Review: Raptor

We originally found Raptor through the OneBoardFamily Instagram account when we found┬ápeople talking about how fun this game was. This two player game pits a team of scientists against a Velociraptor and her young. As crazy as this concept sounds, Raptor is a great choice if you’re looking for a two player strategy game to add to your game library.

Rumble in the Jungle

The board is created with two-sided tiles that represent the jungle where this battle takes place. Cardboard rocks are placed on the board that provide obstacles and places for the players to hide. Each player uses a deck of 9 cards that are numbered 1 through 9 and have different abilities.

The scientists can win by capturing three baby raptors or killing the adult raptor. The raptors can win by having three babies escape from the jungle or by having the adult raptor take out all the scientists.

In Raptor, players choose a card from the three in their hand and play them at the same time. Playing a higher number will give you more actions that turn. Playing a lower number will allow you to play first and use the special ability on the card. The scientists have tranquilizer darts and fire on their side. The raptors can frighten the scientists, kill them, hide from the other player and put out any areas of the board that are on fire.

The Components of the Game

Each team has some great miniatures to represent their positions on the board. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the art style on the cards, but then again, this is a personal preference. I think the simple cardboard rocks that are placed on the board add a lot to the feel of the game and offer obstacles that can change how your team moves around the board.

In one of our games, the positions of the rocks made it very difficult to travel around the board without using a lot of action points. It was a real challenge that both my wife and I had to consider as we played.

Raptor - card setup

Each player also has a “cheat sheet” that is placed in front of them. This will answer any questions on how to use a card and remind the player about the different actions that are available each turn. It’s a great resource that makes flipping through the rule book almost obsolete during a game.

All the game assets carry a theme that feels vaguely like Jurassic Park. This is definitely a game that benefits from creating a cool atmosphere on the table.

Game Play

Over the games that we played, it doesn’t feel like one side has a real advantage over the other. The scientists move slow and can shoot tranquilizers across the board while the adult raptor is fast and very deadly. The cards really balance out the game well. Even when you think you have the game in the bag, two good card plays back-to-back can completely turn the tables.

Having only three cards available each turn can limit what you can do in that turn. It really causes the player to look at what cards have been played, what they have available and what is coming up. Limiting the card decks to 9 cards was a great move that will have you hoping the next card is the one that will put you back on top.

The game plays in 30 minutes and our kids completely understood the game after seeing my wife and I play. Having kids that like dinosaurs, I was happy to see that the cards didn’t depict violent acts or blood. The game is family-friendly and is intriguing enough to watch two players battle it out.

It’s hard to find a great game that is made for two players. Raptor really surprised us with the way the two sides are balanced. My wife and I were looking for a game that we can play after the kids hit the bed. I know this game will get a lot of time on our dining room table!

Check your local gaming shop to pick up a copy of Raptor or buy it on Amazon today.

Highs

  • Really built from the ground up for 2 players
  • Raptors and scientists have unique features
  • Replayability is helped by the board configuration

Lows

  • The mechanics may not click for kids under 8
  • Not a big fan of the box art