Review: Riff Raff

   Posted by: Jim   in Board games, Reviews

(Part of a series, reviewing games I played in September 2013 at That Board Gaming Thing.)

Designer: Christoph Cantzler
Publisher: Zoch Verlag
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Age range: 8+

(Image courtesy of duchamp@BoardGameGeek)

It feels a bit like I’ve already reviewed Riff Raff, as like Animal Upon Animal, this is a dexterity game where you’re trying to get rid of all your objects by stacking them and hoping they don’t fall off. However, there are a few differences that make this game distinct, and possibly why it was on the Recommended list for the 2013 Spiel des Jahres.

Rather than stacking on the back of a crocodile, you are stacking objects on the deck and spars of a ship, set up so it can rock in all directions. Instead of rolling a die to determine how many objects you can place, each player has ten cards, numbered 1-10. At the beginning of each turn, all players pick a card and reveal it simultaneously. The highest number becomes the Captain and goes first, the next highest number goes second, and so on in descending order. Any ties are broken by the Captain (if there’s a tie for the highest number, the previous turn’s Captain breaks the tie).

The wrinkle is that the higher your number, the higher on the ship you must place your object, so the more likely it is to fall off. Any objects that do fall off you must take back into your pile. However, any objects that you catch before they hit the table are removed from the game.

Riff Raff is certainly a cute little game, and the ship and the cargo are very cool bits. However, it takes a bit too much time to set up and play for a filler, and at $50 it’s a little pricey for a kids game (or, for that matter, a filler). I consider this more of a novelty collectible, and nothing I’d be picking up any time soon.

Verdict: Borrow.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 10:32 pm and is filed under Board games, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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