by Bob Klingenberg

Bob teaches computers at Mark Twain Senior High School. He has a bird named Louie who likes to groom Bob's mustache and a wife named Patti.

Instructional Objective Upon completion of the game, the players will be able to list 10 facts about the characteristics of the phyla represented on the board.

Time Requirement One round of the game should require between 45-60 minutes. The exact length will be determined in part by the luck of the players in landing on the correct squares and on their ability to answer the questions from the "Niche Cards".

Learner Description This game was designed to meet the curriculum level of senior high Life Science students. It may also be usable under certain circumstances by middle school science students.

Materials The game consists of the following materials:

1. Game board

2. One pair of dice

3. Deck of "Niche Cards" for each of the 12 phyla

4. One game token for each player

5. Rules

Board Design The board is designed with an area at the bottom called the primordial ooze. Above this are circular tracks of squares representing the various phyla. There are five "Niche Squares" on each track. The "Niche Cards" for each track are in the center of the track. The only two tracks physically connected are the Eukaryotes and the Porifera. They are connected by the Metazoan Bridge.

Rules The object of the game is to evolve from the primordial ooze, progressing through increasingly complex forms of life until you reach the level of either birds or mammals.

Play The game begins with all tokens located in the primordial ooze. Each player takes turns rolling the pair of dice. The player must roll a seven before he or she can advance out of the ooze and reach the level of the Prokaryotes. Why a seven? Evolution is, after all, mainly a crap shoot.

Once out of the ooze the player advances to the start square for the Prokaryotes. The player rolls the dice and moves in a clockwise direction around the track. If the player lands on a "Niche Square" he draws a "Niche Card". The card contains a question about the organisms represented on that track. The player must answer the question. When a player has answered five questions on the track he moves to the start square on the next track. Advancement is the same for the other tracks with the exception of movement from the Eukaryotes to the Porifera. The advancement to a multicellular life form is such an important step that after the player has answered five questions, he must also roll a double to cross the Metazoan bridge. Play continues until a player has reached the reptile track and successfully answered the five questions. The player may then select to go to either the bird or mammal track. The player has to land on five "Niche Squares" and successfully answer the five questions. The first player to do so is the winner.