Endangered: New Species

Endangered: New Species

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The race is on to save 7 species in 6 new scenarios. Can you convince the UN in time, all while racing to keep populations healthy and destruction at bay? This is a big box expansion for Endangered. The base game is required to play.
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Having more animals for the base game of Endangered
  • The way that all of the animals play differently
  • The gorgeous animal meeples
  • It adds a tonne of longevity to the base game

Might Not Like

  • If you didn’t like the base game, this isn’t going to change your mind
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Description

The race is on to save 7 species in 6 new scenarios. Can you convince the UN in time, all while racing to keep populations healthy and destruction at bay?

This is a big box expansion for Endangered. The base game is required to play.

So, you’ve got the base game of Endangered, and you’ve played the Tigers and Sea Otters to death. Not literally, obviously, that would be going slightly against the theme of the game. Like me, you must be desperate to save some more lovely animals. How about sea turtles, polar bears, California Condors, elephants, Devils Hole pupfish, jaguars, and tapirs? Is that enough for you? If so, then Endangered: New Species has got you.

One criticism of the base game for me was that there just weren’t enough animals. This expansion sorts that out by adding a whopping six new scenarios! Now the eagle-eyed of you out there will be saying, ‘Six scenarios? Why did you list seven animals in your intro then?’. Good spotting. There are indeed seven new animals, but the jaguars and tapirs are in the same scenario. I know, that sounds like a recipe for chaos. More on that later…

Let’s go through the animals one at a time to see what this expansion has to offer.

Disclaimer: While I spent many, many hours researching animals and their habitats for this review, some of the sciencey facts may be a little bit, well, let’s say… off.

Sea Turtles

The first species I’m going to be talking about from Endangered: New Species, is the Sea Turtles. There’s nothing that sea turtles like better than dodging litter floating about in the sea. And they get to do plenty of that here. Wave after wave of your sea turtles will be trying to get to the beach to breed all the while navigating a minefield of litter. The difficulty of this scenario can quickly ramp up if you let litter become a problem. When you roll the destruction die and you land on an empty space you add a litter tile. Job done. If you roll on an existing litter tile, you’ll place another litter tile. And then roll again for more litter! This carries on until you hit a clear space. You can see how this will quickly spiral out of control.

Polar Bears

One minute you’re a polar bear lying on a nice bit of ice, then global warming strikes, melting your precious solid ground and dunking you in the water that’s at least -15,000°C. To say you’re mildly disgruntled is an understatement. The destruction tiles work in an interesting way here. There is a little side board showing a world map. The destruction tiles go on this board with only six spaces. If you ever roll where you already have a tile, one of the ice tiles on the main board has to go, plopping the startled polar bear into the icy depths. If you ever have a polar bear in the water when it comes round to the offspring phase, they just give up and die, a bit like a big furry white Leonardo DiCaprio.

California Condor

This scenario has a mixture of destruction tiles for you to worry about. You’ve got the normal ones, as in the tiger scenario. They’re just bad if they land on you. Then you have the farm tiles. If one of your condors is next to a farm tile at the start of the destruction phase then it is lost. I’m not sure why farms should be so dangerous for condors. Ah, maybe it’s those pesky combine harvesters. They look a tad spiky.

Elephants

You start this scenario with a whole herd of fifteen elephants! No problems at all. Deforestation? Ha, I stomp all over your stumpy tree stumps. Okay, you may lose the odd elephant to a sprained ankle from all this stomping, but generally, you’re fine. You’re a huge elephant after all. And then the poachers show up in the Impact deck. They’re brutal. Trade regulations don’t help either which get rid of all of your captive elephants. These are the ones that stand on deforestation spaces. I knew there had to be a catch there. This is one of the simpler scenarios, but still challenging and fun.

Devils Hole Pupfish

Crikey, these pupfish certainly are endangered. You start the game with only five on the board, and there are only another three in the supply. Things are uncomfortably tight in this scenario. Unlike the evil skinny dipper’s Speedos. Yep, in this game, there is a skinny dipper. The scourge of pupfish. Who would have thought that the biggest risk factor to a species’ survival would be a fella frolicking around with his middles out? Preposterous, I know, but one of the impact cards actually shows this worrying scene in all its disconcerting glory. Despite all this naked tomfoolery, this scenario is tense. You’re constantly close to your population of pupfish becoming extinct. You get a slight boost in the offspring phase where the more you fail to breed, the more likely you are to breed the next time.

Jaguars & Tapirs

Jaguars. And Tapirs. In the same field. Is anyone else thinking bloodbath? Maybe Endangered: New Species were aiming for something new and different to happen? Added to this are baby tapirs. Being a vegetarian, this is the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in a game. Tapirs are quite happy living in the same space as jaguars. Oh yes, very happy. Then the jaguars get a bit peckish and slaughter loads of adult and baby tapirs. And you get to choose which tapirs die! It’s blood-soaked chaos. We had to change the story to something a little more vegetarian-friendly: the jaguars are sending the baby tapirs off to the local shop to get them a Ginster’s pasty. Phew. This is the most complicated scenario with you controlling the populations of two different types of animals. The tapirs are very easy to breed, but then the jaguars get hungry every other turn. If you don’t feed them, the jaguar will die instead. What a choice. On the positive side, the tapir meeples have got to be the sweetest animal meeples ever.

Is It Any Good

The thing that impresses me most about this Endangered: New Species is the way they’ve given each animal its own personality. Granted, it’s by no means a complicated AI system, but you still get a feel for each animal. The sea turtles must avoid litter and get to the shore, the condors try to get away from farms, and the jaguars are blood-crazed psychopaths. Each animal feels different due to the changes in offspring rules, destruction rules, and the impact deck. It’s very well done.

There are a few other extra bits in this expansion. There is one new speciality card for each role. Six new Ambassadors freshen up that area of the game, and there’s also a Policy Change variant. All welcome, but the main feature here is definitely the new animals.

Is It An Essential Expansion

If you like the base game, then this is a no-brainer. Yes, this is an essential expansion. It adds much-needed longevity. Every animal is fun to play with, and with the three difficulty levels, you’ll be nicely challenged. Even if you find the top level too easy, it’s a simple matter to make it harder by putting one or two of the persistent impacts out at the start of the game.

I’m never that keen on educational games, but Endangered is able to be a great cooperative game and also informs you about the challenges facing the world’s wildlife. Evil skinny dipper, we’re all looking at you. Oh no, bad idea. All that waggling! I’ll be having nightmares for weeks…

Conclusion

This Endangered: New Species expansion sorts out the one problem I had with the base game. It’s informative, tense, has fantastic animal meeples, and victory can often be all down to the last roll of a dice. A brilliant expansion to a brilliant game.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Having more animals for the base game of Endangered
  • The way that all of the animals play differently
  • The gorgeous animal meeples
  • It adds a tonne of longevity to the base game

Might not like

  • If you didnt like the base game, this isnt going to change your mind