Raccoons are nocturnal creatures always on the hunt for their next meal. In Raccoon Robbers, players control a band of raccoons who scale buildings and leap from great heights to score movement points for their boss raccoon. The first raccoon boss to reach the golden trash can is the winner!
Raccoon Robbers is a family-friendly game by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, and also illustrated by Dennis Lohausen. It’s published by Pegasus Spiele. A game takes around 30 minutes to play for 2-5 players, age 8+.
At the start of the game players will have a racoon at ground level of each house, a boss raccoon placed on the “wall”, and hand of 4 cards and a swap token.
At the beginning of a turn, the active player chooses a house. Then they either play cards (to climb and be mischievous) or leap down (to advance their racoon boss).
To Climb, a player chooses climbing cards from their hand to move raccoons upwards on the chosen house.
Climb card with one arrow, moves a raccoon up 1 field on the house.
A climb card with two arrows, moves a raccoon up two fields, but only if it starts lower than any other racoon on the house (or in front of a house). Otherwise it acts like a one-arrow card. You may combine any number of same color climb cards to move a raccoon up.
Wild climb cards can be used on any house – but they cannot be combined with colored climb cards.
Most of the fields on a house can only hold one raccoon at a time. Whenever a new raccoon enters an occupied space, it bumps the opponent raccoon down. But every house also has one larger field that can hold all the raccoons at once.
After all movement is complete, the player can optionally play Mischievous cards. These cards move opponent raccoons down one field on the house previously selected. In some cases mischievous cards can have a chaining effect that will bump other raccoons down too.
Leap and Advance
To move a player’s raccoon boss along the path, they must Leap off a house. To do so, discard two cards that match the house’s color, or substitute a single Wild card. Then move the raccoon boss according to the number printed where the chosen raccoon leapt.
Should a player get their raccoon to the highest field on the red or blue house, they may take the bonus token from that house. The red token allows the controller to use wild cards as red climbing cards and red climbing cards as wild climbing cards. It also applies when leaping. The blue bonus token gives bonus movement to the raccoon boss. In a 3-4 player game the blue token not only moves the leaper’s boss one extra space, but also the raccoon boss furthest behind as well.
Once per game, a player my discard any number of cards from hand and draw back up the same number.
When a turn is complete, play continues clockwise until a player’s raccoon boss reaches the golden trash can – then the game ends immediately.
Raccoon Robbers designer Klaus-Jürgen Wrede is a household name in the world of tabletop gaming. Carcassonne, his best known game, has been a juggernaut in tabletop gaming for years. And rightfully so.
I’m a huge Carcassonne fan with many flavors of it in my library. Knowing the name behind Raccoon Robbers set my expectations high. But this is a totally different style of game, with clever card play, luck of the draw and a smidge of take-that.
Simple but Strategic
Raccoon Robbers is simple on the surface, but there’s a necessary layer of hand management to be successful. Timing is critical when deciding when to make the big leap.
Know when to bank cards for later, and when to race ahead of the competition. Depending on conditions, it might be worth leaping for smaller points if it moves your boss around more often. Race for the top, but always know a mischievous card played could foil best-laid plans.
Snatching up a bonus token can give a player a slight advantage. The blue bonus token allows a boss to advance an extra space, whereas red makes red cards wild and wild red. Both can come in handy, but they require a little bit of balancing.
Good for kits too?
Raccoon Robbers is extremely family friendly and the 8+ age rage seems right. An even younger kid could give it a go.
While Raccoon Robbers is geared towards kids, I thoroughly enjoyed playing it! It was even a hit with grandparents in our family (they asked us to bring it back and play it again!)
Just be aware there is a little bit of take-that when it comes to bumping other raccoons down, thanks to Mischievous cards and chain reactions. Then again, being able to mess with dad was the highlight of the game for my 9-year-old.
The artwork is adorable, too. The 3D buildings are what originally attracted my attention, and there’s a great fun factor in moving those raccoons up and bumping them down. Our family keeps coming back for just one more.
Raccoon Robbers keeps you on the edge of your seat, hoping that another player’s raccoon doesn’t move up and foil your plans. There isn’t one negative thing I could say about this game; it delivered on family fun. It’s going to stay in the library and travel with us to family game nights.
Ready to try your hand at wining golden trash can? Leap on over to Amazon or your friendly local game store to pick up a copy today.
The Family Gamers received a review copy of Raccoon Robbers from Pegasus Spiele.
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Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 1-4 (best at 3 or 4)
Playtime: 30 minutes or less