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End of the Line, 2nd Edition - Review

It's the end of the world, and I feel fine while playing End of the Line, 2nd Edition. End of the Line, 2nd Edition is a game designed by Seppy Yoon and Mark Eberhardt, and published by Fight in a Box Games. It's a short game for 3-5 players where you are jockeying for position and resources in an apocalyptic world. The copy I played was a prototype with possible components and rule changes. You can find the Kickstarter here.

End of the Line prototype box with the five family members in the 5 colors standing on top of the box

Each player has 5 family members with which to try to secure the resources of Water, Fuel, Ammo, and Food. The Water line can never close in this game, but the other resource lines will close when family members totaling the number of players are sent to the graveyard at that location. This makes the line terminal and no more players will be sending characters to that location any longer. The 5 family members are Mom, Dad, Girl, Boy, and Dog. The two parents count as adults, the kids are children, and the Dog is not a human. There are advantages and disadvantages to using each type of family member to try to gain resources or mess with each line.

A Dad figure along with one water, one fuel, two food, and one ammo on the grey player's Home Base

And by mess with, I do mean mess with. The game aesthetically has a Fallout meets Loki (the television show) setting. It's chipper 1950s problematic vibes with a fragile veneer of "We're not completely giving up on the world." I have to admit, more than once while reading the flavor text I had to consider whether the advice given out unprompted was practical or just thematic. We'll pretend it's just thematic and for the laughs- it makes the game more fun.

Simultaneously, each player will select a card, a location to play at, and a family member to accompany the card. The locations are revealed at the same moment, but the cards will only be revealed when enough family members fill a location. At that point, Now cars will be carried out, followed by Events, followed by Laws.

The game can be played with or without Black Market cards, but I found that after a couple of plays without the Black Market cards, they were almost essential. It gave you something more to do with your resources than just accumulating them to try to break ties.

A Law card that states "Kill all Dogs in this Line"

Oh, I almost forgot. Everyone can lose this game if no one is alive at the end of a round. Otherwise, the game ends when any one player (or more) has lost all of their family members. But don't worry, if you haven't lost yet, there are ways to bring them back from the dead.

The game is centered around the fine balance between letting other people be, killing off the right player at the right time, and grabbing what you need selfishly. The randomness of playing a card face down to each line only adds to the giddy hilarity of possibly losing it all as you scrounge for that last scrap of food. In other words, the apocalypse can be fun.

An Upgrade card titled "Omega Legendary Man" which reads - If your Dad is your only living Human, reveal to win the game.

Due to the nature of some of the cards and the general topic, this game might not be for everyone. As to balance, this game laughs in the face of balance. And then it cries. If you've read this far, Dear Reader, and you don't know that this game gives no flips for balance, you should probably just play anything else.

But for those who love them some catastrophe-themed backstabbing, you might be right up your petulant little heart's ally. Especially, if it's a dimly lit one on the way to the one safe watering hole in town.

A "Now" card called Push that says, the first character in front of this cards Jumps Forward 1

Most games will be finished in 30 minutes or less, even with 5 players. A small amount of strategy arises more near the end of the game when each player tries to be the last one standing and outmaneuver the others. It's the perfect time in a game for player agency and it's all the more sweet and satisfying when you can pull off that win.

Or you might just die.

Because it's the end of the world.

End of the Line

Designed by Seppy Yoon

Artwork by Mark Eberhardt

Published by Fight in a Box

Aesthetics 8.5/10

Strategy 6/10

Gameplay 9/10

3-5 players, 30 minutes


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