After making its way to my house as part of my first successful trade, I was excited to get RoboRally (RR) out the box and on the table. My wife, and primary playing partner, was cautiously optimistic about the game when I explained it to her, but agreed to play none the less.
Our first opportunity to play came in a 4 player setting. The rules were simple to understand and explain, set up was easy, and in no time we were off to the races.
The programming element of the game is intuitive and strikes a fine balance as ordered chaos. We had a few robots pushed off the board, and more than enough conveyor belt rides to get a good initiation into the game.
The 30 second timer is a welcome featured, and kept everybody on track. It would be easy to recount and re-figure each move given enough time. The timer keeps you honest and the game moving forward.
We all faced the challenge of keeping ourselves oriented to the direction of the board when turning left and right, but we quickly adapted and our first race took about 90 minutes.
The game balances several elements well. It is fast moving with tons of interaction. The theme is well played in the mechanics. I would however, like to have had more thematic elements in the game other than lasers. For example, each bot would have some type of special ability. As we grow into the game, I could see those coming.
Over all, RoboRally gets a hardy 8.5, and may very well progress to a 9 with some house tweaks. The game works well both for larger groups and as a couples game.