Monday, July 16, 2012

Preview: Race to Adventure!

Last weekend was the monthly board game event at my local library, and the Grasshopper & I got to go for the first time in several months. I've been pretty excited about the forthcoming game Race to Adventure! from Evil Hat Productions. It's a pulp fiction-themed scavenger hunt that spans the globe of the late 1920s, including a stops in Antarctica, Atlantis, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Nepal, and the United Kingdom. I haven't been in a position to back the game on Kickstarter, but I did get a hold of the guys at the Hat, and they sent me a print-and-play kit in exchange for writing up my experiences afterward.

Background, for those who don't want to watch the intro videos at the Kickstarter page: The target audience is ages 8+; the game should take 20-30 minutes to play once everybody knows what they're doing, and involves moving your piece to the various locations around the globe and carrying out certain tasks to collect stamps on their passport. The board is modular (for the non-gamers, this means that you can rearrange the board from one game to another), and in the full game all of the locations will have two sides, so that the replayability increases even more. The Grasshopper is 6-almost-7 and a budding gamer, so I figured playing Race to Adventure! might be a good test of how well the game could scale down.

I got to play 2 games during the time we were there -- a 4-player game that had two adults, the Grasshopper, and one other kid who looked to be about nine (I didn't ask), and later a 2-player game that was 2 adults. For the 4-player game, we made one modification suggested in the rules, and made rescuing the prisoner from Atlantis "show up with the lightning gun and get the stamp," removing the timed aspect of the mission.

I enjoyed the game a lot, and I think the Grasshopper did, too. (There's a possibility that he might have a couple friends over later today, and we might end up playing then if it happens. If more plays get in before the Kickstarter campaign ends, I'll try to update the post accordingly.) Both games finished with the second-place player having 7 of 9 stamps, and I think that in the 4-player game the farthest person behind had 5. (That was one of the two kids, although I don't recall which.) The game did move quickly both times, taking maybe 40 minutes for the first game and about 20 for the 2-player one.

This is definitely on my long-term acquisition list, either funding the campaign if something changes in the next week, or as a strong request for a Christmas present. Besides, how can you not love a game that has an intelligent gorilla flying a jet pack on its cover?