Raising Robots Board Game Review – The Wingspan Killer?
Raising Robots arrived in late 2023 but joins my top 5 games of the year for many reasons. First, the components included in the deluxe version of the game are phenomenal , and the artwork might be the best art I’ve seen in a board game ever. But there is another more important reason it’s in my top 5 – it’s a phenomenal game that I cannot wait to play again and again! Let’s take a look!
The best comparable for Raising Robots is Wingspan from Stonemaier Game . I’m always a little wary of bringing Wingspan to the table because of how much content I have across multiple expansions. It’s a bit of a chore to get it all down to play, and if I want just the base version of that game I need to sort out all the expansions. Raising Robots uses a very similar system of playing cards into a tableau, but does it in a more efficient way, in my opinion.
In Raising Robots, players will be choosing two guaranteed actions each turn, ranging from upgrading their player boards to assembling and designing robots, to fabricating and recycling parts. Player will choose which two actions to perform each round, guaranteeing the opportunity to spend energy to gather resources, use card abilities, and more.
Raising Robots has a unique bonus feature that I think is really cool. Each player will play two random energy cards alongside their chosen action cards each round. Some of these energy cards will have players placing energy cubes on the central action board.
This MIGHT allow other players to take actions they didn’t initially choose, while also providing you an additional bonus for the action you did choose. It’s a great little system that generally balances out in the end, but can create some unique gameplay situations you don’t find in a game like Wingspan.
I hate to bring up Wingspan so often in this review, but it is a really great comparison. If you’ve played it before, then getting into Raising Robots should be really easy. What I will say, however, is that I think Raising Robots is a bit more focused than Wingspan, and ultimately is a better game.
It’s more streamlined, and while you can argue it has less scoring / chaining options than Wingspan, it’s much more manageable. I find that Wingspan is getting to be overwhelming for some people, so this is a great new addition to the library that will make it to the table often.
I think the biggest drawback to Raising Robots is the number of resources and the tracker you use to track them. While the wooden pieces are a nice small size, the top of your player board can quickly become cluttered, and I and fellow players have felt that having a resource pool to spend from would be a better option.
Again, this is a complaint that probably isn’t really all that valid when you think about the increased cost of including 40-50 each of all the games’ different resources so players could create resource pools. If they are reading this, it would be a nice add-on option for future expansion or even via an online store! I know I would pay for that.
Overall, Raising Robots is the tableau building game you want for your friend and family. Wingspan is a phenomenal game, and one of the highest rated games of all time. But in my opinion, Raising Robots is doing something very similar, but in a better, more accessible way. If I only have time to play one of these in a given month, it’s going to be Raising Robots, at least for now.