Endangered is the latest game from Grand Gamers Guild. Players are working together to influence ambassadors from around the world to protect species on the brink of extinction.
We got some time with this game during its Kickstarter campaign and wanted to share our thoughts after a couple plays. The final game will have two scenarios and a very cool double-sided board. The prototype that we received is focused on saving endangered tigers. Since we took time to play this together, Bob and I are going to try and do a cooperative preview of this new game.
Bob: In all honesty, I’ve never really given much thought to saving a dwindling species of animals. I appreciate what Joe Hopkins in collaboration with Grand Gamers Guild has done to bring a real world issue to light and use it to further education by creating the board game, Endangered. This fun dice placement game was a phenomenal idea. The artwork is great and very colorful.
Ryan: The artwork in the game was something that surprised me. While I’m not a huge fan of realistic illustrations, this style actually works very well considering the games content. Endangered did a great job of handling a legitimate world issue in a way that was classy.
One of the first things you do in the game is choose one of five roles to play. I really liked how these roles have little nuances that ad value to the group. In my first game I played the Philanthropist. Using this role I was able to gather money and use the money to gain influence throughout the game.
Bob: The asymmetric character abilities are nice, although not completely game changing enough to affect the outcome of play. We played Endangered in a 2 player and a 3 player scenario. I enjoyed it more at the 3 player count but I think that’s just because I usually enjoy most games at a higher player count. I loved the placing of cards as new spots for players to allocate dice.
Ryan: This was definitely cool. As players play a new card, more options are unlocked and you feel less confined than in the first couple turns of the game.
I have to admit, like Bob, I enjoyed playing with 3 players over just 2 players. There was more collaboration and planning with the higher player count in my opinion. An area where I think Endangered struggled a bit is creating tension during the gameplay. There is a deck of Impact cards that activate at the end of a round. This can add additional destruction locations to the board or even kill tigers on the board. While the Impact cards can definitely ruin a good plan, I never felt like we were headed for a loss.
Bob: There was only one thing I didn’t feel as much as i do in most other co-ops, and that was the tension. I never felt at anytime as though we were on the verge of losing. In Endangered, there are three ways to lose:
- Not having anymore destruction tiles left to place, meaning your forest and tigers are most likely destroyed
- Having only 1 or 0 tigers left
- Not getting the votes of countries you need to have influence with by the instructed round end
All of those scenarios seemed fairly manageable to me. I think possibly at a higher player count it may help tension as dice locations fill up quicker. Another option is to draw an additional Impact card. This is something you could easily “house rule”.
Ryan: We played on normal mode both games but there is an additional setup for hard mode. This brings out a “clear cutting” Impact card which could mean trouble at the end of your very first turn of the game. This may be the way to go for a more tense game. While this game may not have brought the tension of some other cooperative games, this definitely is a great fit for introducing new people into this style game.
Endangered handles a really important topic with class and gameplay that requires players to interact. Each game will have different goals since the world leaders you are aiming to influence are drawn randomly each game.
If this sounds like a game that belongs on your shelf, head over to the Kickstarter campaign by April 26, 2019 and make this game a reality.
Grand Gamers Guild provided us with a prototype copy of Endangered during the Kickstarter campaign. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game.