Car racing games have always been popular with players of all ages. Rudy Games' new board game with app support “Crazy Driver” with its animal racing drivers particularly appeals to families with children or is suitable as an entertaining alternative for the board game evening. We dared to go on the action-packed analog racetrack with digital elements and encountered game mechanisms from the role-playing universe. How much fun the excursion into the Carrera racing world brought us, you can find out in the following review of Crazy Driver.


Already on the brightly colored shiny box of the racing game Crazy Driver you can see what the board game and its app are promising its players: crazy car races, animal drivers and scrambling on the racetrack. That of all things this board game from the trade association as one of five board games for the Top 10 toys nominated is hardly surprising.

Racing game connects app with analog tracks

The box is filled with plenty of content, in addition to 32 racetrack parts, there are 6 special field markers, 1 ski jump, 4 racing cars, 4 gear levers, 4 player boards, 37 wooden markers, 4 character cards, 1 movement die, 1 skill die, 4 action markers, 4 checkpoint markers , 21 speed limit markers, 1 target arch, 1 winner's cup, 1 quick start guide and access to the Crazy Driver app for Android and iOS to be set up on the table at home.

The app teaches the rules directly while playing - there is no long preparation phase. Photo: Marie Volkmann

The app teaches the rules directly while playing - there is no long preparation phase. Photo: Marie Volkmann

Players who were previously unable to imagine an app-supported board game will be surprised by how much analogue game material the racing game from Rudy Games brings with it. The Austrian publisher remains true to its previous line and is also shaping Crazy Driver Hybrid game, in which, although analogue games are played at the table, software supports the course of the game.

All elements of the board game have been well processed, the app for the game is very easy to use and the introductory video, which can be accessed via the app or YouTube, summarizes the rules of the game in an understandable and easy-to-understand way; Overall, the game material and the Crazy Driver app make a high-quality impression. We especially liked the realistically illustrated special field markers and the associated digital interaction sequences.

In the Crazy Driver board game, an app helps prepare for the car race. Image: Volkmann

In the Crazy Driver board game, an app helps prepare for the car race. Image: Marie Volkmann

Once the players have removed the game material from the cardboard sheets and downloaded the app for free, the game material is ready for use for the first game on the racetrack with little preparation. The brief instructions in the accompanying booklet and app are explained in an easy-to-understand manner and can even be understood by children aged eight and over. With the help of the app from Crazy Driver, players can turn the first lap against each other on one of the six possible racetracks without wasting a lot of time poring over a multi-page guide. With the luck of the dice, the racing drivers can go full throttle, drift through the curves and push their teammates off the track.

Meanwhile, fun, digital tasks provide amusement, such as rock-paper-scissors or operating a wood saw under time pressure. The mini-games are triggered via the racing fields - unless you have just been thrown off the track and are waiting for a racing car to be repaired. This is not optional, but an integral part of the game. Depending on the event, players may have to accept challenges outside of their cockpits.

Crazy Driver: Racing game with a quick start

Each of the players drives one of four different racing cars and embodies one of four selectable animal drivers who bring different bonuses. This means that every racing companion has special strengths in the fight against his opponents. The cat Flynn has a driver bonus that allows him to use two of his skills without a trial throw, while the rhinoceros Rocco comes with a bonus that pulls an opponent back by up to two spaces on the racetrack, while Leopard Jax is allowed to replace it a top speed test, move forward two spaces and Lama Layla can drop a body marker to swish past the others up to three spaces. The six possible racetracks that play in two different worlds are also exciting.

Each player slips into the role of an animal racing driver and can thus use an individual bonus. Photo: Marie Volkmann

Each player slips into the role of an animal racing driver and can thus use an individual bonus. Photo: Marie Volkmann

The racing worlds have the fantastic names “Fluffy Meadows” and “Orbiter 79”. In the rural Fluffy Meadows, players can look forward to a rustic lumberjack track - a lumberjack track, a jump 'n' run and a winding slinging track - Slinger Ring, while in the sci-fi world of Orbiter 79, a cosmic track with the risk of breakdowns - Star Glitch, a train whose name “Outer Rim” is reminiscent of Star Wars, and the “Little Dipper” train that sounds like a ride up and down the mountain.

Everyone embodies their animal "crazy driver"

Before the start of the Crazy Driver game, each player receives a character card from the game material, which specifies the exact skill values ​​of the animal driver, body markers that show the condition of the racing car, a gear lever for accelerating and a miniature racing car. Then the action cards are shuffled and provided along with the movement and ability dice.

The heart of the Crazy Driver board game is the accompanying app, which is by the players right from the start and shows, for example, how the board should be set up before the race. A race track consists of the individual sections of the track selected beforehand using the app, speed limit markers, action markers as well as checkpoint and special field markers that must be placed before the starting gun. In the course of the game, the app interacts with other players in a character-related manner.

