Number of Players: 2-5
Gamer Type: Casual/Competitive
Game Type: Racing
Racing games are becoming popular again as people are realizing that simply driving around in a circle with no real interaction is not that fun (Sorry, NASCAR). Naughty Jester games is entering quickly into this field with their offering of Chivalry is Dead, a racing game to save the kingdom.
While some racing games have good mechanics, most of them have a story similar to the old song by Cake, “Distance.” In most cases you get in, buckle up, and try to out pace your friends driving in the aforementioned circle. Chivalry is Dead changes this up. In this game ,there is a rich story about how the races (games) are helping the races (race wars) deal with the politics of the kingdom. This creates a fun ‘peaceful’ story about why warriors are taking their chariots around the track. (8 of 10).
The artwork is stellar and fun in this game. I will start with the beautiful box, which is a standard medium box, so it will fit on your shelf quite well. The ’90s-style cartoon graphics (the best era for cartoons) really bring the game to life. The cards and the tooling of the system really bring things together. The player mats could be combined to allow for an easier footprint, but if you have big table, it is OK. The board is stellar, no complaints there. The minis are excellent; whereas in many cases minis just add to the price, this makes the game look good. (7.5 of 10)
With barely any dice rolling, this game is as close to a euro-gamer as you can get without being one. This means that those who like strategy will love this game as you can plan it out. The dice are the randomizer; also, turn order is random, so you have to plan for opponents’ moves. Teams pick their abilities for a racial pool, but once you learn the game, these abilities can be memorized. Further, the players picking their speed early on allows for variability without randomization. Finally, the obstacles (natural and placed) are fun and can be placed differently each race, so there is some adaptability. The format is simple: prepare, rush, race…which makes you plan out your moves and hope that the order of the draw favors you. (8 of 10).
What strategy is there in a racing game? In this one, there is lots. Players can go full- blown offense trying to destroy their opponents’ carts. This is a very hostile strategy not present in a lot of racing games, which makes this one fun. Players can also go the defensive route by keeping their carts in formation, using the side carts to protect their main cart. This moves more slowly, but can keep a cart in the race for both (or all three) laps.
Rush is straight forward in this game: get out in front and never look back. Using the steering cards to burst ahead early can be effective, but it also limits your ability to protect yourself. Finally, engine building is a great strategy in this game as you can use your abilities to control the board. Moreover, if you go this route, you may not come out the gate early, but when you start using your perks, it will make a splash. (8 of 10).
Racing games are making a comeback, but this one seems to be leading the pack in innovation. The story is fun, one that you do not hear day in and day out. The functionality of the mechanics and the board add to the story, so it is not a story attached to a game or a game attached to a story. Finally each time you play, it will be different because of the people and the teams selected. Overall, it has enough nifty features to make it unique. 6.5 of 10.
As we come through the final term, this game easily finishes in first among racing games this year. While it is a rookie (just entering Kickstarter August 28th) it has the chops to be a gaming legend. I will warn you this is an aggressive game, not a Sunday drive. So with a score of with a score of 38 out of 50, you should have this game on your trophy, I mean game, shelf to play with your friends.
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