Raptor

“It’s day two and we find ourselves in the deep darkness of a steamy jungle surrounded by an angry raptor mother as we hunt diligently for her young. She is elusive but we have come with brains, tranquilizers and a flamethrower. Though there are only 10 of us we feel confident that we will secure her infants and have them under knife and microscope by days end.

All of us are quite confident that…”

This was the last entry recorded by a team of scientists set the mission to find what is believed to be the last living dinosaurs on Earth! They have not been heard from since…

What a game!  And I’m not just saying that because I win most games! 😆

Raptor, by Matagot Games, revolves around hunting dinosaurs or conversely being hunted by them! 10 scientists versus a mother raptor and her babies face-off in a game of light to moderate strategy with a handful of luck thrown in.

Raptor is designed by two heavyweights who know about game development and it shows. Bruno Faidutti (Mystery of the Abbey, Ad Astra, Mascarade, microphone drop!) is the creator of the exceptional game Citadels, a game that we came upon early in our return to tabletop gaming and that we still love. In Citadels, skillful card play is an essential mechanisms. Faidutti has brought across this great talent into a game that is both addictive and genuinely interesting in it’s strategic potential.

Bruno Cathala (Mr Jack, Five Tribes, Seven Wonders Duel…need I say more?) is the co-designer.

So those in the know might ask “How could this game possibly go wrong?” Quite simply it hasn’t so far and we have played it almost 8 times in a row now! Every game has presented new challenges and new strategic variations which are offered by simple manipulation of the board serving up a new environment with every game.

There are only a handful of cards, 9 each, to choose from as you play, and a set number of actions for the scientists and dinosaurs. It is this very efficient game design that we have appreciated most. Though it has been very easy to learn it is proving hard to grasp the strategies involved toward success. I am also of the opinion that this game rewards strategy though sometimes you will simply get bummed out by a bad draw.

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The question arose whether such a light-moderate game could offer long term attraction. At this stage I would have to say it most certainly does. Though it is no game of chess and could not possibly offer that sort of high level strategy, it does offer more tactics and strategic opportunities than we were expecting from what one might term a ‘light’ game.

Now on to the sole criticism… And this is something that applies not only to this game but has unfortunately become a trend adopted by many game publishers. Quite simply, they sell you a big box that is largely full of air! Yes there is the intellectual property argument but it seems cynical.  There could be a deeper issue here and perhaps it is the consumer driving this seemingly cynical strategy. Perhaps we like big, shiny new boxes on our bookshelves and publishers feed off that! It is a solid theory if I do say so myself!

That aside,  we thoroughly enjoyed this game and expect it to become a regular!

A review copy was supplied for this unpaid review.

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