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Thomas Making Tracks Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Random, but not broken rss

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Ryan W
United States
Reno
Nevada
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Introduction

My son, who is 4 years old, has a Thomas the Tank Engine habit that kicked into high gear this year. He always had a passing interest, but for some reason in the last few months he has really gotten into it. He had been working on his Christmas wish list for quite some time to determine what new Thomas trains to get. We saw this game at the FLGS a few months back, and it didn't look dreadful to me, so I convinced him to put it on his list as well.

Summary

Thomas & Friends: Thomas Making Tracks Game is a roll-and-move at heart (spin-and-move really). What makes it better than average is each player gets to build a portion of track using track tiles from their start position to the main-line. Once the track is connected, it's a race to see who can get to the sheds in the center of the board first.

Components

The game comes with a thick, quad-folded board, 72 plastic track pieces, 4 cardboard player tokens with plastic stands, a cardboard spinner, and a set of rules.

I have no complaints about the components, and in fact I was pleasantly surprised at the heavy duty nature of the track pieces. They are made from a think and sturdy plastic, with a sticker on top showing the shape of the track (curved or straight). Each track piece has a square peg on the bottom which fits neatly into a hole on the game board. This is a great feature, as it stops the tracks pieces from shifting all around when my 4-year-old inevitably bumps the board.

Rules

The game is simple. Each player picks an engine to play: Thomas, Percy, James, or Molly. Each engine has its own start space on a corner of the board. The start spaces of the engines are cut off from the main line train track by a large 3x7 grid in which the plastic track pieces can be placed. The main line connects to a circular track at the center of the board, which has 3 entrances to the sheds in the very center. The object of the game is to be the first player to connect to the main line and get your engine to the center.

To accomplish this task, on a player's turn he spins the spinner. Each space on the spinner shows a color, and either a curved track, a straight track, or both. If the player has not connected his track to the main-line yet, he must pick the track piece shown by the spinner and attach it to his track if he is able. If the spinner shows both kinds of track, the player can choose which type to attach, although this is not much of a choice. The correct track type is obvious, since you always want one that points you closer to the main-line.

Once a player has connected his track to the main-line, he moves his engine down the track instead of building the track. He spins the spinner, and then moves his engine to the first occurrence of that color on the track.

Some players will still be building tracks while others have begun to move their engines.

Finally, the players will reach the center circle track. The players continuously circle this track until someone lands on one of the entrance spaces. This player then moves into the sheds in the center and wins the game.

Thoughts

As far as a gamer's game, this is not it. There are certainly plenty of children's games out there that will make your little one think, and this is not really one of those. The outcome of the game is completely random, barring any horribly stupid moves by one of the players when choosing how to connect their track. But the game is short enough that the randomness can be forgiven. A two-player game takes less than 20 minutes.

The most rewarding part of this game is for my 4-year-old son, who loves Thomas, and loves the idea of building the railroad. This game really hits a sweet spot for him.
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Joel Mayeski
Thailand
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
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I stopped by to review this game, but you've done such a great job I can't see there is much I'd want to add!

One thing is that its significantly better than Candy Land in my opinion (and holds my 3 year old's interest better).
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Pete
United States
Northbrook
Illinois
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My thrifted copy came with all the parts, but no rules, so your rules runthrough means my 3 year old has a game to play!

Pete (thanks you for the review)
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J. Gibson
United States
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plezercruz wrote:
My thrifted copy came with all the parts, but no rules, so youar rules runthrough means my 3 year old has a game to play!

Pete (thanks you for the review)


Me, too!
 
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