Animal Kingdoms - Galactic Raptor Games - $35
Game title: Animal Kingdoms
Game description: In Animal Kingdoms, each player takes on the role of a house leader, battling to gain control of the five kingdoms. Cards in your hand represent noble beasts that have pledged their allegiance to you. Over the course of three ages, you must deploy your beasts to the various territories – making sure that you adhere to each kingdom’s decree – to try and improve your influential position in the kingdoms. The house that gains the most influence by the end of the third age is declared the one true leader of the realm.
Galactic Raptor Games is what you get when you combine Weird Giraffe Games with Letiman Games and then have them publish a game together. Co-founded by Carla Kopp and Dan Letzring, Galactic Raptor Games hit the boardgame scene with Animal Kingdoms, an area control game with a touch of hand management and a plethora of beautiful art. Played over the course of 3 Ages, players place their influence cards according to decrees set in each region in order to score victory points and possibly a seat on the Council in that region.
- Amazing artwork
- Simple concepts
- Steady play flow
- Rallies can get a bit out of hand
Full Animal Kingdoms Review
Galactic Raptor Games is what you get when you combine Weird Giraffe Games with Letiman Games and then have them publish a game together. Co-founded by Carla Kopp and Dan Letzring, Galactic Raptor Games hit the boardgame scene with Animal Kingdoms, an area control game with a touch of hand management and a plethora of beautiful art. Played throughout 3 Ages, players place their influence cards according to decrees set in each region to score victory points and possibly a seat on the Council in that region.
At the start of every game of Animal Kingdoms, each region will get assigned a random Decree dictating what cards can be there. Each area will also get three numbers, placed in ascending value, determining what victory in that region is worth over the 3 Ages. As players place their cards into areas, they’ll put an influence marker down in one of that region’s circles. The player with the most cubes in a region at the end of an Age will score the points for the Age. If a player manages to place their marker in the topmost circle, they then get to put a permanent marker on one of the two Council seats in that region.
If a player can’t play a card on their turn, they may choose to Rally. Rallying scores a player 1 point, and they may discard cards from their hand and redraw. At times Rallying can sometimes get out of hand with players, but thankfully this action can’t be taken if a player has Withdrawn from the current Age. Withdrawing is a 3rd option for players who finish doing what they’d like in an Age. Also, the first player to Withdraw gets a bonus tile, a great mechanic to keep the amount of Rallying down to a minimum.
Animal Kingdoms takes only around 45 minutes to learn, set up, play, and tear down. Once you’re familiar with the rules, you can probably get a game down to around 30 minutes. It’s simple, elegant, stunning to look at, and a whole lot of fun. The game is excellent to play with the entire family and manages to stay fresh with a healthy stack of different Decrees, some of which interact with each other in different and exciting ways.
Both Weird Giraffe Games and Letiman games put out some pretty great titles. Smoosh them both together, and it’s no doubt Galactic Raptor’s first title is a hit. Animal Kingdoms is most definitely for you to check out at your earlier convenience. It hits all the right buttons with clean and straightforward execution.
A copy of Animal Kingdoms was provided free for review by Galactic Raptor Games
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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