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Stven Carlberg
United States
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Formel Fun breaks one of the cardinal rules of modern game design, as players get eliminated before the end of the game. It's a short game, though, and speeds up toward the ending, so it should be suitable for all but the most impatient.

Basically this is a clever application of a couple of decks of standard playing cards to a series of races around a short track. They don't look like standard playing cards any more -- there are fun little cartoon cars and drivers speeding around on them now -- but once you get used to the way the cards work, you can easily see that in the early stages of game design, somebody's canasta set was on the table. The cards from 2 to 10, for example, all move your car 3 spaces -- unless the space it is sitting on on the track (numbered 1 to 10) matches the number of the card, in which case that's the number the car moves. There are some cards with special powers (the old face cards and jokers?), so running the race is not at all cut and dried -- some fun possibilities exist for tactical play. The system is well tuned and matches up nicely with the lighthearted racing theme.

Yes, Virginia, there are card management choices! You have a hand of merely five cards, and they go in and out pretty quickly, especially in the early stages of the game when you have more than one car on the board. You can't win without good cards, but you get lots and lots of chances to draw more cards! It's fun seeing what you can do with what you get, and of course a little bit of anticipation can help a lot.

This is a fun little game that runs like a pip.
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