In my Photosynthesis review, I mentioned that the game can be delightful, but will ultimately leave a lot to be desired. It has some solid mechanisms, but after many plays, the game loses steam due to the lack of ways to approach the win condition. Photosynthesis: Under the Moonlight adds a few new mechanisms to mix up the process, including a night cycle and some animals with variable abilities.
Photosynthesis: Under the Moonlight adds eight little animals (Represented by some adorable meeples) that each brings a different ability to the experience. The animals can do various things: Some plant seeds, others generate solar points for players. Some animals even unearth the seeds of other players. The various abilities add a good amount of depth and luck to Photosynthesis. Obviously, it is up to the player to determine if the added luck is a good thing or not.
The big thing about Under the Moonlight is that it makes Photosynthesis a lot less rigid. The animals and the spins that they add to the game force players to consider more when they approach their actions. Players will use Lunar points gathered from the moon to make the most out of these abilities. While the abilities aren’t usually overwhelming, players will still want to make use of them or risk falling behind.
Photosynthesis: Under the Moonlight does just enough different to make the game feel fresh. It’s not a groundbreaking experience, but it can be enjoyed with the right crowd. The addition of more lucky mechanisms and the ability to approach each game in new ways adds tons of promise to Photosynthesis. Just don’t expect this expansion to reinvent the wheel.