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Subject: An Average Joe Review rss

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Rick Struve
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Average Joe reviews are aimed at the average gamer. You know who you are!

Those of us who:
1) Know what ‘Eurogame’ and ‘Ameritrash’ means.
2) Know that enjoying the game is more important than winning.
3) Don’t own more than 100 games.
4) Don’t consider their FLGS a second home (maybe a 3rd or 4th though).
5) Like to read a review without being overloaded with information.



Goal of Game:
Race your dog sled team past the finish line first.

Components:
Very good. The track sections are all good quality, thick card board. The wooden dog sleds and trees are your typical, good quality pieces. The cards are small, which I am not a big fan of, but they work fine and should last as long as any normal cards would last.

The Rules:
Very well written. Some fun humor involved, and overall very easy to understand. The game itself isn’t overly complicated so you shouldn’t have to refer to the instructions much after one reading.

The Game:
Great fun. From start to finish, it has a lot of fun going on that most anyone will enjoy. It works as a gamers-game due to its tricky and strategic calculations in order to make those dogs run their paces through different turns and trees - it works as a family game due to its fairly simple mechanics - it appeals to most any age and it works as a nice filler, being only about 45 minutes long and won’t cramp your brain too badly.

For the most part, the race stays pretty close all the way until the end, so you normally don’t get one guy way out ahead of the pack, and the rest of the players just play along waiting for the game to end.

The other fun part of this game is explaining the game. It is fairly easy to explain, and people should understand it without too many questions. Most everyone will think this is an easy game, I mean, dang, you have 2 dogs and one break on the sled to worry about... big deal, easy game. Then comes the first turn, and they quickly realize this isn’t a kids game at all!

Unlike the racing game Formula De, this game has no dice and is not based on luck (there is just a small amount of luck involved in a card draw).

Downtime:
Not bad at all. Turns are quick, so you won’t have to sit long in between turns. Even in a 5 player game, you will probably each have a turn every minute or so.

Analysis Paralysis:
There is a little downtime because just when you think you have the perfect card to make the perfect move, it doesn’t pan out and you have to think of a way to not go crashing through a tree, wall or opponent! When that happens, you will find some people totally dumb-struck trying to find some way out of their dilemma. The most unique, and funny, item comes into play - something I have never seen before: If someone is taking a long time thinking during their turn, you throw an oval disk in their direction,,, on the disk is a print of a dog paw. If that makes no sense, this is the ‘paws’ warning. You heard me, the game has a pause warning. This will get a laugh the first time you chuck it at someone!

Game Length:
Very good. It is a good filler between other games. The game sets up quickly, and take down time is even faster.

Finish:
The finish is actually very exciting, especially since the games are usually close. Your battered and dented dog sled will come sliding across that finish line with a tired, but triumphant smile upon your wind-blown face.

Replay-ability:
This will hit the table often, and when it does, expect to play a second game right away. There are many track pieces available, so the course changes each time you play. Feel the need to crash through a forest? Put the tree section in. Need crazy turns? Throw several curve pieces in there. Need fast straight-aways? Add some straight sections to the mix. Change it up baby!

Pros:
Fast playing
Easy to explain and learn
Fun for most any age (recommended age of 10 is about right)
Can be a good gateway game

Cons:
Younger kids will want to play, but it may be too difficult
Some track layouts are big, so you sometimes need to get up and move your sled
There are one or two track pieces that can result in a blockage, which causes frustration

Overall:
I enjoy playing this game every time. This will be a great game to add to your collection. It is light-hearted and fun to play.

I give Snow Tails a 7/10
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Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Nice concise review!

I just wanted to add that while this game seems very simple for most people I've played with, there have been one or two gamers who just do not get it; for some reason the mathiness of sled movement and special mechanic of which way to go really shuts their brain down or something.

If that's not an issue, I think its a really great race game.
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Bjarne Aagaard
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Århus
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[/q]
rstruve wrote:
Average Joe reviews are aimed at the average gamer. You know who you are!

Those of us who:
1) Know what ‘Eurogame’ and ‘Ameritrash’ means.
2) Know that enjoying the game is more important than winning.
3) Don’t own more than 100 games.
4) Don’t consider their FLGS a second home (maybe a 3rd or 4th though).
5) Like to read a review without being overloaded with information.



I fit into all five, I like the definition!
Good, precise review, thanks.
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Brevity is the soul of good reviews.

I'd also like to add that if I'd been able to compare this and Formula Dé two years ago, I would totally have bought this instead. Similar idea, but I find this way more immersive. Rolling dice gets tiresome after awhile when the only choice available to you is which die to roll, but this game gets you way more involved in actually driving your sled... without being vastly more complicated.
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Rob Mixemong
United States
Cedar Rapids
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Nice review Ricky, Maybe we'll see you this weekend at Thies's place.
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Si
United Kingdom
Norwich
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For the love of all that is holy, will someone just ask her about the book?
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StormKnight wrote:
I just wanted to add that while this game seems very simple for most people I've played with, there have been one or two gamers who just do not get it; for some reason the mathiness of sled movement and special mechanic of which way to go really shuts their brain down or something.


I think I've solved this. It's because a lot of people who go ice skating or sledding assume that a stronger pull on one side leads to a turn towards to the other. Not so with the dog sled because it's fixed at one point, not two. So a stronger pull on one side leads to a drift towards that side.

Go on, now tell me I'm misapplying the laws of physics.
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Derek H
South Africa
Johannesburg
Gauteng
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rstruve wrote:

Younger kids will want to play, but it may be too difficult

Also, there is no catch-up mechanism built-in to the game, and if you fall behind its almost impossible to have any chance of winning. Younger kids (less than 12) get bored very fast. I would suggest teenagers and up are the best starting age.
 
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Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
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gamesbook wrote:
Also, there is no catch-up mechanism built-in to the game, and if you fall behind its almost impossible to have any chance of winning.


? This game has "free moves for the guys in the back". It's the most blatant catch-up mechanism I've ever seen.
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John Davis
United Kingdom
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
gamesbook wrote:
Also, there is no catch-up mechanism built-in to the game, and if you fall behind its almost impossible to have any chance of winning.


? This game has "free moves for the guys in the back". It's the most blatant catch-up mechanism I've ever seen.


Well, true, but - it all depends on the track. If you have a lot of curves, you will have very little chance of taking advantage of the "free moves". This might be a good reason to put in some straights in the middle of the race to help out the less skilful players....
 
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