Game: Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove
Designer: Jesse Labbe
Published: Certifiable Studios
Playtime: 10-30 Minutes
Play Type: Push Your Luck/ Take That
The Boogey-man is lurking, hoping to corner the orphans living in Condyle Cove. You control one of these orphans, as you try to be the last one standing. Your orphan will have to carefully move about the board, and frequently sabotage the other orphans to be left standing.
In Endangered Orphans game play consists of players taking turns doing various actions until all orphans except one are eliminated. Set up is very simple. First players shuffle all decks. Then Kiddie Corner is placed in the center of the table. The player then takes the top four cove cards. They place one of these cards along each edge of Kiddie Corner. This will be the starting board. Players may pick any of these four spaces to place their orphan to start the game (players may share a space). Then, all acts of desperation cards are played face down in a row. Finally deal out the option cards face down. These cards will form each player’s option deck. All players will draw two cards from their options deck. Once these actions are done, game play may begin.
Players turns are very simple. First, players may move their pawn one or two spaces. This is an optional action. Second players may play option cards from their hand. This phase is optional as well, as long as players will not have more than four cards after the final phase. The draw phase is a mandatory action that players must complete each turn. In this phase players must draw two cards. These cards could be cove cards (to build the board) or option cards (which go into the hand to be used). Cove cards must be immediately placed. If a player runs out of cards in their options deck, the Boogeyman eats their orphan. Needless to say, if your orphan gets eaten…you lose.
Players can also be taken out of the game if they are forced to go to the Cul-De-Sac and draw the wrong Acts of Desperation card. There are six available for players to choose from, one of which is the Boogeyman. If the player draws this card, they are eaten by the Boogeyman. Any other card drawn will give some benefit to the player. Most often the card allows players to gain options in some way.
Play continues until all orphans besides one are consumed.
I have the Kickstarter edition of this game, and am unsure if the quality of the components is different in the base game. That being said, this is one of the most quality Kickstarters I have received. The game includes four individual neoprene play mats for each player. It includes 102 full sized cards, including a solo variant of the game play. For player pawns, player have a choice between 4 plastic orphans and 6 cardboard standees. The plastic miniatures have really amazing and unique art. They are some of my favorite miniatures in any of my games. Overall the art style is what drew me into the game. The mix of water-coloresque pictures and cartoony orphans works really well for this particular theme. Finally, the game includes the Boogeyman miniature for solo play.
- Fast Gameplay
- Module Board
- Unique Theme
- Easy to Teach
- High Quality Components
- Player Interaction
- Player Elimination
- Rulebook could be clearer
Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove is the kind of game that you are likely to either love or hate. I have not run into many people who fall into the in between. This could be because of a variety of reasons, but I think that the theme and certain mechanics could be off putting to some. Those with a dark sense of humor will likely be able to laugh off the theme and will very much enjoy the beautifully detailed artwork on each card. However, I think that the mechanics is what people really have strong feelings about.
The game is at it’s very core, very interactive. It is one of the things I most love about the game. Options cards have the potential to take someone out of the game easily. This take that mechanic is something that many people prefer not to have in games. This aspect of the game is done very well, and is one of the few games where I truly enjoy “take that” game play. Additionally not only is there a take that mechanic, but also the game involved player elimination. Now, normally I am not a huge fan of player elimination, it can be a deal breaker for me. However, this game has short enough rounds that I am not too off put by being eliminated.
Another complaint that many people have is the lack of detail in the rule book. Personally I find that the rule book does not need too much detail as it is a very simple game. That being said, the information probably could have been laid out in a better way. The flow of the rule book does seem a little off.
Despite some of these flaws, I still would suggest this game. It made my top 9 games this year in fact. The game is quick to teach and easy to understand. There are aspects of strategy and luck through out. When my husband and I are feeling especially competitive this is the game we choose to play. The take that mechanics lend themselves well to this short of play style. The take that mechanics are not the only ones though. Players also have to balance their options deck and decide whether or not to push their luck. Will they risk drawing an Acts of Desperation card for the chance at more options? Overly aggressive players will find themselves without options as well, which puts a nice system of checks and balances into the game. The short rounds also make it a game that can be played multiple times in a night.