Riff Raff


Players: 2 to 4

Game Length: 30 minutes


Best enjoyed: With 2-4 players who want an impressive dexterity game containing a giant wobbling ship!

Riff Raff is a dexterity game where players are trying to place wooden pieces on a pirate ship, hoping that they don’t fall off. Compounding issues is the pirate ship itself – it’s able to rock back and forth, and placing a new piece in the wrong spot on the ship could well cause the entire contraption to become unbalanced, making all the pieces fall off at once! If you cause pieces to fall, you take them into your possession. The goal of the game is to get rid of all your pieces, or have the least in your possession when the game ends.


Image from Board Game Geek

Each player gets an assortment of nautical-themed objects, such as sailors, barrels, planks and rats. They also get cards numbered from 1 to 10, each corresponding to a different part of the ship – the cards labelled 1 to 4 are for the base of the ship, easier areas to place your objects, but the cards over 5 correspond to increasingly higher up areas in the rigging.


Image from Board Game Geek

Each turn, a player must select one of these cards and place an object on that area of the ship in descending order – so a player who chose a 7 will go before a player who chose a 4. Your cards don’t come back after you play them, so if you played it safe with lower-numbered cards at the start of the game, you’ll be forced to play the more difficult cards by the end!

The main draw of Riff Raff is the ship itself. It’s a fairly complex piece of equipment, and you’ll need to follow the assembly instructions within the box to put it together. The completed ship is quite imposing, and as it teeters back and forth you’ll grit your teeth, hoping you haven’t triggered an avalanche of detritus.


Image from Board Game Geek

 Riff Raff is a light but very entertaining dexterity game. It rewards those with a steady hand and an ability to determine the effect of adding weight to a moving object. The best way to get an idea of how the game plays is to see it in action, so watch this video if you’ve been intrigued so far! If you want a unique and impressive-looking dexterity game, Riff Raff comes highly recommended.


Riff Raff on Board Game Geek

Riff Raff demonstration video


Amazon (US)


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