Raccoon Tycoon Is A Basic, But Interesting Market Manipulation Game

Seth Ryals-Fernandes

Seth Ryals-Fernandes is the owner and main author at TableTopCrazy. His love for modern board games is still budding, and he enjoys writing here at TableTopCrazy as a hobby.

Quick Bits:

  • $49 For Kickstarter Edition
  • Economy/Commodity
  • Competitive
  • 2-5 Players
  • 90 Min Playtime
  • Animal-People Theme
  • Kickstarter

Raccoon Tycoon – A Good Starter Economy Game

Radho Run Through’s video for this game was only 8:15 long. That tells you a lot of what you need to know about Raccoon Tycoon. My first thought about the game is that it reminds me of Harbour. The reason for this will become clear shortly. If you have ever played Harbour, and you were as unimpressed by it as I was, this might be a better market manipulation game for you. The one thing about Raccoon Tycoon that puzzles me is the theme. If you read this blog often you know that theme is a big thing for me. I have a hard time liking a game if the theme and mechanics don’t make sense together.

The theme of Raccoon Tycoon is basically just anthropomorphized animals. It doesn’t really seem to make a lot of sense with the mechanics of the game. I don’t know what raccoons have to do with any of it. That being said it did make for some really cool art on the cards and game board.

Basic Mechanics of Raccoon Tycoon

Raccoon Tycoon works just like Harbour. Not exactly of course. But in the way that the game is built around producing different resources and affecting the price of those resources in a strategic way. The thing that bothers me so much about Harbour, that they fixed here, is the take-that mechanic. Raccoon Tycoon still has a little bit of that, but its not quite so dramatic. The difference being that in Harbour, everytime someone sells a resources, all of the resource values are completely changed. In Raccoon Tycoon the value of each commodity only moves down by the amount of that commodity that was sold.

Every turn players draw a Price/Production card. These cards give you possible resources that you can choose from to produce, but they also effect the value of certain resources for everyone. So every turn you want to produce resources that you think will gain value or already valuable. While trying to keep the resources your opponents have low in value.

Raccoon Tycoon

Players also have the option to buy cities, worth Victory Points, or do some set collection by buying different railroads. The resources themselves are not worth Victory Points. But using money gained from selling your resources, or the resources themselves, you can gain cards worth Victory Points.

Raccoon Tycoon

Thoughts on the Kickstarter

As I was reading the Kickstarter page I had some concerns about the components. I don’t like when games have different colored circles for different commodities. The colors are obviously necessary. But 3D shapes that are more representative of each individual commodity are much nicer. It seems like a very minor difference. But in games like this where there is a lot of moving of the components, it is easy to get confused about what colors represent which commodities. It also makes the game a lot easier to learn and teach to new people when they don’t have to memorize which colors are what commodities.

Thankfully the developers thought of this and one of the stretch goals is for this exact thing. It seems like such a small detail, but when developers are aware of the small quality of life things that would make their game easier for players, that awareness often shows up in the design of the game as well.

Another one of the stretch goals is a nice insert for the game. Again this game has all of the things that make you want a nice insert, lots of small pieces and several different decks of cards. Its still a little thing, but all these little things add up to make a big difference in the production quality of the game.

Overall Thoughts on the Game

I think this game looks really good. If you are looking for something heavier this probably isn’t the game for you. It has a simple mechanic, and I would guess a fairly simple strategy to it. But for someone who wants to play games with their kids, or who has friends that prefer lighter games, it definitely could be a good addition to your collection. I like that they didn’t go with a more take-that element. I also like that they didn’t make the game quite as dense as a lot of other economy based games.

The developers seem like they have found a good balance between the two and I think that bodes really well for this game. If you are looking for a game like this, this one I think is worth backing, although the theme doesn’t particularly speak to me.

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Thanks for reading!

Seth Ryals-Fernandes

Seth Ryals-Fernandes is the owner and main author at TableTopCrazy. His love for modern board games is still budding, and he enjoys writing here at TableTopCrazy as a hobby.

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