Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove

 Game: Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove Players: 2- 3
 Publisher: Certifiable Games  Age: 8+
 Time: 30 minutes  Replayability: 8/ 10

endangered OrphansEndangered Orphans of Condyle Cove

Slow burning horror is not something we see a lot of. Typically, we live in an age where cheap jump scares and gory blood baths are what Hollywood tends to sell as scary and horrifying. But, lately, we have seen just a handful of gems truly scare our socks off. Titles ranging in entertainment mediums like The Witch, Blaire Witch, Amnesia, P.T., Dead of Winter, and many others all capture the essence of what scary is meant to look like. Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove is what I’d consider the next installment to slow burning horror. In Endangered Orphans, you are locating and  exploring the cove, avoiding unfortunate events, and avoiding the boogyman. Now, while the orphans seem to be working together to stay alive, I don’t necessarily see the player as the orphan but more or less some type of deity involvement in the orphans life. I’ll elaborate more on this later, super cool concept.

The game is simple. You may never have more than four options in your hand at a time (or the boogyman finds you). You may travel around the cove, however, when entering the kiddie corner you must turn over an act of desperation (which could be good or bad–the boogeyman). Since the Acts of Desperation are scared, you don’t want to be the orphan the turns over the boogyman (I know! The anticipation is awesome). Last player standing wins.

My Experience

Now, as a three player game, I felt I couldn’t play it with anything less. So the three of us began our experience. I shuffled and dealt out the deck to the three of us building our own option decks to drew from.  I started (because I always do), and drew an act of desperation (because I’m in the kiddie corner) and drew two option cards from my options deck. Since we have four spaces surrounding our Culdesac I moved my pawn to the beach (defensive cards have no effect on you) because I figured, if there are any defense cards out–I’d want to be unaffected (first time playing it so we did not have any expectations or strategy). I didn’t play any cards this turn and just drew one option and one the cove card to end my turn. The opponent to my left moved his orphan to the hills (cards cannot be stolen from your options deck) and played leave this place (move and opponent any two spaces, moving me back to the kiddie corner. The third player also moved the to hills and played no friends of mine (sharing spaces has you steal up to 3 cards your opponents hand), stealing the player’s options from his hand. It was noticeable how Take that this game was. It was simple, as long as we could drain our opponents options deck or somehow get them to draw the boogeyman, we could win. The question is how lucky will we continue to be with the draw.

Toward the end of the game I lost by drawing the boogeyman when both my opponents continued to throw me back into the kiddie corner. When I revealed the beast, I shuffled him back in with the remainder of the Act of Desperation cards and laid them back out face down. My opponents were neck and neck with a great variety of option cards and three AoD cards left to draw. What was fun was the outcome ended with the very last card being the boogeyman. Yes, they were that lucky and yes, we were all on the edge of our seat with every AoD card flipped over. It was a lot of fun to say the least.

Final Thoughts

I said I’d touch up on the mentioned earlier so here it is. This isn’t just a game about player elimination and winning. This is a game about unfolding the mysteries over at the orphanage. This is about watching this interactive experience unfold. Seeing which Orphans fall first and who survives this horror of a Culdesac. Sure, we control an orphan and we hope the other orphans fail (so sad), but I don’t see these orphans as enemies, rather falling into some sad uncontrollable events. I thought that was a really cool way to look at the game and definitely made the experience more immersive. I do find the three-player experience an interesting choice instead of four. But I can see why, the turns can take a while and with four players I could see the games pacing fall short. However, I do find the game is exciting and will always ask for “one more go” after the end. What I appreciated the most was the boogeyman anticipation of flipping over an AoD card.  Even after I personally lost, watching my opponents flip those over was so frightening. Man, I was very happy to be able to try this one out.

You will like this game if you want a completely unique adventure through an orphanage with Take that and player elimination.

You will not like this game if you are scared easily.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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