Do you love cute animals? Who doesn’t, right! How about cute animals in fancy clothes? If so, Raccoon Tycoon has you covered. Do you like railroads? Raccoon Tycoon has that too. An auction mechanic? Yep. How about owning towns? Yep again. A commodities market? Also yep. Buying buildings to do cool things or get bonus points? Yeppers. Solid components? Great card stock? Neat wooden bits? Yes to all three. A ridiculously oversized and cute 1st Player marker? Again yes. The box is chock full of awesome gaming gear and bits.
Photo courtesy of Forbidden Games
Goal of the game?
To win! But how do you do that? Umm... by having the most victory points. A novel concept and one that I am sure will take off one of these days. You score points at the end of the game for your Railroad and Town cards plus bonus points for making pairs of them. You also get points from your buildings and maybe some bonus points if you have the right buildings in front of you.
How to play?
On your turn you get to do 1 of 5 actions. They are 1) Produce Commodities, 2) Sell Commodities, 3) Buy a Town Card, 4) Buy or upgrade buildings, or 5) Start a Railroad auction. In other words, play a card to get stuff, sell the stuff for cashie monies, or trade the stuff in to get a big card, use cashie monies to buy a thing, or use said monies to bid for a different kind of big card.
The wrap up.
All pretty straight forward stuff. There is nothing groundbreaking here. It is actions you are familiar with from other games. Mind you, the Railroad auction does have one little quirk that is not overly common. If the active player does not win the auction they get to keep starting another auction until they do win one. But it is a solid presentation with well integrated mechanics that makes for an engaging game. It strikes the right balance for modern games where the rules and teaching are quick but the game is not so light that you lose interest nor suffer from the “one obvious choice” problem that many games suffer from. I have my teaching time down to around 5 to 6 minutes. And can cover the few asterisks that exist as the game plays out.
If you like commodity market and set collection games then you will enjoy Raccoon Tycoon. If you like great wooden bits and well themed art then again you will enjoy it. The card stock is also top notch. You can sleeve them if you want but for average considerate humans the cards will be fine without sleeves. It ends before even a hint of end game slog happens. Or at least the games I have played have been that way. My one down vote would be I would like more to do with the railroad theme other than just owning shares in the different railroads. Some kind of track laying or delivery mechanic, I think. I do love building a rail network.
Hope you get a chance to play Raccoon Tycoon.