Books Gaming Reviews Shared to GeekMom Tabletop Games

Reaping the Rewards: Can You Survive the ‘Ravine’?

Ravine cover
Studying Time: 7 minutes

Ravine coverYou and some others have survived a aircraft crash right into a ravine—however are you able to survive till assist arrives? Forage for meals, construct shelter or weapons, and prepare for no matter is available in the night time.

In “Reaping the Rewards,” I check out the completed product from a crowdfunding marketing campaign. Ravine, from the publishers of the Spaceteam Card Recreation, was funded on Kickstarter at the finish of 2017 and has been delivered to backers. It’s now out there immediately from Stellar Manufacturing unit, from Amazon, and in some recreation shops. This evaluate is tailored from my unique Kickstarter alert, up to date to mirror last elements and guidelines.

What Is Ravine?

Ravine is a cooperative survival recreation for three to six gamers, ages 7 and up, and takes about 15–20 minutes to play. It retails for $24.99, with an enlargement obtainable for $12.99 that permits as much as 9 gamers. I’ll notice that my video games have tended to take longer than 20 minutes, however I’ve been enjoying with 6 gamers, a few of them youngsters who take a very long time to make selections. There are some references to conditions and occasions that could be somewhat iffy for some 7-year-olds, however that shall be kid-dependent; the guidelines are straightforward sufficient to study.

Ravine componentsRavine elements. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

Ravine Elements

  • 103 Forage playing cards
  • 41 Night time playing cards (together with Rescue card)
  • 20 Insanity playing cards
  • 9 Wreckage playing cards
  • 6 Crafting Information playing cards
  • 6 Spear playing cards
  • 6 Basket playing cards
  • 2 Shelter playing cards
  • 36 Coronary heart tokens
  • Hearth token
  • Material bag

Ravine campfire tokenThe campfire token is a bit bigger, displaying a crackling hearth on one aspect and a few smoking embers on the again. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The sport is usually playing cards, with a couple of picket tokens. The prototype used laser-etched tokens, however the completed model consists of extra polished picket tokens with printed icons. There’s a small material pouch for storing the tokens.

Ravine food cardsBeggars can’t be choosers. Typically you simply gotta eat what you discover. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

I actually like the paintings and textual content on the playing cards—they’re line drawings with just a bit little bit of shading, and the descriptions of issues are very humorous: “seemingly edible berries,” “delicious and nutritious pine nuts,” “dubious smelling onion,” and so forth. The sport is designed by the similar workforce that made the Spaceteam Card Recreation, so chances are you’ll acknowledge their type. This time, although, as an alternative of the geometric-looking graphics, the illustrations look extra like one thing from a handbook or these security info playing cards from an airplane. The wreckage playing cards are made to seem like boarding passes, full with a reputation and seat task.

Aside from the tokens, the elements are very near the prototype, although the Insanity playing cards obtained some new formatting and a few of the playing cards have been tweaked.

How one can Play Ravine

The Objective

The objective of the recreation is to outlive a lot of nights—at the very least one member of the social gathering should survive the final night time to win (although in fact it’s higher if extra of you survive).

Ravine heart tokensCoronary heart tokens are crammed in on one aspect, and empty with an “X” on the different. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu


Give every participant 6 coronary heart tokens and a wreckage card. Every participant turns three of the hearts face-up; the different three are shaken and tossed onto the desk, figuring out the the rest of their beginning well being. Shuffle the forage playing cards and insanity playing cards individually.

Shuffle the night time playing cards and make a stack based mostly on the problem degree: 7 for novices, 11 for regular, or 15 (or extra) for troublesome. Then, shuffle the Rescue card into the the final three night time playing cards at the backside of the deck. The hearth token is positioned in the middle of the desk with the hearth out. The varied crafted merchandise playing cards are additionally positioned in stacks in the middle of the desk.

Ravine wreckage cardsWreckage playing cards symbolize the gadgets you present in the downed aircraft. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu


Every spherical consists of two phases, night time and day. At night time, you see should you survive any occasions, and probably endure insanity. Throughout the day, you forage for meals and provides and craft gadgets.

