Review: Cytosis

posted in: Reviews | 1
Cytosis - Cover

Become a human cell, gathering the necessary macromolecules and ATP to complete what you were born to do in Cytosis: A Cell Biology Game. In Cytosis you find yourself inside a cell attempting to gather resources that combine to create cell components such as enzymes and hormones.

What is Cytosis like?

Cytosis is a worker placement game that works very similar to other worker placement games. On your turn you place one of your player flasks on one of the many possible locations on the board and then carry out the action of that spot, which may be to gather resources, purchasing cell component card, or starting the process of completing a component card.

Quite simply that is all there is to the game. You place a flask on an available spot and then carry out the action. You gather resources or use them to complete goals and components. One of the other options in the game is to claim the 1st player token which allows the player to place a marker on a goal card. Each player only has two goal card markers and each goal card can only have two markers on it, so players may want to claim a goal card before they know which one will be the best for them at the end of the game.

Then once all of the players have carried out their actions an event card is revealed which slightly changes things up for the next round. It might provide more ATP (essentially energy) for the next round or make getting component cards cheaper or it could cause a player to have to discard some macromolecules if they have over a certain amount. The event cards don’t radically change the choices, but they do provide enough of a difference that it might change what you do in the next round.

Cytosis - Components


5 / 6

Cytosis is a basic worker placement game that doesn’t necessarily do anything radically new or different from a mechanical standpoint. That isn’t a negative, though, as it is a solid worker placement game. What Cytosis does do extremely well, is tie in the theme of cell biology. Each action you can take makes thematic sense to some degree. Taking cell component cards and the 1st player marker are really the only ones that aren’t dripping with theme. Beyond those two actions, however, the theme is certainly there. If someone doesn’t know cell biology very well, this game won’t necessarily teach them the science, but it will introduce them to vocabulary and processes.

If I was still teaching I would definitely figure out a way for my students to play the game and use it as a tool for them to explain what happens inside all of the cells in the human body.

I would recommend this game to anyone who is looking for an entry-level worker placement game or one that they could use to get their children interested in science.

The Good

  • The theme is present and is done very well
  • A solid entry-level worker placement game where the rules are simple enough and choices are not too difficult

The Bad

  • The theme, while well-done, may turn people away from trying the game
  • It might be a bit too simple for advanced gamers


  • Players: 2 – 5
  • Playing time: 60 – 90 minutes
  • Suggested age: 10+

A review copy of Cytosis was supplied by Genius Games

Follow Jacob Coon:

Jacob is an American living in Germany who loves boardgames but is way better at teaching others how to win than winning himself.

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