Updated: Apr 3
Fast & Furious: Highway Heist is a 2-4 player cooperative game of road-bound chaos from collaborative designers Prospero Hall, responsible for recent successes such as Horrified (Ravensburger) and Disney Villainous (Ravensburger). So do we have a game that hits the Heist or is it a Highway To Hell?
Thinking back to life as a child I feel like, even tho' I predate the movies, I’ve long played imaginary games with cars and tanks and trucks where the good guys are fighting against the bad guys: my racing cars battling against imagined enemies in tanks and trucks. As I got a little older and into gaming more, we discovered Car Wars (Steve Jackson Games), and then later Dark Future (Games Workshop) and Thunder Road (Milton Bradley), but the issue I’ve always had with these games (particularly tackling Car Wars at a young age) was pacing - the excitement and thrill of the chase was lost in a pile of rolls and stat checking that took away from what the game was trying to represent in the first place.
In 2017, I added a different game from the franchise, Fast & Furious: Full Throttle (Game Salute) to my gaming collection in the hope that this would be a fun (and fast) addition to my collection of racing games, but we played it once and it failed badly (really hard to catch a leader, and blocking was a serious issue) and it never came back to the table again.
So it was with mixed feelings that we approached Funko Games' Fast & Furious: Highway Heist, and I can say straight away we weren’t disappointed. Everything you’d want to be there is present - chases, tanks, jumping in to (and on) enemy vehicles, guns, explosions, wrecks, it's all there! The game takes the action parts of the Fast & Furious movies and makes a game out of them. What is most impressive is that this is achieved without a crazy overhead of rules - this game is incredibly family friendly, and although the box states ages of 12+ I’d say Highway Heist could easily be managed by younger gamers.
The game comes with three scenarios: the Tank Assault where the team try to take down a tank by forcing it into enemy SUVs, a Truck Heist where players need to get on the truck and offload the cargo, and finally the chopper takedown where, amongst other moments, you’ll be launching cars at helicopters… Each scenario plays very differently and has its own cards, pieces and setup, and with different goals and feel. The rules that manage the game overall stay the same but what you need to do and how you do it is individual to the scenario. The single board represents a rolling road so there’s no need to use a lot of table space or to keep looping around or adding boards. This works really well, and keeps everything that is important and active in view.
Each scenario has some replayability, so it's not a case of just playing three games and you're done: whichever scenario you enjoy the most you’ll want to replay multiple times. The rules are quick to learn and easy to teach, which helps when introducing the game to younger players, and as a co-op it keeps that family-friendly appeal, making it good for younger gamers as you can help with decisions and actions. You can also solo the game if you enjoy playing games that way by running multiple characters: the light rules overhead means that’s easy to achieve and also a lot of fun for those moments when you can’t find someone to drive with you.
Strategically there isn’t a lot you can do to plan a long-term attack: the board state is in constant flux but that hits the theme and franchise well as you'll need to drive by the seat of your pants. And in every game there will be a moment when you’ll wish the camera crew had captured your perfectly executed manoeuvre.
Fast & Furious: Highway Heist is light quick fun: a popcorn game full of deliciously ridiculous and cinematic moments.
(Review by Steve Berger)