Ravine night cardsNight time-time can deliver good or dangerous occasions. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The sport begins with an evening part. You flip over the prime night time card and skim it—there are numerous results, together with climate and animals and dangerous goals. They will trigger you to lose well being, or playing cards, and even destroy shelters. However there are additionally good occasions that may restore well being (although not many of those). Often, no information is sweet information. Spears can shield you from animal assaults, shelters can shield you from climate occasions, and hearth can cancel sure occasions as properly. Your wreckage playing cards may additionally enable you to, although most of these are single-use gadgets.

Ravine Madness cardsIn case you’re right down to your final well being, you go mad. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

In case you’re lowered to 1 coronary heart throughout the night time, you go mad! Draw a insanity card and comply with the directions. Insanity playing cards will trigger you to do sure issues or might impose restrictions on you—some have a restoration situation, after which you’re not mad; others haven’t any restoration and also you’ll simply be mad for the remainder of the recreation.

For those who ever lose your final coronary heart, you’re lifeless, alas. All your playing cards are positioned by the hearth pit for different survivors to divvy up.

There’s nonetheless one probability to outlive, although: if the survivors handle to seek out all 4 items of the bone pile whereas foraging, they will type a bone circle and convey one participant again to life, whereas additionally restoring two well being to every dwelling participant.

Ravine bone circle cardsWhen you gather all 4 items of the bone circle, you possibly can resurrect a lifeless participant. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

In the day, gamers determine if they’ll forage or relaxation. In the event you forage, you determine what number of playing cards you need to draw, at a price of 1 well being per card (as much as three hearts in someday). Should you relaxation, you don’t spend any well being, however you additionally don’t draw any playing cards. Everybody should determine what number of playing cards they need to draw earlier than any of the forage playing cards are revealed.

Ravine craft cardsThe three little pigs can be happy with these crafting supplies. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

Then, after everybody has foraged, gamers determine collectively easy methods to use the playing cards they’ve discovered: playing cards could also be used, shared, traded, or saved for later. Meals may be eaten to revive well being, and meals that restores a number of well being might be cut up amongst a number of gamers.

Ravine crafted itemsThree helpful issues which you can craft. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

Crafting gadgets could also be used to construct issues:

  • Hearth: 1 wooden. Flip the hearth token to the lit aspect; hearth protects from some occasions.
  • Spear: 1 wooden and 1 stone. Protects towards one animal assault (after which breaks).
  • Basket: 1 wooden and a couple of fiber. When foraging, might take a further forage card. Doesn’t work should you’re resting.
  • Shelter: 2 wooden, 2 fiber, 2 stone. Protects as much as three gamers from most climate occasions.

Ravine rescue cardWhen you’re fortunate, you’ll see this card earlier than the recreation ends. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

Recreation Finish

The sport ends both when all gamers have died, or after the Rescue card has been turned over. I really like this part from the rulebook for the survivors:

You’ve survived to be rescued from the Ravine. The battered survivors can return to society, fielding profitable gives for e-book offers, made-for-TV films, and tabletop recreation variations of your harrowing expertise.

(If everybody dies, in fact, you lose the recreation.)

Why You Ought to Play Ravine

Ravine is a cooperative survival recreation with a heavy storytelling facet to it: positive, you could have the mechanics of spending hearts to attract playing cards, and making selections about what to construct and who ought to eat how a lot meals. However there are many alternatives to perform a little little bit of role-playing. The grub and the berries each present one coronary heart and are mechanically equal, however thematically there’s an enormous distinction between consuming some berries and consuming a grub. The sport is much more entertaining if the gamers are prepared to behave out these conditions slightly than simply determining the math—in fact, the recreation additionally takes quite a bit longer then, too.

