Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Gregg Miller
The One With Time-Travelling Babies
Gregg Explains: Evil Baby Orphanage
Do you like history? Do you like babies? Do you like historic evil people caricatured as babies? The World Needs an Evil Baby Orphanage is a very quick game with some light-hearted humor involving baby versions of some bad people.
The premise is simple. You play as a time nanny running an orphanage, and you need to get some evil babies taken care of. Once you start your turn with eight Mischief, you win. However, these babies are very troublesome and the other time nannies are going to provoke the babies in your care to act on some of their bad behavior.
The cycle of a turn starts with checking to see if you’ve won. From here, you will bring any toys from your hand into play. Toys can do a lot of things; primarily they prevent the babies in your orphanage from Misbehaving, but they can also encourage any baby in play to play out all their normal Misbehaving actions and abilities. Other toys can coax babies with particular traits to leave the orphanage they’re in, and hop into yours. The other cards you can play from your hand are standard action cards that let you steal toys from other orphanages, lure any baby to be in your orphanage, prevent your own babies from leaving, or changing which baby does leave.
The following phase is where you must tend to the babies in your orphanage. Turn order matters a lot in the game, and manipulating the baby order is key to playing the game well. If a baby joins your orphanage during this phase, and they’re added to the left, you get to “skip” their Misbehaving traits and abilities. Not all babies have a Misbehaving trait or ability, but there’s five icons that represent common traits, with a handful of babies with text abilities that explain unique rules.
“Babbling” makes it so the opponents on the left and right draw an extra card. “Biter” forces another baby in that orphanage to leave, and join the orphanage to the left or right of the owner. “Bully” lets you pick an orphanage, and the controlling player has to pick one baby in the orphanage who leaves to join an adjacent orphanage. “Grabby” lets you steal a toy in another orphanage. Finally, “Creepy” means your baby leaves the current orphanage, and moves to the orphanage of the player on the left or right.
At any point during this phase, you may discard any Good Toys, as denoted by the icon, to stop all Misbehaving traits. However, this is an all or nothing deal. An example is the Richard Nixon card states that during the final draw step, the player may draw up to five cards instead of the normal four. However, the following trait is Creepy, meaning that player then loses Nixon to a foe. So, if you want that extra card draw, you’re going to have to say goodbye to the baby who gave it to you.
With the babies tended to, it’s time to adopt! There is a deck that solely provides a line-up of three babies or time machines. There’s a selection of three cards, and once one is selected, a replacement is then revealed. You may adopt one baby, or acquire one time machine. Time machines give some rule changing mechanics, like trait immunity, or additional adoptions. Babies generate Mischief, which is needed to win. Once you’ve adopted your evil bundle of joy, it’s time to discard any cards in your hand you no longer want to hang onto, and then draw back up to four cards.
Evil Baby Orphanage is quite fast, and very funny. I really enjoyed the humorous blurbs explaining who the babies are. I also liked the theme of trying to be in charge of babies that are pretty much a pack of Stewie Griffins from Family Guy.