"Shijuro" in Awatum (Serpent's Tongue)
"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation." LP Jacks
I was browsing BGG while my 6-year old son played at the computer next to me. He looked over and saw me checking out Pitchcar (Mini) and asked what it was. I explained how you flick the cars around the track and demonstrated with a penny. He grinned and said "That would be good, can we get it?" so, helpless when faced with such articulate persuasion, I added it to my ThoughtHammer cart.
When it arrived, I discovered that the railings went in easily and a course could be laid out within about 2 minutes. The decals went on quickly also. I built the course on a carpeted floor and quickly found it left the seams too uneven -- cars were bouncing back from seams or leaping over the railings. Once we moved it to the hard surface of a coffee table, the seams were nice and flat.
Speaking of the coffee table, most of the suggested track layouts fit easily with plenty of room for beverages and snacks. I had vacillated between the Mini version or the full sized, but I'm happy I went with Mini as it's less expensive, more portable and fits nicely on a limited surface.
My son was out of the room when I got the track set up, but my 3-year old daughter grabbed a pink car and was ready to play. I thought we'd do a lap to warm up, but the game went so fast we did the full 3 laps. I allowed her to reshoot when she left the track and reminded her when she took more than one flick during her turn but otherwise she did ok. In fact, as I experimented with various flicking techniques, she caught up to my car and with an excellent flick that took her halfway down the track, she beat me easily.
My son ran in and my wife was even tempted to play. The next game took more than 10 minutes as people kept leaving the table after taking their turn, oblivious to the fact that it would be their turn again within a few seconds. If everyone stayed at the table, our four person game would have lasted less than 5 minutes (for 3 laps).
My wife got an early lead and lapped my daughter and me just before she won. My son came in second, and I was a close third.
I realized toward the end that the best flick wasn't to snap my forefinger off my thumb (as I had been doing), but to hold a finger half an inch back from the car and hit it like a hockey stick on a puck (like my wife had been doing). This almost always kept the car on the track, whereas my technique sent me flying off too often.
My wife refused to play again, resting on her laurels. My son said he had fun, but ran back to his computer game. My daughter insisted on playing again, and again, and again, until dinner was ready and we had to dismantle the track. She showed a marked improvement in the next couple games (beating me 2 out of 3 times). We finished with the "Pursuit" variation, where players start at opposite sides of the track and the first to pass the other wins (she won).
Although she still sometimes pushed her car to where she wanted it instead of flicking and was prone to taking two turns in a row, she could hold her own against the rest of us and with a bit more practice, I think she'll be playing correctly (and often winning).
In the end, we had raced 5 times (4 2-player races and 1 4-player) in under an hour. All four of us enjoyed our day at the races and I expect this will receive a lot of play.
(Full review: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/155677)
- Last edited Thu May 22, 2008 3:02 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:55 am
Rio de Janeiro
Great ...I'll buy this game to play with my 8 y old boy and my 4 y old daughter..