02 September 2022
Souped-up, low-powered mopeds
Full Throttle is a betting and drafting race game from prolific designer Friedemann Friese, with the novel theme of souped-up, low-powered mopeds.
Driving the action around the board’s simple circuit is a deck of racing cards, each one determining how far one of the six vehicles will move. Players don’t individually own any of the mopeds and instead play the part of spectators betting on the race. A number of racing cards will be drawn and activated each turn and, once movement ends, the small pile will be drafted. At this point each player will choose one card to retain as a bet with each card being worth a number of points depending on whether the corresponding moped finishes first, second, or third.
Clearly the gameplay and mechanisms in Full Throttle are minimal, and unfortunately the same can be said for the level of strategy, and ultimately, the fun-factor. Any open information that is available, for example the cards placed back in the deck after the draft, fails to hold enough strategic significance to keep players engaged. Furthermore, players’ bets are up against a substantial level of luck when considering the likelihood of mopeds stalling at chokepoints and behind each other, making the drafting phase feel slightly inconsequential. Decisions during the draft usually boil down to either taking a low value card and ensuring that your most valued vehicle doesn’t slow down too much, or snatching a high value to put the presumed bets of an opponent at a slight disadvantage.
Between all of this lacklustre decision-making, the race itself isn’t the most thrilling thing to watch – thanks in part to the uncertainty of your bets – whilst the full three repetitive laps take a lot longer to complete than expected.
Whilst the game’s simplicity at first hints at a potential mechanical elegance, in practice it feels slow rather than slick - an unfortunate trait to be tied to a quirky little race game.
PLAY IT? NO
Designer: Friedemann Friese
Publisher: Rio Grande Games
Time: 25 minutes
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This review came from Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.Get your magazine here
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