Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Family Game Night: Formula D

So we started Family Game Night on Sundays. I'll try to include something about that each Monday, if I remember and if we keep up with it. Last night we played Formula D and had a great time.

I saw the game on this episode of Tabletop. We played the basic version of the game - there's a lot to it, ultimately, but you can play it on several levels of difficulty. Keeping it simple, we chose generic racers (instead of the ones with personalities and special stats) and did one lap on the Monte Carlo track.

The game is essentially pretty simple - start off in first gear, which lets you move d4 spaces, then shift up and up, increasing your die type as you go. The dice are special, though - you can't roll less than a 6 on the d12, for example. When you get to a corner, you have to "stop" (that is, end your turn - your car is supposedly still "moving") at least once in that corner (other corners might require you to stop 2 or 3 times), or you're going too fast and take damage to your car. The advanced game has damage to different parts of your car - in the basic game, it's just generic damage.

The game mechanics really illustrate the necessity not to take corners too fast. Rules for movement also enforce the idea of forward momentum - you can't just zig-zag around willy-nilly. The game also incorporates both formalized racing and illegal street races (the board is reversible). 

We had a great time. The game is reasonably priced, as far as these types of games go, and there's enough depth that it will keep me interested past the basic game, adding more complicated elements as we go along. When we stopped playing, at least a few of us were ready to go again, and I've already ordered the inevitable first expansion board so I can race in Chicago. That's the sign of a good game.

Another sign of a good game is when it inspires your creativity - by the third turn, we were already kicking around an ancient Roman "Circus Maximus" variant...

It's hard to find a large-format Eurostyle boardgame that's quick and easy to play. Formula D fits the bill. 

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