18 December 2015
If you take things that seriously, next you’ll be buying a yellow jersey.
Snake Eyes Games | Racing | £34.99 | 2-6 players | 60 minutes | www.cyclingparty.com
Some of the best tabletop games are those that can scale up for a range of abilities, ensuring that youngsters, adults, newcomers or experienced gamers can all tailor the experience to suit them. One of those games is most certainly the recently released Cycling Party, which can range from a quick 10-minute casual bike ride to a hardcore, punishing mountain climb that makes the Tour de France look like a breeze.
You take on the role of a team manager of a group of five or six riders. In the basic version of the game, you’ll pretty much be rolling dice just to see how far your cyclists move but in the more advanced rules you can assign roles to each rider, e.g. climbers who are better at going up mountains or sprinters who can speed past the opposition on the straights. Getting the right rider in the correct position during a race is key to victory and, just like a real bike race, there are numerous tactics involved and choices about when to try and break away from the pack to go it alone.
In terms of the course you’ll be riding, once again Cycling Party can be scaled up depending upon the amount of time you have to play or the experience of the players. There are 54 hexagonal tiles included in the box and these can be combined in a number of different ways to create short, fast courses or long, winding tracks with gruelling mountain sections. The tiles themselves are sturdy and nicely illustrated… although the first play is going to involve a lot of set-up as you remove all the tokens/tiles from their card.
Finally, to take things to the next level, there’s a master version of the game in which you can upload tours to the game’s website. If you take things that seriously, next you’ll be buying a yellow jersey.