Raptor Review

2 Players
25 Minute Playtime

Brief Overview:
Raptor is a 2 player board game with two teams - the ferocious dinosaur raptors and the invading human scientists.  Each side plays similar but has different enough movements, special abilities and objectives to make them feel their own.

Both players have cards numbered 1-10 with a special ability also on each card. A turn starts with each player revealing one of their cards at the same time, the lowest played card will use the special ability printed on the card, and the higher card will get a number of actions depending on the difference of the cards played.

Once the cards have been played the action shifts to the board - where a mother raptor is trying to protect her five raptor babies from the hands of the scientists.  As a raptor, your goal is to kill all the scientists or have three of your babies escape off the board before being captured. The scientists are either trying to capture three of the raptor babies, or put the mother down with five tranquilliser bullets.

My Thoughts:
Raptor is a cleverly designed game and the simple mechanic of playing a card and either getting its special ability or actions is very effective.  You are not only trying to outsmart your opponent with the action on the board, but choosing which card to play is equally important.  Part of the rules for Raptor is that once a card is played, it stays face up (until all cards are played or a '1' special ability is used), so your opponent can have an idea of which numbered cards you have left.  This means you have to be clever about the cards your leaving yourself with to not give away too many actions and also to know when you have a decent chance of capitalising on your opponents weak hand to gain actions for yourself.  But Raptor is not all about the actions - the special abilities are equally as useful and knowing when to play the action card you desperately need to not only give you the ability but minimise your opponents return is crucial to winning the game.

Playing the cards efficiently to get the return you want is a huge part of the game - but the action on the board can also make or break you.  Having 6 actions with only one scientist on the opposite end of the board to the mother raptor and her babies can be pretty useless.  You'll have to manage your pieces well to trap the raptors for a quick capture without exposing yourself to potential death, or lure the scientists away from the exits so you can eliminate them without blocking the path to victory yourself.

Raptor succeeds by having both sides similar enough to not feel disadvantaged, but also different enough to give you the freedom to outwit your opponent with your cards and destroy them on the board with skillful strategy.


My Verdict:
Clever design with quick gameplay and a dinosaur theme.
An excellent two player game.