Petris Review

15 October 2022
Is it good bacteria?

In area control games, you can always rely on one rule always being the same: whoever controls the most territory has the best chance of winning.  In Petris, however, a majority on the board is not necessarily a good thing…

In Petris, players envision themselves as scientists who control the propagation of bacteria across various petri dishes. Rather than racing to dominate each dish with your respective bacteria, in Petris the gameplay is a delicate balancing act. Each round players must perform valid propagation: move at least one bacterium from one dish to another. However, if one type of bacteria is left in the dish by itself, it will reproduce. The more of your bacteria that is around, the harder it is to manage, and the more likely it is to contaminate the whole experiment, losing that player the game.

At the first glance, Petris looks almost too simple but as soon as the little bacteria pieces start to populate the translucent petri dishes the gameplay amps up in intensity. It becomes an intricately balanced puzzle where the movement of one little bacterium can significantly affect the positions on the board. It offers enough to think about but at the same time doesn’t overtax the players, lasting only two rounds.

The only part of the game that is overlooked are its components. While the petri dishes fit both the theme and the tube-like shape of the box perfectly, the cardboard bacteria tokens are underwhelming. As a player you want to hear a little ‘clank’ noise as you add a bacterium to the dish, which would make the game so much more immersive. As it stands, the cardboard tokens sadly cheapen the gameplay experience that otherwise pleasantly surpasses the initial expectations.



Designer: David Bernal

Publisher: 2Tomatoes Games

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Time: 10-15 minutes

Players: 2-3

Ages: 10+

Price: £21

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