Power Plants is a 1-4 players area control game, in which you play as a Wizard trying to control a garden of magical plants by spreading your loyal “Sprites”. The Kickstarter campaign for the game will launch on October 26.
Before you start the game, you must choose five plant species out of 8 that will be the plants composing the garden. Each plant species comes with its own special powers, and possibly an end game scoring condition, as specified on its reference card. You then take all tiles matching these five species, lay one of each type adjacent to each other to form a trapeze shape that will start the garden, and put all the others in a bag to draw from during the game. Then, you draw four tiles to form the supply, and pick two tiles to form your hand. At any moment in the game, if both tiles in your hand are of the same type, you may swap one with a tile from the supply. In the solo mode, you play against an automaton, the Rival, and alternate turns with them.
On each of your turns, you must first place a tile in the garden, adjacent to one or more existing tiles. This may trigger the placement of a Sprite (little cubes of your color), depending on the plant species. Then, you have two options. You can activate the “Grow” power of the tile you just placed, or you can activate the “Sprout” power of all the adjacent tiles. These powers are specific to each plant species. Some powers allow you to place Sprites on the board, others to earn Gems (that is, points), or to place Gems on the board that may be collected by Sprites in the end game. If you place a Sprite on a tile that already holds one rival Sprite, you oust that Sprite instead of placing yours. Once you are done, you simply draw a new tile in your hand. Then the Rival takes a turn, drawing a random tile and placing it according to priority criteria. They always place a Sprite on that tile, and then activate a special, “Rival” power, according to the plant species of their tile.
When all the tiles but two have been placed, the game ends and you proceed to scoring. Your Sprites collect the Gems on their tiles. All these Gems score you points. Then, you must consider each “field” of the board, a field being a region of adjacent tiles sharing the same type. Each field in which you have a majority (or a second place) brings points according to the size of the field. The rules to decide majority depend on the difficulty level, from Easy to Extremely Hard. You win the game if you end up with the most points!