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Can you escape Raptor Island?

Updated: Jan 15

Players: 2 - 5 Ages: 8+ Game Time: 20-30 mins

Hello my fellow Geeks and Geekettes!

This time around I am so excited and privileged to be reviewing a prototype copy of Raptor Island!

Raptor Island, by Hayball Games, is a fast-paced survival card game in which it is you vs the island filled with hungry Raptors. Whilst the game begins as a cooperative race to find the fuel for the chopper (your only means of survival), it quickly becomes a backstabbing game of every geek for themselves as you dodge and divert Raptors away from you to chase down your unfortunate teammates.

You only need to run faster than the other guy . . .

So why would you be on an island filled with history’s most deadly predators?

The answer? Dino DNA! Clearly, no-one has learned from the lessons of the Jurassic Park series that bringing dinosaurs back from the dead is a bad idea . . .

You’ve been hired to collect this DNA and bring it back to the lab on the mainland, then reap the rewards of a job well done . . . Provided you survive of course.

To get off the island, you need to collect enough fuel for the chopper. The fuel stockpile however is communal, so playing fuel cards doesn’t just benefit you, it also benefits the rest of the team

The island is scattered with items that can help, such as old flares for distracting raptors, tranquilizer guns left over from the previous raid (because no one is going to tell you what happened to those guys), and safe house keys

As you race around your island from player to player, random event cards pop up to make things interesting. Some events are played immediately, others can be used at your discretion. Keep your eye out for the Escape the Island card, you’ll need this to be able to leave.

Raptors are ever-present, swiftly stalking and taking out those players who are unable to beat them back before returning to the deck to hunt again.

Dan Hayball, the creator, has done a fantastic job.

The actual gameplay of Raptor Island is very quick, and can be brutal. On Our first playtest, our starting hands were obliterated by the event card “Camp on Fire”, which discarded all the event cards in players' hands, leaving poor me with no cards to defend myself with. Each round you draw one card and play one card (if you’re able), leaving me entirely blind and helpless to what was out there on the island.

But it was still a great game. Whilst my survival hung in the balance of the single card I could draw, it was very much akin to what a survival game should be, playing by the skin of your teeth. Shockingly, I actually won that one, so it is possible to be the underdog and claw your way out of the island with nothing but a little luck!

The game is designed for 2-5 players. The more players there are, the harder the game is, as all the resources are stretched thin. You have until the deck runs out to complete the mission or you’re Raptor Food!

It’s every Geek for themselves . . .

I think it goes without saying that any game with dinosaurs is going to pique my interest. I was very impressed with the quality of the cards, particularly on a prototype copy. The artwork (where it was completed) is fabulous.

The card stock is a very smooth and high-quality matte finish. This meant easy shuffling, and they would last a while even without card protectors.

The game rules were simple and easy to follow, picking the game up in five minutes, and the game rounds lasted anything between 5-30 minutes depending on how many players we had.

Raptor Island is launching on Kickstarter on the 1st of September. Those familiar with my posts will know that I am a huge fan of Kickstarter, and this is no different. The DOALG team will of course be backing this game with a firm 5/6 on the DOALG Dice.

All the best

Dino-Girl x

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