I have to confess that I have no great love for racing games in general. For me, those that don’t focus on the race per se are far more interesting and successful (like Royal Turf) than those which try to recreate something that is really all about reflex and endurance. For me, they all feel like an exercise in getting the right roll/card more than being able to recognize a key moment and take advantage of it. Well, that was true until now…
I’ve been talking a lot about Thunder Alleyin the last few weeks and with good reasons. Not only is it relatively easy to explain, it also accommodates up to 7 players and keeps everyone on their toes. I never thought I’d say this about a racing game, but it’s quickly is making its way in my top 10 of the year, if not top 10 of the last ten years (I should do such a list at some point). Why is that? well, let me tell you all about the NASCAR game that wasn’t a NASCAR racing game…
I’m not a car guy. It’s not even that I’m not a fan of cars or that I don’t follow car culture, it’s that I don’t enjoy racing video games, boardgames or just watching it on tv. Heck, I don’t even have a driver’s license. Now, I know a little bit about cars (I did work in a gas station, which was odd), but they just don’t interest me.
So why my interest in Thunder Alley? Well, it is a GMT Games publication and as such, does suggest that there will be a little more tactics, a little more strategy than just a simple racing game. The designer was also familiar to me (he also did Manoeuvre), which had some interesting twists on old mechanics. Also, it promised an interesting experience for 2 to 7 players. I don’t have many games that can handle the higher player count, so if the game promises to be fun and simple, I’ll at least give it a go.
I’ve been playing around with video for a little bit now, trying different formats and things such as the TimeLapseReplayseries and various attempts at reviews (haven’t posted any of them). One area that I wish there were more, shorter videos out there are video tutorials. Now, there are some very nice efforts, but I find most of them to be too long. So, here’s my attempt.
What you have here is a tutorial (or “Sit Down and Let me Teach you How to Play”) of Thunder Alley (GMT Games) by Jeff and Carla Horger. I was very curious when I first read about this game since I am *not* a racing fan and was hoping that this would be more interesting. Well, after one game, I can tell there’s something really interesting here. The game is fairly simple, but there’s a lot of fun to be had. Expect a full review as soon as I can get 2-3 more games in, and believe me, with the kind of impression this game made on first play, it shouldn’t take too long!
I realize that it is a little rough around the edges, but it’s a good first try. It came out a little longer than I wanted and I figure that with time, I’ll get better. I certainly hope that I’ll stop dropping my S’s! Only when you watch/listen to a recording of yourself to you see how many little mistakes you make!