Nick Van Dam
I found this game at a nearby Thrift shop marked for $3. I quickly checked my phone to see what BGG had to say about it. All the information was old, and it seemed this game was a Kickstarter flash and then fizzle.
Still, the theme was unique and it is a two player... this was a selling factor for me as I get more changes to play a game with my wife than to have our friends over to game.
So I took a shot and spent some scarce shelf space on it.
Impact City Roller Derby, hereafter called Impact City is indeed a two player game. It has a four player option, but I have yet to hear anyone voice a strongly positive opinion of it. Since I bought it to be a 2 player that's what I'll talk about.
The artwork on the box is eye-catching and quite attractive. The back of the box displays a set of painted figures which were not included in this (the original) edition. At first examination I thought I was missing pieces, but in small print below the photo it states that these are not included inside.
Still, the board is of good quality, and it comes with 5 varying multi-sided dice, along with some wooden bits. Among these are the skater meeples, which to my mind are more fun than the unpainted miniatures. This is particularly true since I am not a painter of models.
One team is red and one is pink and green. There is also a small deck of cards of good quality. The artwork on the cards is ok, but the photo realism of the cards works against the artwork on the box and board. It would have been nice to see artistic renderings on the cards as well.
The rules book has a nice look but this game is rather complex. While it read ok, at times, it was hard to use as a reference when playing.
This game is based on flat track roller derby and the rules reflect this, if that sentence didn't tell you anything then you are in the same boat I was when learning this game. We had no background in roller derby, other than an interest. The basic goal of the game is to get your "Jammer" girl piece to lap all the other roller-girl pieces, twice if possible. This is done by moving/positioning her on the track. She can shift up or down in speed (this is where the dice come in). The other pieces are used to assist your Jammer or to hinder your opponents pieces, either through position or use of cards.
To grasp and understand how to play I highly recommend watching the How To Video on BGG
With only a few missteps which we corrected we made it through our first JAM. The game is highly strategic and positioning is key. The cards and dice introduce a certain amount of randomness to the game. It seems with players that are strategically equal this may play a large factor, but otherwise strategic play is likely to dominate. This being the case it will be helpful if both players are of similar ability in that area to make a competitive game.
There is an element of press your luck with the speed dice and "pouring it on" mechanism (rolling for an extra space of movement)
While a 3 Jam game is a big long for us, one or two Jams makes for a nice amount of game play. It did take one complete playthrough for my wife to really grasp the game, and I only understood it due to watching the linked video twice through before playing.
- Two Player game (a personal pro)
- It has a really novel theme
- the production quality is very good
- It teaches a sport that we were unfamiliar with
- It is very complicated for those unfamiliar with the sport
- The bait and switch of the back cover (though captioned I don't like it when pieces not included are featured on the back of a game box)
- The instructions are difficult to follow in places due to the complexity of the game.
- Inconsistent art style on the cards, board/Box.
While this game has it's issues the best thing it has going for it is, it is fun to play. Once you figure out the rules it is a fun mix of strategic positioning, take that(cards), and press your luck in a racing game. We had fun naming our teams and playing with the theme.
I don't know if I'd buy this new, but it is a really fun game to have and quite a thrift store gem for us.
I rate this game a 7
as it is good, but because of the steep learning curve I would hesitate to suggest it.
UMCR Reviews Geeklist
- Last edited Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:34 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Jun 4, 2017 12:25 am
♫ As the masters rot on walls ♫ And the angels eat their grapes ♫ I watched Picasso Visit The Planet Of The Apes ♫
Not a shabby rating for a $3 acquisition.
Nice find! If I ever find ICRD for cheap, I'll pick it up.
Thanks for the review.