Review by Bob Rossney (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 1994.
Daytona 500 is MB's version of a German game, published by ASS, called Niki Lauda's F1. It's an excellent game, but except insofar as it is about auto racing it is nothing at all like Speed Circuit and Formula De.
It is, essentially, a card game. Each card in the deck advances at least one and often as many as all six of the cars a different number of spaces. (There are also wild cards that can move any single car.) At the beginning of a race, all the cards are dealt out and the cars are auctioned off; at the conclusion of the race the cars receive prize money. The object is to have the most money at the end of three races.
It's an extremely interesting game, though one necessarily dependent on a fair amount of luck. It's surprisingly difficult to analyze your hand and figure out what cars you ought to be bidding on, particularly since most cards that move your car also move your opponents' cars. The actual play of the game is absorbing and often frustrating, owing to drafting rules that broaden the range of what your cards can do for you and turns whose narrowness makes them difficult to negotiate. (If there's a car in your way and you can't get past, you just stop; this is a game, not a simulation.)
I think it's a better game than Niki Lauda's F1, though I like the latter's track better. (F1 suffers from having weird cards like the Switch card that switch two cars' places, and a few too many extremely powerful cards like the wild 9.)
It's a quite good game; I recommend it.
See also Brickyard.
The Game Cabinet - email@example.com - Ken Tidwell