Endogenesis – A Gateway Game to Table Top RPGs

Ease of Play
Reader Rating1 Vote
Great design!
Fun gameplay
Gameplay risks reptitiveness
Not a binge game

UPDATE: Endogenesis is now over 1500% and has some pretty awesome stretch goals unlocked!

If you’re still on the fence, here’s an extended look at the gameplay:

Original Article:
The arrival of Kickstarter marked a change in the creative output by independent creators. Gone are the days of unfounded talents and their ideas going to waste just ‘cause a bigger entity wouldn’t publish their product.

Kickstarter represents an era in which the power of production is given to the people and creators can receive direct feedback from the people that actually matter—their audience.

Finally becoming available in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016, it has also allowed for local creators to reach a larger international audience.

And with over 800 projects launched from just Singapore in the last 23 months, it’s clear that the crowdfunding platform is creating platforms for many, opening the gates for high quality, audience-approved products.

Enter Endogenesis.

Conceptualised and developed by Singaporean designer David Goh, Endogenesis is a card game utilising various table top game mechanics to bring a full, almost RPG-like experience to players within a timeframe of an hour or two.

While the crucial element of story-telling (and being screwed over by a sadistic DM) may be absent, Endogenesis adapts almost every other aspect of an RPG. This essentially allows it to function as a gateway game for more casual players to sample a taste of character building and monster slaying without the heavy commitment of sacrificing the Friday nights of the rest of your life so you and your friends can sit around a table dressed in robes.

Or so I’ve heard… from friends.

While much of Endogenesis captures the best of other games within the table top niche, its strength lies in its fresh execution of what can be considered the winning features that the medium has to offer.

With a central theme of a cosmic battle against alien beasts from a realm unknown, Endogenesis also presents a PVP edge, allowing players to engage in a battle royale against each other, all while studying and strategising by equipping themselves with the abilities that fall in their hands.

And if this doesn’t already sound like a foray you’d wanna get into, the game toughens the odds with its random Events and Distortions—situation and climate altering cards that can sometimes make or break your play.

While the wide array of abilities, (over 40!) and endless combinations of skills coupled with the ever-changing psychology of your fellow players makes Endogenesis an interesting experience over multiple plays, the longevity of its replayability is questionable.

Like all other card or dice games, luck of draw still plays a part in the game, and it can be a tad frustrating if you’re just stuck with a weak hand. Nevertheless, it’s clear from certain well-placed elements like the opening mulligan and the late-start compensation for the last two players in the round that the designer’s spared a fair bit of thought to ensure an even playing field.

For a game with as many moving components, and flexibility/choice in actions, it’s a surprise that Endogenesis is as easy to learn as it is. This contributes to making it a great game for new or very casual gamers to get a taste of something different from the everyday UNOs or Clue. And that it’s still more evenly paced than Monopoly, which makes Endogenesis all that much better!

So, if you’re tired of the run-of-the-mill Munchkin series, or are yearning for a taste of the character building and adventure RPGs like D&D and Pathfinder offer, Endogenesis is quite probably that sweet spot you’ve been looking for.

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