A Carrera trophy awaits the winner of the Crazy Driver racing game. Image: M. Volkmann

A Carrera trophy awaits the winner of the Crazy Driver racing game. Image: Marie Volkmann

The course of the game in Crazy Driver almost always consists of three simple steps: shifting gears, determining the type of movement, executing and evaluating movement. As additional actions, a player can use his abilities, play an action card or use his driver bonus once per race. In order to use the skills, shifting, top speed, drifting and pushing, the players roll the skill dice, the evaluation of which is similar to that of many role-playing systems. The rule here is that the dice test is only successful if the rolled value is equal to or less than the skill value shown on the player board. If, on the other hand, the damage symbol appears on the die, the player's racing car suffers body damage.

This system adds a little depth to the racing game, even if Crazy Driver is generally very dependent on the luck of its players with the dice. An unlucky hand of the dice can become a hindrance to the race. Action cards are played using cards in hand; these cards can be picked up during the race using action markers on the racing field. Driver bonuses may only be used once per game, without any further requirements. This makes the racing game, for casual gamers and beginners alike, fun and unpredictable racing pleasure.

Animal racing game suitable for beginners

In a duel on the racetrack, damage to the racing car occurs again and again, which must be repaired via the app, if the player decides not to have it repaired, he threatens to fall off the racetrack. If the driver falls, it costs him valuable time before he can drive back to the racetrack at full throttle.

The player boards provide information about the skill values ​​of the racing drivers. Photo: Marie Volkmann

The player boards provide information about the skill values ​​of the racing drivers. Photo: Marie Volkmann

The special fields of Crazy Driver bring fun and annoyance to the players at the same time: The racing game offers from wood saws, which have to be operated in the mini-game, to ski jumps that have to be driven at full throttle using the app, or electrical impulses that have to be started cleverly With these fields a successful mix of analog board and digital video games. This also includes the task of the app, such as the common "make a squeaking noise" of all players and the checkpoint fields that start a digital rock-paper-scissors duel. The game continues until a driver drives into the target field and receives the Carrera trophy for victory.

Infobox

Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 30 to 60 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Rudy Games
Year of publication: 2020
Language: German
Cost: 34,90 Euro

Summary

Crazy Driver is by no means a complex racing game and depends on the luck of its players. But a trip to the animal racing world is definitely worthwhile for families with children and casual gamers, because the board game with digital app support offers a lot of entertainment potential. The simple rules and the comprehensible support of the app through the racing game allow you to get started quickly. The game material is of high quality and the app, which can be used without any further digital knowledge, looks appealing. The rules of the game are learned within a very short time, making Crazy Driver an ideal beginner's game. The animal theme of the racing game particularly appeals to children.

The advantage of this analog-digital combination is obvious: the game starts seamlessly after unpacking and poking out the material. Where “classic board games” require a preparatory phase, hybrid games use technological support to explain the game step-by-step while playing. Especially beginners and casual gamers benefit from it. In fact, the creative Austrians achieved a small coup with Crazy Driver: Not only did they get one of the strongest partners in the field of toy racing games with Carrera, they also managed to take the hybrid game niche with a title to fill, which is much more unusual than the previous Rudy Games games. In terms of play, Crazy Driver tends to tie in with the strong app concept from Leaders - A combined Game, an innovative version of a risk, so to speak. The app part is much more present this time than with titles like Lost Galaxy or Scubi Sea Saga. Not because you have to press around more on the screen, but because the content of the software part has a stronger effect on the actual board game. Instead of a mere accessory, the app is a real part of the game that carries the theme.

The mixture of digital mini-games, the luck of the dice and the strategic use of skills and actions is fun and encourages further races. Above all, the challenged luck with the dice and the opportunity to test your skills significantly enhance the game atmosphere of Crazy Driver, thanks to their unpredictability, and turn the well-known racing game genre, which is popular with players, into an action-packed adventure for families with children. The racing game is kept too simple for experts on the game board. One would hardly expect a kind of Rallyeman GT from a colorfully presented Carrera Crazy Driver anyway. Nevertheless: Even frequent gamers should take one or two funny moments from the title in a mixed round. Especially those hybrid gamers who also play one or the other round of Mario Kart and Co. on the console will hardly be disappointed with Crazy Driver.

Overall, Crazy Driver is an entertaining game for in between, which is fun thanks to the varied tasks, actions, skills and bonuses. In conclusion, it can be said that the animal racing game Crazy Driver is a recommendable and fun board game for families and casual gamers that knows how to show its strengths with the target group.


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Last updated on 26.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API