Though Endangered Orphans: House of Rath is not a sequel to Certifiable Studios’ freshman project, Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove, it does occupy the same world. The game’s (very dark) heart is still the same as its predecessor: Players are trying to keep their orphan(s) safe from a boogeyman. Unfortunately, that means sometimes throwing the other orphans under the proverbial bus. House of Rath differs significantly in its gameplay, however. It combines elements of deduction, “take that,” and map reduction to create suspense, but the real difference lies in one key point: During every turn, you’re playing as both the orphans and the boogeyman! During the Roll phase, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect your orphans from the dreaded boogeyman, Count Rath: lock doors, rotate rooms, travel via secret passages, and even reveal other hidden orphans. Every decision could be the one that takes your orphans to (relative) safety—or straight into Rath’s greedy clutches. You’ll then use the Boogeyman Phase of your turn (while playing as Rath) to suss out which orphans belong to whom, all while steering Rath clear of your orphans (and keeping secret which ones are your orphans when possible). If one of your orphans is discovered by Rath, your chances of getting away are slim. But hey…a chance is a chance, right? You’ll either escape (likely to be pursued again at a later time) or come to a grisly end and draw a Run Away card. Though a Run Away card won’t help you when it’s drawn, it’ll give you options later. Use it to give your other orphans better odds of escaping if they’re discovered, or use the card’s one-of-a-kind special ability. The last player with at least one surviving orphan is the winner!
- Endangered Orphans: House of Rath