Shuffle Grand Prix
Shuffle Grand Prix is one of the new titles released as part of Bicycle's venture into the board game market. The company is best known for its extensive range of playing cards, and this game is essentially a card game, tho' there are additional components to represent the trophies you win by causing opponents in the race to spin out of control.
That detail alone is probably sufficient to convey that this is very much a 'take that' game. You'll be drawing distance cards while playing action cards from your hand to boost your performance or, more likely, sabotage the progress of your opponents. If causing other cars to crash sounds sinister, you'll be reassured to learn that this is a light-hearted game with tongue-in-cheek cartoon art by Ruwen Liu of Sizigi Studios.
Gameplay too is light: each turn you'll be playing from a hand of three cards drawn from your deck of 24, representing the action cards of your chosen driver and 'co-pilot'. Each driver has unique characteristics and a special ability, and each has their own unique deck. With 8 drivers supplied in the game, that gives a lot of unique combinations of asymmetric playing decks. The game is at its best if you play with the full complement of four as that allows for interplay and opportunities to apply your judgement on where best to target your negative cards. Tho' Shuffle Grand Prix is playable with just two, play at this count is much more mechanical - there is, after all, no choice over who to hit with your traps and sabotage.
If you get a sense of deja vu playing Shuffle Grand Prix it's because Rob Newton has designed here a game that is undeniably reminiscent of the classic French card game Mille Bornes (Hasbro/Tomy/Winning Moves). Think of Shuffle Grand Prix as Mille Bornes meets Wacky Races but without any IP infringement. The luck factor is high (you don't have much control over the distance cards players draw and its the total of each player's distance cards that determines the winner) but this nonetheless makes for an entertaining 20-30 minute game.
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