We haven’t showcased a tabletop game in ages and I happen to be introduced to a new game at Nerd(Col)lab’s resident console/retrogamer Jason’s bachelor party called Organ ATTACK! which he kickstarted. Now, Oregon attack sounds like it’s a cross of a zombie apocalypse game set in the Oregon trail motif! That actually sounds like a fun and crazy game! But no, you heard me the first time, Organ ATTACK!
This game was first released via kickstarter by Awkward Yeti (Nick Seluk is the writer and illustrator) and surpassed his goal of $12,000 with $526,274 in pledges and reached multiple stretch goals during his campaign. Nick Seluk is actually a New York Times best selling cartoonist who makes The Awkward Yeti and the Heart and Brain comic amongst other things like Lars on LINE Webtoon and Medical Tales Retold. Organ ATTACK! is a medical malady card game and is the first board game Nick has produced.
The object of the game is to remove your opponents’ organs before they remove yours by afflicted them with corresponding afflictions. Each affliction can affect more than one organ, like for example, pancreatitis can be used to affect the gallbladder or the pancreas. And, the last person standing so to speak is the winner! To throw complexity in the mix, you can also use instant defensive cards like Immunity Boost which instantly blocks an opponent’s play (which can be used right after another player plays their affliction) or other cards like POISONED which removes one of your organs immediately and the card can not be blocked! You can see how crazy it can get and with the ease of play, the game can become very fast paced with everyone playing defensive cards to block other people’s moves!
So there are 20 organ cards (19 organ cards with one WILD card) all based on the TheAwkward Yeti characters. You can have Heart and Brain and Tongue and Teeth for example. It takes two afflictions to remove your organ and the WILD card organ requires 4 afflictions to be removed but do not have to specific to that organ.
The attack deck contains 72 cards total. There are Affliction cards, Wild cards (can be played as one affliction on any organ except for Necrosis Wild cards which instantly removes an organ), Resistance cards, which are defensive cards that resists attacks or instantly blocks attacks, Tactical and Bureaucracy cards, which throws a wrench in the game play with cards like “Kidnapped” allowing you to take an opponent’s organ for yourself or “Sedate” which skips an opponent for two turns, and Poisoned cards, which a player must remove one of his or her organs immediately after that card is drawn.
The organ deck is dealt evenly to all players until there are no more cards left in the deck and each card is placed face up toward their opponent. You have five attack cards to choose from in your hand and can play up to two cards on your turn. You then draw up to five total cards after your turn to replenish your hand.
I was first blown away by the illustrations of the organs on each card! They were cartoon-like yet with some anatomical detail to them but not overtly gross in the sense of blood and guts or too anatomically correct. With my affinity for all that is dental, I enjoyed the teeth card and was bummed when someone afflicted me with cavities! It was a new game to all six of us playing (game can be played with 2-6 players) but after a few people were afflicted with diseases on their own organ cards, the claws came out and people were not only afflicting each other but the defensive cards also made an appearance! Those card definitely made the game even more complex and enjoyable to everyone. On first glance, the game is deceptively simply but with complex cards being pulled into each other’s hands, the replay-ability is very high! And, I like games that are somewhat quick and easy to learn but can be played over and over again without losing interest!
If you are into quirky anatomically cartoonish tabletop deck building games, you should check out Organ ATTACK! by Awkward Yeti. It will not disappoint!