Beasts: Edge of Extinction and Revenge of the Dodos
- Designer: Derek Zyn
- Publisher: Riftway Games
- Players: 2-6
- Age: 14+ on the box, but I believe depending on the child 8+.
- Time to Play: About 20-40 Minutes depending on player count.
Hey folks! I’m back again with another game review! This time we’re taking roles of beasts each trying to be the last survivor in this catastrophic world. Much like High Lander, there can only be one! This is a player elimination game with action points, dice rolling, hand management, and take that. I’m reviewing a game that was provided by Riftway Games.
Beasts: Edge of Extinction comes with 79 Resource Cards, 23 Event Cards, 6 Character Cards, 6 Health Clips, 6 Dice, and the rules.
Character cards have health on the left side of the card. On the right side of the card are resistances. The text towards the bottom is a beast specific special ability. Each beast will have their own special power.
Resource cards will consist of equip cards, meat cards, lure cards, instant action cards, dodos.
Event Cards change how the round is played during the game.
To set up, players will choose what beast they want to play. Take a health clip, and slip it on the card on the 20 spot. In player order, starting with the first player, players will draw and reveal 3 resource cards one at a time. Make sure players resolve any instant action cards upon reveal. Revealed cards are placed face up below your character card. Once all players have revealed and resolved their resource cards, the starting player draws and reveals an event card. A new event card is revealed at the start of each round. Read the event, and all players must resolve that even before taking their turn.
When it’s a players turn, they can preform two actions from the following list.
- Attack/Lure – You can only preform one attack or lure a turn. Not both.
- Attack – Pick a player to attack and roll your die. You add any equipped bonus to your attack and any bonus from other sources like the Savage Dodo, discarding non-equipped cards after use. Then the defending player rolls their die. Subtract their roll from your attack. Any remaining damage goes through and they lose that much life.
- Lure – Play the resource card with a Lure and target a player. Lure cards will have a set damage on them. The lured player subtracts any resistance to the damage. Any remaining damage goes through, and the player loses that much life.
- Scavenge – Draw a card from the top of the resource deck. Alternatively, if you have Lowly Scavenger, you can discard that card and draw the top card from the discard pile. Each draw costs 1 action.
- Eat – You eat one or more meat or dodos cards in your resource area as a single action. Each meat or dodo will let you regain health depending on the card.
- Equip – You can equip one or more cards as a single action. Attack bonuses get tucked under your character, with the top bonus showing above your character. Resistance bonuses get tucked under your character, the right bonus showing on the right of your character.
- Trade – You can decided to trade resource cards with another player. Both parties need to agree with the trade for it to be resolved. Each trade is an action.
- Collecting Dodos – When attacked, you can discard 3 or more dodos to provide a bonus to your resistance equal to the dodos discarded.
- Resistance – This comes in 3 different types. Physical, Fire, and Ice. Events and Lures can deal these different types of damage. Resistance can be a positive or negative amount. Positive amounts help your defense and subtract the from damage amount. Negative amounts hinder your defense and adds to that type of damage. Make sure to add, or subtract, all the resistance on your character to determine how much damage you take.
First, let’s talk about the components. The cards have a nice linen finish on them. They feel good in the hands. I like the different artwork on each card. Especially the Dodo cards. There’s humor in some of the cards. I really liked the Resourceful Card. It shows a bear that’s gathering food, and there’s a Dodo standing there unaware. The dice are standard dice, but what’s nice about them is that the color matches one of the character cards. Each character card gets it’s own special ability, name, artwork, and on the left side of the card is your health. Then, each player gets a clip to add to the card to show what health you have left. I thought this was well thought out, but the clips sometimes get a bit fiddly. This usually started to happen when you stack the equipment cards under your character card. Not that big of a problem though.
Now, let’s look at the game play. When I was explaining this game to my game group, I explained it as a many beasts enter, one beast leaves card game. This helped drive home the player elimination part of the game. Now, I know some people don’t like player elimination due to first play out usually has some time on their hands. I’ll talk about that later on.
