No one ever remembers the second guy to jetpack their way through the mountains of Nepal. What was that woman’s name who marched through the snows of Antartica only to find multiple flags planted at her final destination? No one cares. When you’re an explorer you’re either first or you’re nothing at all. At the Century Club we toast the people who forge into new territories and return here with tales of glory and priceless artifacts. And you’ve arrived just in time.
There’s about to be a race around the globe to see who can make the trek and complete a set of missions the fastest. We’ll be waiting here at the club to see who can get back first. Think you can do it? Oh, I like your spirit… we’re off!
Takes: 30 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
The board is made up of nine fantastical locations and the Century Club, where all the adventurers gather to tell tales and boast of their travels. The game board is setup with the Century Club along the left side, and the other locations dealt out randomly in a 3X3 grid next to it. Since different locations require different conditions to complete them, and some facilitating travel or research then your strategy is going to have to change depending on the layout of the cards.
In addition to the randomness of the tile locations, there’s also a flip side to each tile (called the shadow location) that is generally more difficult to complete and may also have an effect on player movement or ability to complete quests.
The game moves quickly, which each Centurion (their gamespeak for Adventurer or Player) needing to visit and complete the tasks on all nine locations & getting their passports stamped from each one. Then, they high tail it back to the Century Club and loudly exclaim “I Have Returned!” (says you gotta do it in the book so make it boastful!) and you win.
The way you get around the gameboard and complete objectives is through the use of different in-game items. For every round each player will take a turn at selecting which item they’d like to use. Some, like the Zepplin or the Biplane, facilitate movement around the board. Others like the Map or the Lightning Gun allow you to finish quests. There’s also the Magnifying Glass which lets you collect clue tokens which aid in quests and finally the Jetpack, which allows you to move diagonally but also requires fuel to do so.
Once each player has chosen their intended item they then use that item simultaneously to move, get a stamp or whatever. It sounds weird to all do the actions at the same time, and we wondered initially why and ultimately decided to do it one at a time, but found after a few turns it sped things up immensely and didn’t harm anything doing it at once. Once actions are taken the items are returned to the center of the table, the 1st player marker moves to the next person and you do it all again. First person to collect all the stamps and get back is the winner!
Race to Adventure is ultimately a relatively light game, there’s really only two places to enact any strategy. The order you pick items can be hugely important, as once you get down to the end of the game you can bet people aren’t going to let you pick the items you need if you choose after they do, which means you might get stuck in a location waiting for the first play marker so you can choose first. Careful planning on what to hit when can let you work around that.
Secondly is as far as how the tiles are laid out each game. In fact, that’s really the coolest part about the game, the huge variety in strategies that would need to be employed depending on what locations popped up where. In just our play through it became obvious very early on what places needed to be hit first and which you could wait on. Additionally, I made a miscalculation on which place to tackle last and ended up losing the game because of it. It wasn’t luck or bad design that did me in, but a flawed strategy. I can respect that.
While I don’t think the game is Earth-shatteringly awesome, I don’t really have anything negative to say about it either. It seems to be intent on being a faster-paced light game and it truly succeeds in this regard. It’s not build to be a deep intricate game, and it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. We found ourselves wondering about the backstories of the characters you play as (one of them is an Ape named Kahn for crying out loud) and it would’ve been nice to have some substancial flavor text in the rulebook or on the character cards to sort of fill out the world. But that’s only an issue because the art is so evocative that you sort of want to know more.
Wondering if Race to Adventure is good for you and your group? Feel free to ask us questions about the game below and we’ll be sure to try and help you out.
Played Race to Adventure before? Let us and the other readers know what you think about the game in the comments!