Formula Motor Racing

Game invented by Reiner Knizia.
Review by Martin Higham.

From the designer who has at least 10 new games due out in '95 come two games from the British game company Gibsons (and are thus available with English rules), Turf Horse Racing and Formula Motor Racing. Part of a range of 4 games (the other two being a new Golf card game and a reprint of Armchair Cricket, neither of which I have played), they come packaged in stand-up boxes approx. 8"x6" and cost about 10 UK pounds each.

Oh no, not another motor racing game! This one is different, there's no track, just 12 cars of 6 colours, a pack of cards and a 12-sided dice. Each player takes two cars of the same colour and the cars a lined up nose to tail in alternating colours (eg the red car will be 1st and 12th, blue 2nd and 11th, yellow 3rd and 10th etc). Each player is dealt five cards. In turn each player plays a card, moves the cars appropriately and picks a replacement. The race is over when the cards run out and each play has only four cards left. Scoring is as for standard motor racing (10 points for first, 6, 4, 3, 2 & 1). Simple.

The cards move cars. Cars always move relative to each other. If a car moves back two spaces, it moves back two cars (eg from 1st to 3rd). The cards contain the following actions:

Move a specific colour of car forwards 2,3 or 4 spaces (this also moves the car behind with it - slipstreaming). Move any car backwards 1,2 or 3 spaces Pitstops - a car of the specified colour makes a pitstop. Roll the dice 1-6 it moves that number of spaces forward, 7-12 no effect There are also Charge, spin and crash cards which require more dice rolling.

The effect of these cards is to make for a very fluid six player race or a controlled 3/4 player race. All 12 cars are always in the race. This is a game not to be taken too seriously, but it is a great deal of fun. As with any card based game there is a fair degree of luck, but making the best of what you get is important. Again races are quick (approx. 15 minutes) so a series can be played to determine an overall winner.

I liked this game much more than the horse-racing one as did most of the people I played it with at a convention last week. I would recommend it to anyone.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell