyes to how much damage industries are doing to the planet but reminds us that it’s at least somewhat reversible with the right actions.
As it’s developed with actual scientists and data it takes into account what is feasible – like the local solutions option in the ecosystems section – and what radical changes can help to offset the emissions we’ve produced. The tipping point messages don’t sugarcoat the negative effects on the planet, and personally, I feel inspired to make some changes to work towards a more sustainable life.
Beecarbonize isn’t a technically demanding game, which means it runs well on most mobile devices. I have a Samsung A model – definitely not top of the range – and there were no issues to be found here, even with a screen filled with cards and a board buzzing with activity. The card deck also doesn’t feel too crowded, no matter how many I put down thanks to the spacious design and bordered sections.
If you’re itching to implement a load of policies (which you should be), Beecarbonize is available now for free on Android, iOS, and PC. I really, genuinely, enjoy this game and will continue to do new runs until I win and eliminate all the emissions. It’s available offline – a rare thing these days – meaning you can play it on your commute or anywhere you have a spare five minutes. Now, get out there and go save a bee today!
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Beecarbonize is an addictive, educational, and fun strategy card game, with a delightful art style and a powerful message. Create a flourishing economy while healing mother earth and save those bees!