If you missed it, I’ve already reviewed Raccoon Tycoon. The TL:DR was it’s a good game with quite a few rough edges. This review will cover The Fat Cat Expansion and everything else found within Raccoon Tycoon Deluxe Edition. Including what’s been added, and if it improves the game, or makes it worse.
Note: This review covers an expansion. It will only focus on what’s been added to the game, and how it effects the game play. For a more complete view on how the game is played, please read the review for the base game.
Designer: Glenn Drover
Publisher: Forbidden Games
Let’s start with talking about what the game adds, we have:
- 13 new buildings
- Components for a 6th player
- New ‘Wild’ rail road cards
- 4 new types of meeples (locomotives, houses, animals, and tycoons)
- A new end game condition
- Mission cards
- And a swathe of deluxe upgrades.
Raccoon Tycoon Deluxe Edition components provided live up to its title. There’s a fantastic insert, plenty of solid wooden tokens and meeples, dual layered player boards, thick cardboard tiles, and some of the coolest, chunkiest, most woodenest first player tokens ever.
The production value is out of this world.
But this is also a double edged sword, with all these excellent components it means the box is bigger – like MASSIVE. If board games are already competing for space in your collection. Then, like a boxer at a weigh-in, this additional size pushes Raccoon Tycoon up a weight division. It won’t be challenging your medium or light games for space but instead your heavier, more expensive games.
From a game play perspective, The Fat Cat Expansion is a straight upgrade from the base version of Raccoon Tycoon. It provides additional avenues to score points, through buildings, but also through collecting animals and tycoons. Adding more interesting choices, and strategies outside of towns and rail roads. All without bogging the game down with additional rules.
These additional scoring mechanisms do a better job of hiding who’s winning the game. Making me feel more invested while playing, because despite the buildings I build, I feel as though I’m in with a chance. Like even though Bob has this crazy money generating engine, and has won all of the auctions. I’ve been spending all my resources hoarding animals like a crazy cat lady. Both of us are going to be playing our best until the end whistle because we’re unsure who’s going to come out on top.
Unfortunately though, even with the additional end game criteria of the building deck running out. The Fat Cat Expansion doesn’t go far enough to address my main criticism of the base game: it doesn’t drive players to the end game. Making the game overstay its welcome. And with the additional ways to score points, stalling is more prevalent now than ever.
Likewise on the thematic front, it added some really good stuff, but it didn’t go far enough.
One thing my table adored, was the names of the playable characters. Names like Governor Charlemagne C. Clawton, and The Prospector Erastus Dudley VI, are hilariously on point. But outside of a one time use special power they’re just names, and as hilarious as they are, you’ll forget about them by turn 3. It’s just lipstick on a well dressed lady pig from the 1880’s.
Overall, this is a good but not good enough expansion. The designer, Glenn Drover, should be commended for listening to the fans, and implementing changes to address their concerns. Unfortunately, while they were on the the right track, they didn’t go far enough to take the game from good to brilliant. So while it’s a large improvement over the original Raccoon Tycoon, it’s not going to win over any new fans.