Board Game Previews

Rats to Riches (Beta) by Rats To Riches Inc Review

Theme and What is it?

In Rats to Riches you take the role of a stinky, filthy sewer rat who is trying to work his way to the top of the subterranean squaller. Sounds super interesting already, right?!?! Your goal is to build your rodent empire and collect 100 coins. 

Gameplay Mechanics

Rats to Riches is a card purchasing game. There are two types of cards, Cheese cards and Sewage cards. Players use money tokens to purchase Cheese cards which come in three different flavors (colors). The Cheese cards are then used to purchase Sewage cards. Sewage cards are colored based on their effects. There are permanent effects, cards that can be saved and used a single time, cards that have an immediate effect on all players and other cards that influence the game and each Rats choice in future rounds. 

Each round you have Income cards that increase how much money you are bringing in each turn and you then have the choice to use your money for Cheese or holding onto it to build your horde to win the game. 

 

Rats to Riches is a 2-5 player game and should take about 30 minutes.

Initial Impressions

After a few play throughs there were a few rules that we would like to see some clarification on. The game tries to be very simple and the rule book tries to teach you the game in under 5 minutes, but there is more depth to the game and some card combinations that the entire group thought could benefit from a lengthened rule book. 

 

With that being said, there were lots of laughs. The game pits players against each other and once one player starts to take a lead it allows the other players to topple the leader with creative and brutal card combinations. 

Game Build Quality

Of course this is a beta version of the game and I am sure the publishers will make adjustments as they receive feedback. My thoughts on the build quality were that it still needs some upgrades to a few components. The front of the box is very boring and could use some graphics to catch your eye. The card quality is not as nice as I would like it to be and the insert is not shallow enough and the cards stick out over the top which means you can’t store this game on its side in its current version. There are supposed to be blue cards and purple cards that serve distinct purposes in the game. While playing we discovered that the two types of cards were all  blue on half the cards and then both types were purple in the other half. That made it very confusing at fist. Check out the photo above to see what I am taking about. The tokens are very thick cardboard and were prepunched. I am sure that most of the issues I have discussed will be expressed by other beta testers and will be fixed.

Game Build Quality

Of course this is a beta version of the game and I am sure the publishers will make adjustments as they receive feedback. My thoughts on the build quality were that it still needs some upgrades to a few components. The front of the box is very boring and could use some graphics to catch your eye. The card quality is not as nice as I would like it to be and the insert is not shallow enough and the cards stick out over the top which means you can’t store this game on its side in its current version. The tokens are very thick cardboard and were prepunched. I am sure that most of the issues I have had will be expressed by other beta testers and will be fixed.

Artistic Direction

The artwork is light and whimsical. It pairs well with the game. One thing I could really like to see is having the cheese cards switched to cheese wedges. It would not require much to make the change and the rules would benefit from the distinction, because there are sewer cards that  affect other cards, but we were not sure if they affected the sewer cards or the cheese cards. 

Fun Factor

I played Rats to Riches with two different groups. One group was my monthly gaming guild and the other group was friends who play lighter games. The game was a big hit with both groups. My advanced group did spend some extra time arguing with each other about an unclear rule, but that was entertaining all on its own. I believe the cards offer a variety of combinations and there are enough “gottcha” moments to swing the game in another players favor that it kept people engaged. 

Age Range & Weight

The suggested age is 7+. As long as the young players can read there will not be any issue with introducing this game to them. There maybe some logical deduction that will go over very young players heads when thinking about future moves, but it is a game about rats and sewers and young players will totally enjoy that. What 7 or 8 year old (or 38 year old) doesn’t enjoy some sewage humor?

 

Once players get their bearings, the game plays quickly and will keep young players engaged.

Conclusions

To be honest I am not sure if the manufacturer is planning on kickstarting Rats to Riches or if they have distribution plans in place. I would like to see some upgrades to the components and some eye catching graphic art on the box. I think adding that will make this game have more shelf appeal. Once gamers get their hands on this game they will really enjoy it. It moves at a very nice pace and players have to be on their guard as they build their fortunes. You can think you are big cheese only to have your sewer kingdom swept out from under you.

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Ben Parker

Ben Parker

Ben started playing Magic The Gathering in 1994. Over the years he developed a new appreciation for table top gaming after wanting to find a way to spend more time with his kids. He now has a serious board game addiction. When he is not gaming he is makes money by doing product development and marketing for a guitar company.
Ben Parker

Ben started playing Magic The Gathering in 1994. Over the years he developed a new appreciation for table top gaming after wanting to find a way to spend more time with his kids. He now has a serious board game addiction. When he is not gaming he is makes money by doing product development and marketing for a guitar company.

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