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CLASSICS CLOSET - 'Doubletrack' (Review) - Reliving a Game from my Youth

-matt s.
United States
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When I was a kid we actually had quite a few games around our house that I remembered playing. A good number of them really. However, I'd kind of forgotten the extent and variety until I first discovered and started looking around on BGG back in 2008. As I ran across them/remembered them I started marking them as Previously Owned and, in this case, 'Want in Trade'. Some others I remembered included: Inner Circle, Leverage, Touring, Waterworks, Survive!, Stay Alive, Operation, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Tri-Ominos, Quadominos, Pictionary, Yahtzee, and many more. And, I'm not ashamed to admit it that we owned Monopolyand it was one of my favorite games!

So anyway, last year I picked up the version of Cave Troll with the figures and I marked my version with the chits for trade. I wasn't sure if I'd ever get any bites on it, but recently I did as I received a trade request in exchange for Doubletrack. I'm sure not everyone has heard of this game but it was one I certainly remembered.

Doubletrack box (this is a fairly large box at 12"x20"x1-1/2")

In this game, I recalled there being plastic gates attached to the board that controlled access to certain paths on the board and you used a physical (cardboard) 'pass' that had to be inserted into the gates to open them up. I always found this functionality intriguing both the gate itself as well as the concept - each player controls a gate pass (or several in some cases) which gives them more control over who can go through them and when. I don't recall seeing this sort of feature in more modern games (if you've seen it I'd be interested to hear about it in the comments)

I also remembered the mechanic of using a Big pawn on an outer track that moves and then affects what the Small pawn on the inner track is doing.

So, I accepted the trade and thought this could be fun to play again.

Soon it arrived. It was a bit more beat up than the copy we used to own, but it had all the familiar components to it. There's something about getting your hands on a game you remember from your childhood that brings back warm memories of simpler days. You get this sense of zipping back in time, remembering where you would play it (on my bedroom floor with it's bright red carpet - no really, that's what I chose, much to my mother's chagrin), who you played it with (my sister mostly, sometimes my friend Jeff), and some vague memories of really enjoying it.

Well, my son and I got this game out the other evening. As we got out the pieces my son was intrigued by the gates. I had him install them, get the money chips out and set up initial money while I started reading the rules. There were more to the rules than I remembered. I wanted to be sure to go through everything and, as I explained it to my son he eventually said - "Dad, let's just play!" He's a little impatient. He had tired of fiddling with the gates and was ready to play. But reading the rules takes time! I guess it was my own fault for not following my own advice about reading the rules ahead of time. Especially when it comes to someone like my son.

Example game set up for 4 players

Anyhow, I glossed over the rest of the rules, except I'm glad I covered one rule in particular. There are certain actions which let you (rather force you) to sell a gate pass, sell a card from your hand, or even sell the lead (if you are leading). Something that surprised me about this game was that it used a blind auction for the selling part! I hadn't remembered that at ALL. I'm not sure if we ignored it (just as we ignored the auction in Monopoly) or if we did something else entirely.

(read more...)
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