Area control is among my favourite board game mechanics, and I am always on the lookout for new games of this type. So, when I heard that Power Plants was a family friendly, area control game that can be played in 30 minutes, I was eager to give it a try!

Power Plants is designed by Adam E. Daulton, with art by Apolline Etienne and published by Kids Table Board Gaming.

Overhead picture of board game tiles and tokens.

Game Summary

In Power Plants, the zones that players try to control are plant tiles of various types of plants. Connected plants of the same type are called a field and the larger the field, the more points scored for the controlling player. Controlling a field is done by owning the majority of tiles in a field.

In Power Plants, everyone starts with two random tiles pulled from the bag and a player’s turn consists of placing a plant tile into the playable area connecting it to the existing fields. Then the player can choose to do one of these two possible actions:

  1. Play the sprout action of the tile placed. This is a powerful action that can vary from placing sprites, expelling or capturing rival players sprites, placing gems and more.
  2. Play the grow action of ALL tiles connected to the placed tile. Grow actions are less powerful than the sprout actions but since this action is done for every tile touching the placed one, they can stack into a powerful turn!
Cards on a table showing actions for tiles.

After the player has placed the tile and done the chosen action, they draw another tile from the bag so they have two for their next turn.

Play continues clockwise with each player placing a tile and choosing to do either the sprout or grow actions. Once the last tile is pulled from the bag, everybody gets one final action and the game is concluded with endgame scoring. The player with the most points wins Power Plants.

Close up picture of board game tiles with meeples on them.


Power Plants has three different versions of the game. There is a retail, deluxe and Kickstarter version that gets better and better in terms of quality components. While the retail version has cardboard tiles and wooden cubes to represent the sprites, the deluxe version has wooden plant tiles and sprite shaped meeples. The Kickstarter has even more upgrades.

The art is colourful and really draws you into the theme. The components are excellent and typical for a game by Kids Table Board Gaming.

I have the deluxe version and have purchased a couple other extras like the neoprene playmat and the mini expansions.

A neoprene gaming mat with the board game set up on it.

What I Liked

Power plants is so much fun and there is plenty to like. Some of the highlights of the game include:

  • This game has lots of variability. Each game uses 5 of the included 8 plant tiles and because each plant has a unique power, there are many different combinations which makes every game a new experience. On top of that, there are alternate powers for every plant which provides even more variability.
  • Power Plants is a quick game! Considering how crunchy this game is and how big the decision space is for every turn, it is awesome that a game can be played in under an hour.
  • I love games with player interaction and Power Plants has LOTS. I know some gamers do not like ‘take that’ in games, but I don’t mind it at all. Depending on the plants used, there is the possibility of expelling other players sprites, or even stealing them. Since this game is over quick, those aggressive gameplay decisions, do not linger too long.

What I Didn’t Like

No game is perfect, and some of the aspects that didn’t work for me were:

  • This game can definitely suffer from analysis paralysis. On your turn, you have two tiles to choose from but there are plenty of possibilities in how to use the tile (which tile to choose, where to place and then, choosing whether to take the sprout or grow action). Trying to make the optimal decision can cause someone to think and overthink every choice.
  • While the components are excellent, I was not a fan of the player aid. It has the plant powers on it which is handy for quick access and it is easy to read. The problem is that it has the standard powers on one side and alternate powers on the back side. If you play a game where you mix up the standard and alternate powers it can be confusing to know which side to look at for each plant. We ended up using all standard or all alternate powers for our plays to just keep it simpler.
  • I love Power Plants at 2 and 3 players. But, the game can get quite chaotic at 4 and 5 players. Depending on the plant tiles in the game, your status and position on the board can look quite different when you start your turn compared to how you ended your previous turn.
Player aid next to a couple loose tiles and gem tokens.

Best Player Count

Power Plants plays 1-5 and my favourite is at either 2 or 3 players. This is an outstanding 2 player game with plenty of back and forth fighting for the various fields of plants. Two players allows more planning for which spots to control and where to place sprites.

This is also a very good 3 player game. The turns are snappy and players are able to plan their actions

Larger player counts of 4 or 5, while fun, can get a little too chaotic at times. Even at these higher numbers, the game is still quick so don’t worry that it is going to slow the game down.

Power Plants has a solo mode, where the ‘Mole’ plays as the opponent. The rules for the mole’s actions are simple and do work well. The solo mode is fine, but I far prefer the player interaction with real people. That is where this game really shines and the lack of human player interaction does hinder the solo mode.

Board game box on a table with the components.


There are plenty of area control games on the market, but many bigger in scale, time and complexity. Power Plants is able to condense those large scale game concepts into a tight approachable game that fun for both new and veteran gamers. I am happy to keep Power Plants in my game library.

Power Plants Rating
  • Score - 7.5/10


Power plants is a fun area majority game that, while light, still provides plenty of crunchy decisions.


Variability with different plant powers

Games play in under an hour

Beautiful components


Chaotic at 4 or 5 players

Can feel mean

Analysis paralysis


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