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The Rambly Intro:
I bought a few copies of this game on clearance years ago...like 10 years ago...and I remember being disappointed by the TINY size of the box. It's about 2"x3"x1". It's this small size, however, that let it avoid the number of game purges that I've done in the past decade.
And I'm (kinda) glad it did.
The Game Play:
It's a race game, that has a number of neat elements. In the basic game, you have cards that let you "fly," cards that let you "move," and cards that let you "tatata (shoot)," and "joker" (wild) cards.
Each player gets a base and the route is then created with cloud cards that are evenly placed between the players bases in a geometric circuit. The first time someone lands on a cloud card, the player flips it over and finds out if it's a normal space, a protective space (other players can't shoot you if you're in thick clouds), or a dangerous space (weather can damage your plane). There are also special weapons you can pick up that add to the fun. Also, picking up a weapon also shortens the track by leaving a blank space. These blank spaces are filled in as people use the weapons they picked up, which adds a dollop of strategy as you can choose which blank spot to put your used weapon in, so you can essentially "re-lengthen" the track in front of an opponent.
Now, this is a bit clunky in terms as the "move" cards don't let your move. The "fly" cards let you move. The "move" cards let you pass over or land on bases. However, I was surprised that this didn't really confuse the 6 and 8 year old I played with. Although, we played with all the player's cards face-up so the other adult player and I did a bit of coaching through-out.
The first person to complete three circuits wins.
Was It Fun:
Yep. The kids really enjoyed it, and therefore I enjoyed it. The game took about 30 minutes, which is just about perfect for a kids game. There was surprise winner as a good hand of cards can really propel you ahead (18 spaces possibly, and there are only 20 in a four player set-up), and the clear leader had pulled a hand that didn't let her move at all when she was just three space from winning.
They liked the moving, the shooting, the dropping of bombs...the randomness the cloud cards added.
Do I Recommend It:
Ummm...not really. I will probably hang on to it because of its tiny size and this great play, but I really have no desire to play the advanced game with my friends (the luck of the draw becomes less as EVERY card lets you do every action (there are 4 numbers printed on each card...and one limits the number of actions you can perform) but you lose the option of discarding at the end of your turn.
And quite honestly, I was very surprised the kids dug it, but perhaps since getting shot doesn't really give a terrible penalty (you just need to play a "move" card to recover...actually the "move" card can help you dodge as well based on a number comparison, so if we were playing it right, it really didn't matter if you dodged or just used it to recover on your turn...see a little unnecessarily fiddly.) it wasn't too upsetting when they got zapped.
However, if you have it somewhere in your collection, it's worth dusting off and giving it a play, at least with kids.