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Endangered: New Species

Endangered: New Species adds another six new scenarios and sets of animals to save to your base game of Endangered, Joe Hopkins' 2020 'game of survival' from Grand Gamers Guild. Each of the new scenarios brings with it new animals and a new deck. These scenarios make use of both sides of the game board, so you’ve got a mixture of land and sea scenarios. The basics of the game stay in place, so those familiar with Endangered will find this expansion easy to add in but the flavour for each set changes significantly...

Sea Turtles move towards the shore to mate and then head out to sea. The impact deck adds trash, which needs to be avoided at all costs, and this additional threat is well represented within the game. Polar Bears need the ice flows to keep them alive, and an extra continent board adds the impact of deforestation to the main board, removing these ice flows if not managed; bears then not on ice flows are lost. This is a challenging and particularly enjoyable scenario.

With the Devils Hole Pupfish, there is a risk of the lake drying up, and this needs to be managed as the board slowly shrinks in size... There’s an extra mating board reflecting the mating instinct of the fish but it can take a while to get the fish breeding, which can make the scenario more challenging. With California Condors, farming impacts on the board by removing all adjacent Condors. Again, like the Pupfish scenario, the mating instinct board is used to add an additional element.

The Elephants (and their wonderful meeples!) play out with the Elephants being taken into captivity, so this is about dealing with that constant threat. With the Jaguars and Tapirs scenario, you’re breeding the Tapirs and then they’re being eaten by the Jaguars! A Jaguar that doesn’t eat gets hungry and then on further turns of not fed becomes lost. The destruction phase has two rolls and provides a lot of the tension in this scenario.

What we also have with this expansion are some Policy Change markers that impact on the influence required for Ambassadors. There are new Ambassadors and new Specialities which can also be thrown in with the base game on their own if you just want some small variation to the existing scenarios.

With this meaty expansion, the basic (cooperative) play behind Endangered is maintained but the additional scenarios add welcome variation for those who’ve seen enough of Tigers and Sea Otters. There’s clearly been a lot of thought given to how best to use the original theme of the game in interesting and distinctive ways, tho' the playing approach is very similar once you’ve figured out the mechanics. The exception, perhaps, is the Jaguar/Tapir module, which is probably the best of the set, although with the added complexity of managing more elements than the base game provided.

The components continue the excellent standard presented in the base game, with some very well produced wooden meeples representing the new animals here and some great art from Josh Cappel, Alex Chapman and Ben Flores. If you enjoyed the base game of Endangered (which you'll need to play this expansion) and you want more than a little more, then you'll find this a very worthwhile purchase.

(Review by Steve Berger)

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