You could try giving them different resources (eg Catan) and forcing them to trade to get what they need.
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Interesting start. I think you need to look at higher level combinations and/or replacement. For example : A birdfeeder gives neighboring garden tiles a bonus because the birds help control insects. Or a BBQ that replaces a deck tile but needs a deck on any side. You have the framework of something here. Look into Cellular Automata and Conways Game Of Life and I hope that gives you some ideas.
A good start of what could be a powerful experience. The use of Atmosphere's music was interesting and very appropriate and moody, I would like to see what this would look like as a more developed idea but for now its an effective concept and mediation on a difficult subject that is rarely broached in games. Good work Dan!