Reviews: Crazy Karts – edge of a knife and other weapons
Not everyone is lucky enough to compete on the circuit full of safe escape zones, paramedics and without unexpected deadly situations. Take the dwarves for instance. They always just drove their truck underground and suddenly, they are rushing the dirt track, teetering on the edge of the abyss and dodging flying arrows of their deadly enemies. There is never enough racers in this type of racing as their life is short.
Crazy Karts is a new racing game. Place of its creation is the laboratory of Portal company and creative inventiveness of its author, Charles Amir-Perret. Playing will be guided by lightweight illustrations of Anastasia Meylus. The whole game was published in 2016.
The box is available in the classic square dimensions and provides lots of space. It is fortunately filled to the brim, so our buds teased by racing dramatic illustration on the cover will not be disappointed. There are large sections of the race route divided into hexagonal array. One board has starting spaces, while others are reversible and contain places to place hazards. Each of the four factions has its own two control panels with the instructions, speed indicators, damage and enhancement tracks, but also screens for both team players. To allow playing in odd numbesr, there is one greater control board for the lone wolf competitor. In addition, of course, players find sets of cards in their color (six for each), a damage deck, pieces of improvements, obstacles and wooden tokens.
Each racing cart needs one pilot and one shooter. That is, why participants at the beginning of the race split into teams of two. Exceptions are battles with odd number of rivals. In this case, one of them becomes a lone wolf. Everyone will have a control board, a set of cards and a screen to hide it all behind. Team members each receive a different plate with some commands and only one indicator – either acceleration or speed (indicated by wooden arrow) and damage. The center of the table (team members are sitting opposite to each other) will be filled with racetrack equipped with obstacles and teams place their wooden (decorated with stickers) cars on starting space.
Each race consists of a qualification, in which players try to get as many improvements as possible for their team as well as better position for the race. Only then will everything be decided in a sprint across the track.
Both parts of match have a very similar flow and each consist of many rounds. At the beginning, there is a time to plan in advance. All players perform this simultaneously using their numbered action cards, that can be divided among his five actions in any way (even multiple cards per box). Each round, player will not have selection of all his cards at his disposal. Their number is determined by the current speed of the truck and he draws them randomly from a shuffled deck. Once team has planned everything (both players!), they may start countdown towards end of the phase.
Then it’s time to evaluate the joint efforts of both members. Actions are numbered, have to be done in order and the first one is initiative. Teams therefore now find, how many control points (steering wheels on the cards) they offered and how advantageous position they get for it. The team with the highest value starts and performs all scheduled actions. They continue with using various advantages (from skills, power ups or upgrades). Players can accelerate or decelerate and consequently move the wooden arrow.
Only then is the time to really compete and players move their cart by value of their speed. Cornering has still not come to evaluation, so cart remains on its valid direction specified in the previous round. Only at the moment, when movement ends, player may steer the truck with another action for the upcoming round. Because it all moves in straight line, there is not so much maneuvering needed to reach the finish line.
Much more important is to survive all the way to the finish. For this purpose, each vehicle needs more actions, ie possibility to shoot an opponent (distance is determined by the value card and can be done in any direction). Racer car, that is hit, must draw one damage card and its contents will notify him of any consequences. In addition, trucks can also prepare for the next round or make repairs.
Durint its movement, carts can also earn tokens lying on the track and may also collide with each other, thereby taking damage. If a team loses control of the truck, hits the wall and it also gains some damage. This means a shift of speedometer indicator, a slower ride in future rounds after every scratch! The aim is obviously to gain the best position in qualifying and then race to reach the finish line first!
Crazy Karts would be a classic racing game with shooting, if it did not contain that team dynamic. Thanks to this, gameplay closely resembles Goblins Inc game. Even here, two team members must work well. But because they sit on opposite sides of the table, they have to do it all speechless. Just with power of their minds.
This team element is important to the overall entertainment. Players each control only some actions of the cart, but those are often one without the other pretty useless. We are talking primarily about cornering and speed. Proper understanding and good tactic of both members is therefore really needed. But teamwork also brings with it a fundamental limitation. Odd number of players require lone wolf player, who has a planning board for himself and thus has an advantage over others.
Game is most of the time really crazy and difficult to predict. Continuous bumping into one another brings with it a lot of fun, if you’re around the right group of people. In other gaming groups, however, this racing can turn in frustration over the inability to agree and into feeling, that nothing can be influenced right. So it depends largely on expectations, players are entering this racing.
Feeling of luck is supported by random damage cards draw. These have strong effects, that may bring some teams into disadvantage. That is why it is important, that as many players / teams participate in the race as possible. Only that will assure, that you will not so much mind chance. You’ll enjoy the races and their events. Well, if you’re at least a little malicious.
Each team has its own special skills, that can be used at the beginning of each round and makes racing a bit unique. For the variability of individual races, enhancement tokens are very important . But there is not that much of those in the box. Hopefully, usually is different experience guaranteed by players themselves and their mistakes done.
Presence of qualification results in the fact, that one game can eventually reach over an hour, and with more teams even further. In this case, you could definitely stick to race part only, but you will miss enhancements. In connection with the number of participants, it is to be emphasized, that the game requires at least six members and therefore three teams to be fun. Only then will be track filled enough for races to be interesting and full of pushing.
Many bright colors and processing of all other components goes well together. Cheerful cartoon graphics guarantees humorous overall impression of the game. Processing of components themselves is nice, thanks to wooden carts and arrows.
Crazy Karts are really crazy. It is racing just for those, who would like to try a less serious racing games with some team effort. It will certainly not hit all the players, but just as surely as it find its uncompromising opponents, there will be players, who will enjoy it to the fullest. This crazy gameplay is simply intended only for someone, so give it a try before a buy. Are you crazy enough for Crazy Karts?
Reviews: Crazy Karts – edge of a knife and other weapons
Crazy Karts is a game, which just is not possible to grade with a single stamp. Your overall impression of the race depends on the team, you are in. You have to negotiate silently (no words!) and each control a part of the cart, which depends on many factors. And part of it is also luck. But the most important thing for your opinion about this game is your attitude to games, which are a bit chaotic and crazy. Most of the time, players will not speak, only laugh on others and have fun. That does not mean, that teams are not trying to win. They had every available means, including weapons. But you need a lot of players to enjoy it, because more teams are needed to fill the racing board. Then, Crazy Karts can finally become, what you expect it to be.