playing with dominant and recessive traits.

Duration: 45 – 75 min
Number of players: 1 – 5
Material: boardgame

Short description

Gregor Mendel is the 19th Century Augustinian Friar credited with the discovery of modern genetics. In Genotype, you play as his assistants, competing to collect experimental data on pea plants by trying to control how the plants inherit key Traits from their parents: seed shape, flower color, stem color, and plant height. The observable Traits of a Pea Plant (its Phenotype) are determined by its genetic makeup (its Genotype). The relationship between Genotype and Phenotype and the nature of genetic inheritance are at the heart of Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game.

During the game, players get Pea Plant Cards which show a set of Phenotype Traits they hope to produce and collect (such as pink flowers and tall height) in order to score points. Each round, Dice are rolled to represent Plant breeding, which may result in the Traits players are looking for. After the Dice Roll, players take turns drafting Dice towards completing their Pea Plant Cards or advancing their Research. The Traits produced during the Dice Roll come through the science of Punnett Squares, which show how the parent genes combine, one from each parent plant. By changing the genes of these parent plants, players can influence the likelihood of rolling the Traits they need. The completion of Pea Plant Cards via the Dice Draft is the main way players score points. (Source:

Educational Value

  • Genetics – dominant and recessive traits of pea plants.
  • History of science – Mendel began his experiments with plant hybridization where he discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance.

Recommendation for use

This game takes some time to learn and play. You can use the pea plant cards seperately to explain dominant and recessive traits. The Punnett squares, offspring dice and gene tiles are also interesting for visualizing the manipulation of phenotypes.

Tips and tricks

  • Can be played solo.
  • Next to the rulebook there is a 12 paged leaflet about the science behind the game and the Mendelian Genetics.
  • You can also use this game to visualize the world of scientific research. During the rounds you need to collect money for your research, you can upgrade your research and you can set research goals.