On this episode of Board Games with Scott, I talk about elements from four horse racing games - Winner's Circle, Long Shot, Horse Fever, and Turf Master. I focus on the balance between pre/early-race strategy and tactics required during the race in each.
It's very good to point out that different people will like different games / gaming experiences and as the games are described you drive this point home nicely. I would however wish for less bias (you didn't have to put so much of personal like/dislike into a review), or emphasis on two "radical" designs - Horse fever and Turf master and rather describe each game as a gaming experience for different target audiences. Like: which is the best easy to pick family game, which has the most chaos and appeal to game of that ilk, which is the most brainy/gamey. It's also interesting (that word again) to think about these 4 picks for an episode as they really are different games - Horse fever feels like primarily strategic betting game, not a racing game at all, while turf master has more in common with the other racing games than with these horse games. So the choice was to pick games for their theme, rather for mechanics (as in previous episodes) and I guess it's justified as with this theme in particular people are gonna buy a game because of the theme (usually because somebody has a daughter/niece/younger brother in love with horses or granpa betting on horses on a regular basis and whattnot), and the episode explains what kind of different gaming experience they'll get. I would wish for at least short reference about which other "non-horse" games are similar to each of these games. Which betting games, which bluffing games, which racing games offer similar experience for those who are not so interested in horses as such.
Just 2 cents from a guy who's got a review to write today.
What do you think the major differences are between horse racing games and car racing games? (Besides horses and cars.)
I was thinking about that the other day, since I usually play both of them and like them both. A friend just does not like car racing games, and after playing Long Shot, mentioned that he prefered that game over car racing games.
I think there are 2 basic aspects that sets them apart: betting and direct interaction.
- Betting is a MUST in horse racing games. You do not usually bet in real car racing, but you do it in real horse racing. Then, when you consider winning conditions in a horse racing game, you usually take into account how much money you win with horses you own and your bets on other horses. That simply does not happen in car racing games (that I know of)
- Direct interaction is more difficult to explain, but I do not remember car racing games where you can actually influence what happens to other cars or players using cards, dice rolls or negotiation. If it happens, it just a race condition that affects everyone, but nothing specific to a car or player. In horse racing games, you need that element in order to "play" with odds, and maneuver your way to a good position for your horses and bets.
I like them both, but they are different creatures