If Jurassic Park mated with The Island of Doctor Moreau and got sucked into a Pokeball, you might get something like Velociraptor! Cannibalism! Battle up to six of your friends with fantastic creatures while trying to grow your tribe.
|Velociraptor! Cannibalism!||Game Salute / Board Raptor Games||Card Game|
In The Box
This is a game with some great visual style, thanks to the design talent of Jennifer Rodgers. You’ll find player mats that contain most of the information you’ll need to navigate each round, showing off eight of the game’s velociraptor personalities. These base characters include the distinguished, monocled Reginald, Ace the velociraptor aviator, the deadly robotic Rapto-Tron 2000, and five more.
Along with the mats are three decks of cards that make up the meat of Velociraptor! Cannibalism! And when we say meat we really mean it. One deck is literally called the Meat Locker and contains body parts you can add as mutations to increase your raptor’s speed, strength, and defense. The other big deck contains cards that simulate hunting in the jungle, complete with prey, predators, and special events.
The final deck is a teeny but important one that contains climate cards, and really serves as a game clock. Once the 10 climate cards run out, points are tallied and one raptor is declared the winner. A set of sturdy cardboard tokens representing raptor eggs rounds out the package, and it’s these tokens you’ll be trying to gather as you build your population.
How It Plays
Player mats aside, Velociraptor! Cannibalism! is a card game at heart, with the twist being that all your cards are played publicly. There’s no need to hide the awesomeness of your mutated raptor as you draw body parts from the Meat Locker deck, which is how the game begins. Each raptor gets one customization for free, and then you’ll have to pay (sometimes dearly) to obtain and keep any extra body parts.
Payment comes in the form of calories, which you get from drawing prey cards during your jungle hunts. The number of cards you draw from the jungle deck depends on your raptor’s speed, a stat that can go up and down depending on which body parts you have attached. Resolving prey cards is pretty simple because you just eat them and earn whatever calories they represent. All the prey cards are disarmingly cute, with flavor text that could make even the most hardened killer a bit sentimental.
When you come across predators, you’ll need to burn calories running away from them if you haven’t raised your attack or defense stat high enough to defeat and eat them, in some cases adding body parts they drop to your raptor. Attaching all these body parts costs a lot of calories, but if you have any left over you can buy eggs. This is the key to Velociraptor! Cannibalism! since the player with the highest number of eggs wins at the end.
Event cards can give you perks or hurt you, and you’ll need to watch out for attacks from opponents intent on stealing your eggs. The climate cards change each round and affect every player for better or worse. Thanks to all these random events and constant raptor mutations, no two games of Velociraptor! Cannibalism! play out in exactly the same way. Just when you think you’ve built the perfect raptor, you’ll run across a T-Rex or end up having to eat one of your body parts because your hunt came up short of prey. All in a day’s work for a mutated velociraptor, right?
One addition to Velociraptor! Cannibalism! that would make it near perfect is a calorie counter of some kind. With the constant addition and subtraction of calories during a typical turn, we had a hard time keeping track. Any counters you have on hand (we used poker chips) that can stand in for calories will work just fine.
I love this game. Even young kids can play it, although my little brother (5) cares more about how the body parts look than their stats. When you get really powered up, it gets easier and harder. Easier, because you can steal eggs and body parts from other players, but harder because you need more calories to keep up your body.