As a group we have a fairly wide range of tastes in what makes a great game. Some of us are hardcore strategists at heart, loathing any aspect of randomness. Others appreciate a good party game or co-op adventure and don’t cringe at the mention of dice. The most common thread I’ve found in our group, however, is the overwhelming desire to stab one another in the back (when the opportunity presents itself). So, anytime I hear of a game with the option to screw your neighbor, I know I will have fun playing it with most people in our club.
When I read up on Thrash-Car, a game hinging almost entirely on messing with your opponents, I had to find a way for us to get in on the action. It was a great pleasure to host a demo of Thrash-Car and meet one of the game’s designers. If you didn’t get a chance to play and want to read more, visit the Kickstarter project here for a full description and video (and while you’re there, don’t forget to support the project): http://www.kickstarte...
Here’s a breakdown of our group’s response to the game:
• Humor & Theme: The game features four racing teams based on funny social stereotypes including Soccer Moms, Rednecks, Hippies & Old Folks. Where Thrash-Car takes it a step further, though, is that every card in the deck has flavor playing off these groups. You can play “Spilled My Latte” against the Soccer Moms to make them lose an action. Or, you can deal direct damage to another player’s car by throwing a walker in the middle of the track.
• Player Interaction: Thrash-Car is all about player interaction. You’re not just racing to the finish line in some repetitive motion nightmare. Even when it is not your turn, you can play cards to slow down or hurt your opponents. Time your movement well and end up in the same race segment as an opponent, and you can trade paint to bang up their car and (hopefully) knock them out of the race. Also, when you’re knocked out of the race, the game is not over because you can keep playing cards to get revenge against that jerk that knocked you out.
• Scalability: You can choose both your track size and the number of laps to win, making the game time very scalable. Play for 45 minutes or 2 hours – you decide.
• Iconography: Although there is significant text on the cards, the simple icons indicating positive, negative or neutral make the cards quick to read and understand (without having to read every word on every card).
• Strategy: The strategy in Thrash-Car is mostly limited to choosing which card(s) to play and when (and on whom). For example, some cards hurt one group (i.e. Soccer Moms), but help everyone else. Should you save that rare direct damage card for later or go ahead and hit them now? However, despite the strategic choices available, the game does have heavy randomness. Your hand of cards available are random, and the success of your movement and trading paint actions rely on rolling a die.
If you have other opinions on the game, and didn’t have a chance to share them, please let us know. You can also comment on the Kickstarter project via the link above.