The cooperative family game Red Peak was published by Ravensburger Spiele Verlag and comes from the experienced pen of the Italian game designer Carol A. Rossi, who became known for the game Alchemist, which was on the recommendation list for Game of the Year in 2007.

During a game of Red Peak, the players slip into the roles of a research team that has settled on an island in the middle of a jungle at the foot of the Red Peak volcano. But suddenly it threatens to break out with a roar. A cooperative race against time, the lava and the dense jungle, begins. The team of players must manage to reach a rescue boat in time, which is already waiting for the players on the beach, on the edge of the jungle, ready to go.

Red Peak: Cooperative in the race against the volcanic lava

After the research team has realized its precarious situation, the players try to leave their base camp together to get to the beach and their rescue boat. They manage to escape from the lava of the Red Peaks by placing tiles on the playing field. Thus, each round of the game differs significantly in the selection of the escape route through the jungle.

The lava makes its way through the jungle - to the chagrin of the players. Photo: AMC Volkmann
The lava makes its way through the jungle - to the chagrin of the players. Photo: AMC Volkmann

In order to obtain a helpful path tile, the research team has to coordinate with each other, as receiving path tiles requires the surrender of objects. The players receive the items through the limited playing cards of the individual players. The main attraction is that this move is played on time. The research team has exactly ninety seconds.

During this time, cards have to be drawn, votes made, way tiles have to be placed and the team has to advance along the way. Should more time be needed, players will lose a complete daily cycle of valuable escape time.

The way to the safe shore is long. Photo: AMC Volkmann
The way to the safe shore is long. Photo: AMC Volkmann

If this step has been successfully mastered, the night phase of the game begins. In this phase the research team's tent accommodation is set up and the actions triggered by the path tiles are carried out by the players. The players receive random new game material such as path tiles, playing cards, volcano tiles, symbol and joker tiles and other resources. That makes the game unpredictable and adds another exciting factor.

Cooperative arrangements are necessary for a successful game, so in the previous phase it should be ensured that the team issues the symbol cards in a targeted manner so that the players still have symbol cards in the following round or through the tactically sensible route tiles in the second Night phase received new symbol cards.

Not only time, but also the game becomes an opponent

During the course of the game, the research team will repeatedly come across lava tiles. These let the lava flow towards the players. What their life and thus victory can cost them. In the course of the game, however, the lava tiles can also be drawn voluntarily in order to have access to the resource supply. But this advantage also means that the lava moves one step forward towards the research team.

Limited time is an essential component of the gameplay mechanics - hectic builds up. Photo: AMC Volkmann
Limited time is an essential component of the gameplay mechanics - hectic builds up. Photo: AMC Volkmann

The Red Peak rules are straightforward and easy to understand. Thus, nothing stands in the way of a quick introduction to the game. Communication between the players during the game is particularly important. In this way, the available resources can be planned sensibly despite the time pressure. If the first game variant seems too easy for the playgroup, the level of difficulty can be increased by simply turning the playing field around. The game material appears valuable and the artwork was chosen to match the theme.

Images of Red Peak


Number of players: 2 to 6 players
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 20 to 35 minutes
Difficulty: easy to medium
Long-term motivation: medium

Published by Ravensburger
Author: Carlo A. Rossi
Year of publication: 2019
Language: German
Cost: 29 Euro


Red Peak is a game for the whole family with a dose of thrill. Especially players who like cooperative games, for example Escape - The curse of the temple from Queen Games, will get their money's worth. The game requires tactical thinking as well as constant communication and careful planning of actions by the entire group.

The playful quality of Red Peak is quite surprising: at first glance you wouldn't think the title capable of so much depth. And yet Carlo A. Rossi's idea knows how to captivate - at least if you can do something with the pre-planned chaos and derive some entertainment value from it. Because “real-time board games like 5 minute dungeon von Kosmos were able to establish themselves among players, Red Peak also has a good chance of capturing family players - and one or the other frequent player - with its hectic charm. Red Peak is not easy: in every round, the players are asked to make new tactical decisions - running against the lava flows creates a convincing survival scenario, the scarce resources additionally reinforce this feeling.

The time-driven running game spreads tension at the gaming table - and of course chaos and hectic rush. There is not much time for reflection, but that is exactly what makes up part of the appeal. At the same time, this is one of the shortcomings of Red Peak, because the game only works if you want to deal with such basic mechanisms at all. Those who get involved in the title will be presented with exciting gaming fun, primarily for family players.