Work Together to Survive (or Go Mad) in Ravine | Casual Game Revolution

Work Together to Survive (or Go Mad) in Ravine


Oh no! The plane has crash-landed on an island full of deadly creatures and impending weather. Players must work together to forage for survival and survive the nights until rescue comes, all while fighting off madness.

Published by Stellar Factory, Ravine is a cooperative push-your-luck party game for 3-8 players.


Each player is given a wreckage card at the start of the game. These give a special ability that can be used once (or sometimes repeatedly). Each player also has six health tokens. Three start the game face-up. Each player tosses his other three on the table to randomize how many of them are face-up or face-down.

During a round of the game, players start with the forage phase. Each player chooses to either rest, in which case he does nothing, or flip 1-3 of his hearts face-down. Each player then draws one forage card for each heart he flipped.

All players reveal their forage cards and choose which ones to use and which to save. A couple of forage cards have negative effects and force a player to flip more hearts face-down. Most forage cards, however, are either food, which can be spent to flip a number of hearts face-up based on the number shown on the card, or crafting materials.

Players can craft a fire, which will protect them from certain night cards but then goes out the next day; spears, which also protect from certain night cards; a basket, which allows a player to draw an additional card while foraging; and a shelter, which is permanent and also protects from some of the night cards.

The final item players can find in the forage deck are bone piles. If players manage to find four of these, they may bring a dead player back to life. If a player ever reaches zero health, he dies (although a player may flip his final health face-down to forage and only dies if he does not draw a food card).

Next is the night phase, in which a night card is drawn. These often will force players to flip health tokens face-down if they do not have a specific crafting item to defend against it. If, after the night phase, a player has only one health token face-up, he must draw a madness card. While a player has a madness card, he must often do something silly until a certain requirement is met. For example, dance until the player gains back health, or steal a heart from another player.

Near the bottom of the night deck is the rescue card. If this card is ever drawn, all surviving players are rescued and win the game.

Ravine Components


Ravine is fun because it’s light and silly, but has some moments of genuine suspense as players go fishing in the forage deck, or hope they have enough hearts to survive whatever the night throws at them.

There’s a push-your-luck element to the game as players decide how many hearts to risk to go foraging in the deck. A player can even choose to flip their last heart, and can be saved if they manage to draw a food card. This can make the final rounds of the game quite tense, especially since there are a few negative cards in the forage deck, as well. On these occasions, it does feel like a genuine relief when the rescue card is drawn, and even the dead players often feel invested. The game is also fast enough that the player elimination doesn’t feel too problematic.

The madness cards are very funny and enjoyable. Depending on the group you’re playing with, you might want to remove one or two (one card involves hugging someone, for instance, which could get awkward in certain groups). Bun in general, the moments when players are dealing with multiple madness cards are the highlight of the game.

There’s a lot of luck involved in Ravine. This is not a balanced game. The night cards encountered are different every time you play, and the order of forage cards in the deck can have a massive impact on success. An early night card might wipe out health, or there might be clear skies several times in a row. However, the gameplay is so light and fast that this doesn’t feel like a massive problem, as long as you know what kind of game it is you’re getting into.

The components are well made. The wooden tokens are solid and enjoyable to play with and the design on the cards is simple but appealing. Set-up is easy, and the game plays so quickly that it’s easy to play several rounds at a time. The only flaw in the presentation of the game is that the rulebook can be a little vague about certain situations, or specific information can be hard to find despite being a relatively short rulebook. An FAQ section would have been helpful.

Ravine is lighthearted, and quite addictive. It’s an excellent late-night game and leads to plenty of laughter.

Pros: The madness cards are a lot of fun, good component quality, speed of gameplay makes it easy to play several rounds

Cons: Rulebook could clarify some situations, a couple of madness cards might not click with certain groups