The Anatomy of Racing Games: What Makes a Great Race

Racing games are the least common denominator of board games. Candyland (1949) certainly isn’t a well-respected game nor are other roll-and-move games. However, there are also plenty of modern racing eurogames which are great. I’ve got quite a few of them in my permanent collection, including Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Cartagena (2000), Fast Flowing Forest Fellers (2008)The Quest for El Dorado (2017), and Snow Tails (2008).

So what makes the difference?

I think six different attributes contribute to great racing game play — elements that have largely appeared since the eurogame explosion of the ’90s. I’ve listed them here in decreasing order of importance. Great racing games don’t usually have all of them; in fact, that’d probably be too much! But the really good racing games tend to feature several of these attributes, particularly the higher ranked ones. Continue reading

Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A Pirate’s Game for Me!

Knucklebones: November 2007This is a reprint of an article written in May, 2007 for first publication in the November 2007 issue of the now-defunct Knucklebones magazine. Because of its origins, this article is more introductory and (hopefully) more polished than many of my online writings. Despite the original source of this article, this blog is in no way associated with Jones Publishing or Knucklebones Magazine.

November 2007 was also the first month that Knucklebones opted to accept two different articles for me; the other was an article on Z-Man games, which I finished a couple of weeks later, in June.

Shiver me timbers if it ain’t September again, and you know what that means, matey! It’s time to dedicate a noggin’ o’ rum to Ol’ Chum Bucket and Cap’n Slappy — the two scurvy lads who came up with Talk Like a Pirate Day, back on September 19, 1995.

Of course we know all you mateys and wenches alike will be taking p-arrrr-t in the festivities, but don’t take it as an excuse to just drink grog and sing shanties. You can also weigh anchor, hoist the Jolly Roger, and plunder and pillage on your own with a selection of excellent pirate games.

So keep reading for my top suggestions and I won’t have to make you walk the plank!

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