Back in 2018 I wrote a preview for Endogenesis. Since then the game has been funded on Kickstarter and delivered into the eager hands of backers. Now Hyperelixir is getting ready to Kickstart the game’s first expansion, Endogenesis Beyond, that adds quite a bit into the mix. Let’s take a look at what to expect.
There are 63 new cards in Endogenesis Beyond, as well as a bag full of Charge Markers. There is a whole new Skill Realm, new Skill Types, Augments, and a new mechanic for obtaining cards. Everything seamlessly blends in with the existing cards, so all you need to do is shuffle each of the new cards into their appropriate decks.
Fragments of Knowledge alter the way you setup Endogenesis. During the Draw Phase of the first round, 3 cards are drawn from the Realm of Knowledge deck and placed above the board. After a player takes their Combat Phase they enter a new Seeking Phase where they can choose to discard 2 cards from their hand to take a face-up Fragment of Knowledge. If this happens the two cards that aren’t chosen are discarded and 3 new cards are placed above the board.
It should also be noted that Fragments of Knowledge also get refreshed at the start of each Draw Phase, so players have to snag cards they may want or risk losing them. Of course, if a player is dead they cannot Seek until they are revived.
Beyond adds two new Skill Types to Endogenesis: the Deathcry Skill and the Initiative Skill. Unlike Active and Reactive Skills, these new skills are placed face-down in the new Auto-Trigger Skill Slot left of the Player Board. The Energy Cost of these cards must be paid upfront but they don’t trigger until the player’s next turn for Initiative Skills or when a player dies with Deathcry skills.
Once played, these cards are mandatory once their trigger has been fulfilled. Class restrictions still apply to these cards, and they can still have Reaction Skills played in response to their effects. This adds a wonderful complexity and depth to the overall play.
The new Voltaic Skill Realm contains cards that can be charged up and discharged with powerful results. Leveling them up with Shards allows for even more potential for wicked attacks. There are even some cards that come pre-charged and are best used when quickly discharged to buff other cards in play. It’s a delicate balancing act between gaining charges without waiting too long and quickly playing buff cards to overcharge your Voltaic Skills before you end up dead.
Augments are special cards that can be played on Active Skills to alter their abilities for better or worse. These effects take place immediately and are irreversible, only getting discarded when the Skill their attached to gets discarded. When played they’re placed under the Skill they’re augmenting, leaving the leftmost black summary bar sticking out for easy reference.
It’s quite amazing how much Endogenesis benefits from the Beyond Expansion. The base game was already great and these cards add more depth and choice into play. While they’re meant to all be added in at once, you can easily choose to only add Augments, Voltaic Skills, or the new Skill Types separately. You can even choose to use the Fragments of Knowledge rules with just the base game.
Honestly? You’re better just adding everything in.
Endogenesis Beyond launches on Kickstarter February 25th, 2020.
A prototype copy of Endogenesis Beyond was provided for this preview in adherence to A Pawn’s Perspective’s Preview Policy
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.