Ravine animal attacksAnimal assaults have various penalties. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

My youngsters (and a few my associates’ youngsters) actually love Ravine, and have requested it a number of occasions since I first taught them the way to play. And I’ve gotta say, enjoying with the youngsters was fascinating, due to the means it typically devolved right into a Lord of the Flies state of affairs. There was one child who needed to go mad, so he would deliberately forage as a lot as he might, after which not eat the meals. One other child would forage after which hold all of her playing cards hidden. I might say that goes towards the idea of a cooperative recreation, nevertheless it did go a great distance towards reinforcing the theme of the recreation. In fact you’re gonna have some individuals who refuse to share what they’ve discovered or make poor selections relating to their well being and survival—and also you’ll simply should work with them, or round them.

The most important determination you’ll make each spherical is how a lot well being to spend foraging. For those who by no means forage, you’re not going to final lengthy, as a result of many occasions would require shelter or hearth or weapons to guard your self. Nevertheless, when you spend well being to forage however you don’t discover meals, you then’re caught and should hope that anyone else brings some meals again to camp for you the subsequent day. How a lot well being do you danger? Do you have to danger taking place to 1 well being to get extra playing cards, hoping that no less than one card has meals?

Ravine Uh-Oh cardsUh-oh certainly: typically you encounter disagreeable issues once you forage. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The opposite wrinkle, in fact, is that not all of the forage playing cards are good. Combined into the deck are a few “uh-oh” playing cards, like the indignant moose that may take away 2 well being until you’ll be able to shield your self. Otherwise you may come throughout one among the many mushrooms that aren’t nice for meals—you may lose numerous well being, and even be unable to maneuver or converse till the following day. (And don’t overlook—simply since you’re paralyzed doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t nonetheless go mad.)

Ravine mushroom cardsA few of the mushrooms in the forest can have some odd results… Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The insanity playing cards are pretty entertaining, although you do need to have gamers which are prepared to be somewhat foolish. As an example, you may need to bop, or sing, or confer with your self as “Captain Cranberries” for the remainder of the recreation. Relying in your luck and the way dangerous you play, you may keep away from insanity altogether, otherwise you may need a number of gamers go mad all through the recreation. Some madnesses have extra extreme penalties than delicate embarrassment: we misplaced some shelters when one participant determined to mild all the things on hearth; different insanity playing cards may end up in misplaced hearts.

Ravine weather cardsClimate occasions can vary from dangerous to worse. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The combination of night time playing cards is usually a little hit and miss. In a single recreation I performed, we occurred to get principally “no repercussions” playing cards, which made the recreation so much simpler. On one other one, we had a nasty string of occasions that destroyed our shelter or prevented a fireplace proper once we wanted it. It will possibly really feel pretty random how troublesome the recreation may be—that could be enjoyable thematically, however for teams who need somewhat extra management over the problem degree, it might have been good to have suggestions on which playing cards to make use of. For example, you may separate the night time playing cards into good, impartial, and dangerous, and shuffle a sure variety of every to type the night time deck. (Fortuitously, that is pretty straightforward to house-rule, however you’ll should learn the playing cards your self to type them.)

General, I’ve actually loved enjoying Ravine, notably as a result of my youngsters are so passionate about it. It will probably really feel prefer it’s slightly extra of a collaborative story-telling recreation than a critical strategic recreation, so it will not be fairly as interesting to gamers in search of a troublesome cooperative expertise. In the months between the Kickstarter and the completed recreation, the youngsters performed Ravine so much, to the level the place a few of the mother and father wanted a little bit of a break from it, however I did take pleasure in operating a pair periods of it at our Gaming with GeekDad occasion at Gen Con this yr, and it’s been good to have the shiny completed model, too. A few of the youngsters even got here up with their very own variant, with two groups competing towards one another for survival—in case it wasn’t arduous sufficient already!

For extra info or to order a replica, go to the Ravine web site!

Click on right here to see all our tabletop recreation critiques.

 To subscribe to GeekDad’s tabletop gaming protection, please copy this hyperlink and add it to your RSS reader.

Disclosure: GeekDad acquired a replica of this recreation for assessment functions.

Get the Official GeekDad Books!