Formula Fun offers a last man standing for racing cars. You need good cards, a bit of luck and stamina to win, because a race isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.

First and foremost, Formula Fun is one thing: simple. The start of the race succeeds quickly, which is not least due to the few preparatory steps. Each person gets the cards and cars of their color. Each person's cards are shuffled into a large common deck. In a two- or three-player game, each person plays with 3 cars, otherwise the third car is simply removed from the game.

Get started quickly

At the beginning of the game, each person places a car on the finish line and on space 9 (if there are two or three players, place one on space 8). Make sure that the cars are always in reverse order. So if green is in the front, it is behind it on the outside. (with 2 and 3 people you have to adjust it a bit). This is important because the cars on a field always take their turn from the inside out. Each person draws five cards from their hand and the race can begin.

Important: In the later races, the result determines your order. Whoever wins starts at the front, all others start behind them accordingly.

Everything is dark; Formula Fun - the night race. Photo: Nissel

Everything is dark; Formula Fun – the night race. Photo: Nissel

How is it played?

  • 1 double-sided game board (day and night)
  • 21 wooden vintage cars in 8 colors
  • 168 playing cards (24 per person)

You always start with the car in front. If there are several cars in a field, the inner car has the right of way. The person whose turn it is to play a car plays any card from their hand and moves the corresponding car. How far it moves is determined by the cards and the car's field. The simplest are the cards with only one number (in the photo on the left). Here you simply move the car forward by the spaces shown. You can play a turbo card (right) individually or in combination with a normal or another turbo card.

The turbo card adds 5 fields to the value of the other card. That sounds very cool, but there is a catch, because you can only draw one card from your hand at a time (even if you played two cards). This reduces your hand and you have fewer choices. Now we come to the normal cards (middle). These have two numbers, the maximum permissible speed (upper number) and the recommended speed (lower number, blue background). When you play such a card, you compare the top number with the number of the square you are currently on. If the numbers are identical, you move exactly these squares forward. 

If the numbers don't match, you only move forward by the lower squares. With one exception, that's 3 fields for you and less than if the top number were identical. The exception is the 1/10 card. Here you can always move ten spaces if you are not on the 1 space. 

The 3 card types in Formula Fun

If the draw pile is empty, shuffle the discard pile and rebuild it.

As soon as the first car crosses the finish line, the race ends. You take the rearmost car out of the game and place it on the inside of the race track on the appropriate space. Whoever is eliminated first goes on field 1, whoever is eliminated afterwards on field 2, etc. These fields correspond to the points that the car was able to collect in each case. Whoever wins the last race gets 4 bonus points and the loser of the last race gets 1 bonus point.  

Whoever then has the most points wins.

Again in brief: 

  • You move the cars one by one, starting with the car in front.
  • Cars that are inside have priority over cars that are outside
  • In each round you play a card (unless you also play a turbo card) and draw a card. 
  • If the maximum speed corresponds to the field you are standing on, you move forward by this number.
  • If the maximum speed does not correspond to the field you are standing on, you move forward by the recommended speed. 
  • As soon as the first car crosses the finish line, the race is over and you use the positions for the new grid.
  • The last car is taken out of the race and placed at the edge of the track.
  • The game ends when only two cars remain in the race and one crosses the finish line.
Material Formula Fun: On the left the wooden cars in seven colors and on the right some of the cards. Photo: Nissel

Material Formula Fun: On the left the wooden cars in seven colors and on the right some of the cards. Photo: Nissel

Game variants at Formula Fun

night race

This course has to be shortened a bit because the lower 2-field is missing. There is also a bottleneck with the lower 7 field. Only one car can be on this space at a time. If a car is parked here and a car behind would drive by, it must park behind the car and the rest of the movement is lost.

racing team

In this variant, the respective cards are not shuffled together, but each person plays with their own deck of cards. This makes the game a bit more tactical, because you can better estimate which cards are still in your deck and theoretically everyone has the same chances. 

Sprint

Theoretically, you can only run the race for one lap. But I find that a bit boring, because the game is over very quickly and you couldn't really tactic.

Opinion on Formula Fun

I really like Formula Fun. At first it was a little strange that a race is already over when the first car crosses the finish line and it goes straight to the line-up for the next race. What sounds very short at first offers enough depth for tactics and strategies. The most important thing here is to keep the overall race in mind. Sometimes it makes more sense to keep good cards, even if a car doesn't have a good starting position in the next race. But you shouldn't sacrifice a car too lightly either, because the more cars you have, the more cards you can play and get new ones - this increases the chance that you'll get good cards. 

The team cards are a particularly cool Easter egg. Each team is thematically based on one of the franjos games. Turtle Racing Team remembers that Turtle races near Mahé, Mountain Sprinter to that Mountaineering at Can't Stop

We never played the short variant over one round, simply because it seemed way too short to us. The appeal of Formula Fun is to plan for the long term. Most of the time we played with a common deck of cards. This has certain advantages and disadvantages. But I liked that you have more cards to choose from overall - hoping to get more of the good cards. On the other hand, this can also backfire, because you also have no guarantee that you will draw a good card. In one game I started with 2 turbo cards and very quickly drew a third. On the one hand I wanted to save the cards for one of the later races, but on the other hand it also blocked my deck. If you use turbo cards in combination with another card, you have to take into account that your hand cards will be reduced. This reduces your chance of getting a card with the right maximum speed. 

The back also has an interesting feature with the bottleneck that can be used tactically.

The only drawback: In larger groups it can happen that one person loses both cars quite early and is eliminated from the game. But then a lot of bad luck has to play into it. In general, however, fewer and fewer people will be involved in the end. But since the laps are quite short, we never found that to be a problem.

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franjos Formula Fun - classic car racing with maps franjos Formula Fun - classic car races with maps * 55,63 EUR

Last updated on 3.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API