In Ravenous River, each player takes the role of an animal trying to cross the river. The roles are hidden, so you don't know which players are predator or prey. Be careful not to end up on a boat with the wrong animal, or you'll end up as its lunch! Use your feral cunning to trap your prey on the same boat for a tasty treat while you cross the river. The player who scores the most points by crossing the river, eating their prey, and avoiding being eaten themselves wins!
In more detail, Ravenous River includes seven animals, with each animal (e.g., horse) having a predator (bull) and a prey (hound). At the start of each round, each player secretly receives an animal card, and they want to feed that animal and get it safely home. Shuffle seven animal cards, then place them face down in a row on the riverbank. Place two boat cards near this bank; each boat can hold at most two animals. Deal each player two action cards. On a turn, a player either:
- Places an animal: The player looks at animal card, then either places it face up on a boat or discards an action card and places it face down on the riverbank again.
- Moves an animal: The player discards an action card, then either moves an animal from a boat to the bank or from the bank to a boat.
- Plays an action card: The player discards an action card and performs that action.
If a player has no cards in hand at the end of their turn and both boats are full, players simultaneously vote on whether to end the round or not. If they do end it, players first see who eats whom on the riverbank, then who eats whom on each boat, then they unload the animals at home on the far side of the river, then again see who eats whom. Each animal scores 1 victory point (VP) for each animal eaten, unless it was eaten in turn in which case the point passes to its predator. Surviving animals score 1 VP on the bank and 2 VP at home.
If a single player has 6 or more VP, the game ends and that player wins. If no one has more than 6 VP or multiple players are tied with 6 or more VP, then the game continues for another round.