When you want a robot raised right, do it yourself...

10/10, End Game Bonuses, Hand Management, Simultaneous Action Selection, Variable Player Powers -

When you want a robot raised right, do it yourself...

Raising Robots

Designer: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Artist: Viktoriya Fajardo, Howard McWilliam
Published: 2023
Players: 1-6
Playing Time: 60-90 Mins
BGG Rating: 8.0
BGG Ranking: 3354
Publisher: Nauvoo Games
Mechanisms: End Game Bonuses, Hand Management, Simultaneous Action Selection, Variable Player Powers
Sleeves: MEU 45x68mm, STN 57,5x89mm


Game Description:

In Raising Robots, you are a famous inventor seeking to assemble the greatest collection of robots. Each round, you simultaneously choose and perform two or more actions: upgrade, assemble, design, fabricate, recycle. Every action will be performed with a variable amount of power to make the action better or worse. However, the most powerful actions will also help your opponents.


Quick play overview:

All players will turn 2 random cards out of their 8 Energy cards for everyone to see what energy output is expected in this round. (this will be repeated three more times and then reshulfed for another 4 turns and then the game will end).

Each player will allocate 1 Phase card face down (out of the 5) to each of the Energy cards. Once all players have decided which Phase they want to play, all the cards are turned face up.

Each Energy card has a number that will tell you how much energy (only) you will get in that specific phase. Some cards will also depict an energy cube which means that 1 extra energy will be added to this phase for every player to use and the last option is a card that will double the extra energy that is available. If there is no extra energy in this phase this turn…than this card only gives energy to the player that played it.

Only phases that were called by at least one player will be played this round! If you didn't call a phase you will not be able to play it UNLESS there is at least one extra energy allocated (by other players) to this phase.

The game will move into the main part where players will go through the phases spending batteries, resources, cards… to activate effects.

Depending on the amount of energy that you have in this round, you will be able to activate weaker or stronger abilities.


The 5 phases (those that were called at least) will activate as follows:

  • UPGRADE: This phase is used to upgrade effects that will happen in the following phases by removing UPGRADE TOKENS from specific spots on your player board. You can use these tokens to further upgrade your robots down the road. The less energy you have the more expensive is to buy an upgrade and vice versa. You can buy as many upgrades as you wish/can in this phase.
  • ASSEMBLE A ROBOT: Choose a card from your hand and pay the needed resources to place it on your player board. Again, if you have more energy, you will need less resources to build a robot. You can build as many as you wish/can.
  • DESIGN/FABRICATE/RECYCLE: are the last thre phases that activate each separately but they work in the same way. By activating this phase you will get rewards depending on your energy. These phases provide you points, new cards, resources, batteries,… First you get the rewards of the phase and then you continue to the right by activating each robot that you have built before.

Batteries can be spent in each of the 5 phases to increase the energy that you have in that phase.

After 8 turns the player with the most points is the winner.


Final thoughts:

This is a a heavy game. There are many options and many combinations that can make your head hurt.

Trying to read your opponents which phases they will play and where they will place the extra energy cube, so you can get a free phase.. it's a great mechanism. Do not plan your whole turn around the assumption that you read your opponenets correctly. It's a risky move that can have great rewards but can also backfire in a spectacular way. 

The amount of cards and combos is amazing and each game will feel a bit different as one game you will be the energy king that lacks resources, while in the other game you would give away the piles of resources for a few more cards to choose from.

Add to this that each player has a specific player power. Upgrade tokens can be placed on the robots that you built to improve them so they consume less energy or give better rewards with the same energy consumption… tons of options.



Gameplay & How often I want to play it: 10/10

Raising Robots is a heavy game. Every decision matters and every upgrade adds another choice on top of an already interesting game. I just love all the options that this game provides.

Art & Graphic Design: 10/10

Each card is beautiful and also fun to look at.

The board looks crazy busy at the beginning, but once you learn the game, everything fits in it's place.


Rules & Complexity: 10/10

This is a complex game, heavy with choices. Good choices. The ruleset is easy to understand for such a game and it is not in the way of gameplay.


Theme & Mechanism fit: 10/10

Assembling robots and creating the best collection is an original theme.

Trying to understand what the competition is doing and hoping to stay one step in front of them fits the theme. While variable powers that reflect each scientist's specific quirks and end game goals that put a seal on your wonderful collection are right on spot.


Fun & Replayability: 10/10

Building the right robots and then making sure you use them to gain the needed rewards… while always walking on the edge with resources, batteries,… it's amazingly balanced machine.

There are so many different robots and scientists that the replayability should be unlimited.


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