At a Glance: Raptor is a great 2-player game that pits a protective Raptor mother against a team of persistent scientists.
Raptor is a 2-player game where one plays as a mother raptor and her 3 babies and the other plays as a team of scientists. The Raptors win if the 3 babies are able to escape, OR if there are no more scientists on the board. The Scientists win if they are able to capture 3 baby raptors, OR if they can neutralize the mother. The game is played on 6 square boards with exit spaces on either end. Each turn, players secretly choose a card and reveal them simultaneously. Each card is numbered and has a corresponding action. The player with the lower number gets to do the action listed on the card. The player with the higher number card receives action points equal to the difference between the two cards. Each side has different, unique actions they can perform. The mother Raptor can disappear and reappear in a completely different spot, she can frighten scientists which knocks them over, or she can recover sleep tokens which are caused by the scientists’ tranquilizers. The scientists can drive a Jeep, set fires, or capture baby raptors. Note that the actions you can do with action points are not necessarily the same actions that are listed on the cards themselves. There are no set number of rounds. The game ends when one side has reached their win condition.
You know, no matter what kind of game someone might make using the intellectual property of Jurassic Park, it would be tough to beat this game. They could have simply made an abstract game but they didn’t. Instead, you have an intriguing theme that comes through slick gameplay. I love how each side feels pretty different, but the game is not imbalanced. Most of the time, it comes down to the very end, and the game creates some exciting moments. In a way, it is a race, as the babies are trying to escape the board. The idea that the lowest card performs that action and the highest card gets action points equal to the difference between the cards is novel, and a mechanism that really stands out in a great way. With all this going on, this game is quite a tactically rich game. It is one of those that is fairly quick to learn, but could take a long time to master.
Components are decent, but not top-notch. The raptor and scientist pieces are small, but they work. The board squares are thick. The gameplay is where this game really shines. It is especially rare to find such a good 2-player game that is not simply abstract (chess, checkers, etc), but pretty thematic. I highly recommend!