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