First, I really liked that each character card had their own special ability and resistances. This made it feel different when playing each character. My favorite was the Terror Bird. Then, the turns were really easy to explain. You can do two things. One of those things can be an attack or lure card, then you can equip, draw, trade, or eat. Easy to teach, easy to understand, and the rule book makes it nice and clear.
One of the other player elimination games my group enjoys is King of Tokyo. In that one, there is no defend. You just take all the damage that comes to you. I like that in Beasts: Edge of Extinction when a player attacks, the defending player gets a chance to defend. This makes it so there is more player interaction during the attacks, but more importantly an opportunity to survive. This lead to some tense situations. A player was down to 4 health, so another player went in for the kill! They had a +2 to their attack and felt very confidant about the outcome. That player then proceeded to roll a 1. The defending player rolled a 6 and laughed! The we all laughed. Yes, this game has luck in it, but I think that’s what makes it so fun! If you don’t like luck, there’s other things you can do. Lure cards were an alternative to the luck based rolls. Lure cards have a set damage, so that the only thing that effects them is the players resistance. I liked when it was a players turn, and you see them eyeing a lure card and eyeing who has what weakness.
I like that the events change each round. They can create some sudden changes in your strategy. There’s one where players can’t draw cards and another one where players can’t attack or lure. Then, there are other ones that damage all players. One of those took out two players at once in a turn. I guess this speaks to the importance of eating and scavenging.
Each turn, there are enough actions to take that it doesn’t feel like everyone is doing the same thing. One player was set on getting as many equip cards as possible. I think they had a +4 attack at one point. Some players made sure to draw as much as possible to have different options. I liked recycling dodos to get more equipment cards. The thought of a beast just tossing a dodo around as a bartering object makes me laugh.
Now, there was a downside to the game, and I mentioned that earlier. What does a player do when they’ve been eliminated? Most the time it’s just waiting to start a new game. However, there is an expansion for Beasts: Edge of Extinction. Enter, Revenge of the Dodoss. This is a small card pack that adds to the game play.
Beasts: Edge of Extinction – Revenge of the Dodos
To set this expansion up, you simply shuffle in the one event card into the event deck, and then shuffle the revenge cards into a deck and set that aside.
Game play is the same except when it comes to a player losing all their health. Instead of being out, that player now embodies the spirit of the dodo! A player will discard their character card, all equipment cards, and resource cards. They keep any lure cards. Then draw two revenge cards.
Revenge cards are like resource cards, but instead of playing them to help yourself, you’re playing them to hinder the opponents.
Now, on your turn you can only preform one action from the following list.
- Attack – You attack another player. You roll your die, and the defending player rolls to defend.
- Draw – You can either draw from the revenge deck, or draw fro the resource deck. If you draw from the resource deck, the only cards you can keep are lure cards.
- Revenge/Lure – You play either a revenge card or a lure card from your hand.
That’s it. It’s a really simple expansion to mix into the game. Game wise, I really like adding this to the game. It not only adds something for eliminated players to do, it adds a bit of second thought to bullying one players. Yeah, you could get them out this turn, but then they’ll probably just seek revenge against you. Maybe instead of taking them out, you’ll just eat and heal up this turn. Show some mercy, then maybe when it’s time they’ll remember it and show you some mercy.
Overall, Beasts: Edge of Extinction gets the Everyone and their Grandmother Games approval. It’s family friendly and creates memories. If you like card games with high player interactions, player elimination, and humorous art, I can’t recommend this game enough. I love that it’s a small box game, and it’s easy to transport. The footprint of the game is small so you can play this without worry about being crowded. Player count was best at 6, but it was still enjoyable at 2. I was able to play this with my 5 year old son. Much like King of Tokyo, he enjoyed kicking my butt.
Here are links to order the game.