Raptor is a card driven board game with tactical play and some double guessing. Players choose between playing either the Scientists or the Raptors. The scientists win by neutralizing the mother or by capturing three of her babies. The Raptors win if three babies escape the board or if there are no more scientists on the board (because Mama eats them as a tasty snack 😋). Players use cards and action points to progress in the game.
This week, Bill and Donna (otherwise known as his “better half”) get down and dirty in the jungle (or the savannah!) with Raptor.
I love this game. The different player decks and actions make both sides play very differently. I did find it easier to grasp how to play the Scientists. I took pride in getting a win with the Raptors even if it was after many wins with the Scientists. You always can do something even if it usually is not as much as you would like. This makes it more exciting and more interesting. If you can always do what you need there is no drama or desire to push the limits with your limited resources. If you do pull off your plan it is so much more satisfying.
I did find it pretty easy to grasp and the more I played, the more ideas I got to get better with the team I’m playing. Most of our ideas in the early games were to try and figure out how to play better with the Raptor team. Keeping track of my cards is an obvious tactic, but keeping track of the cards my opponent uses has much better odds of foiling them or completing my grand plan. So much diversity in the possibilities and just the right amount of luck keep me having to be flexible with my tactics.
There are so many great game design ideas in this game. It’s not too simple, but has just the right amount of complexity and lots of depth for many great games. The fact it plays fast also makes it great for repeated plays in the same sitting.
I’m not gonna lie. When I first played Raptor I was pretty addicted. I wanted to play it again and again and kept bothering Bill about it, like a pesky fly buzzing by his ear. I tend to think he secretly (or not so secretly) enjoyed it.
Raptor is super fun and plays fast, almost too fast. I was always a bit disappointed when the game ended. Happily, we often just rolled right into another round.
Of the two sides you can choose to play, I preferred the Raptors, hands down. Perhaps it’s because they’re considered the “baddies”, or maybe because the baby Raptors are just so darn cute, but I would have played them every time if given the chance.
The only problem with the Raptors is that they always lost! Game after game, they came out on the losing end. It got to the point where we started googling to see if others had experienced this as well (spoiler alert – they had), and if there were things we could do to play differently to give the Raptors a better chance. I tweaked my game play a bit, but still wasn’t able to pull out a win with them.
Finally, 15 games in, the Raptors won. 🥇
Bill was playing them. 😭
Life is so unfair.
Even though I did manage to (finally!) win with them shortly after that, it was not nearly as satisfying as it could have been — the bounty had already been pillaged. Still, my love of the game has not diminished, and although I’ve successfully weaned myself off the Raptor addiction, I do still enjoy the odd play (always in moderation, of course!).
Despite Raptor feeling a bit unbalanced and skewed in favour of the Scientists, at least in the beginning, it didn’t decrease our enjoyment in the least. If anything, it made us want to play more, just so we could see the Raptors win.
Raptor is a game we’d recommend for adults and families alike, and with a play time of just 30 minutes, is a good one to squeeze in after dinner and before bedtime any day of the week.