WBG Score: 7
Player Count: 1-4
Published by: Good Days Games
Designed by: Jesse Conger
It's the year 2182. Things haven't quite gone to plan with the world and the entire Galaxy has been taken hostage by an Alien race called the Zillian. Historians look to world leaders from the 2020's as the starting point. (Ooh! Political!) And now, all that stands in the way of total annihilation is you! As thankfully, the leader of the Zillian race Twisted foOk has decided to host one final race, seemingly just to give you the chance to take him out! But a lot will stand in your way, including the other players around the table.
Escape Deathrace 2182 Micro successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2021, and is now available to buy direct from the publisher here. A free copy was provided to WBG for our unbiased opinion. Before you make your choice, lets get it to the table.
Each player first needs to choose a character to play as. There are six choices and each one offers unique player powers. Once you have made your choice, take the character card, dice and car (if you have the upgraded components) and coloured cube. Add your health clip to the 20 marker on your card and give each player one of each of the four weapon drop tokens, one random power card and one Magic Monkey Wrench card. Then take the race tiles and remove the starter space and final boss space. Shuffle the other cards and place them face down next to the face up starter space. You are now ready to play.
How to Play
On you turn, you will either roll the D4 dice, or draw one card from the four D4 cards. The deluxe version comes with dice, but you can always add your own if you don't get this version. Your card draw or roll will show you how many cards you are placing to extend the race track, and then how many spaces you must move on the track. You need to battle your way past obstacles, other players, and three mini bosses to get the final end game boss. Once all bosses are dealt with, it's then a battle to the death. The last player remaining wins.
If you ever move past or land on a space of another player, battle ensure. Either via a drive by attack or battle. There are hazard spaces, fires to navigate, and the bosses. All off which are resolved via the roll of a D4. The D4 cards show the resolution of all events based upon your roll when you encounter them.
If you encounter a track space with a Route 82 symbol on you must draw the top card of the Route 82 deck. These will create a varied series of events you must follow through, sometimes taking damage, other times give you a chance to heal.
In the battle with the bosses you can roll the D4 to attack. Play one of your four weapon drop tokens, or use one of your power cards. Each player will start one one randomly assigned power card, and when used they must be dis-guarded. But the player who strikes the final blow to any boss can draw one new power card, as well as take one extra weapon drop tiles.
The whole process feels chaotic, in a fun way! And each games plays quite differently, especially with the unique player powers each character has. Some allow you to become immune to certain attacks, others increase your own attacks, or reduce attack strengths on you. It's one big messy fight, and I love it.
What this game is not though, is a race. Now that may be disappointing when looking at the name, and the fact that you are laying out a race track and using race cars. Yeah, fair enough, you may think this is a race game. But there is no finish line. The game ends when all other players are dead. That's a brutal day at the race track!
But if you can move beyond the fact that this game is more of a fighting game and less of a race, you could well have a lot of fun. This tiny box is packed full of joy, and there is so much variation with the cards, characters, and variable layouts.
The designers have just announced a slightly bigger version which could be fun. But personally, I love the portability, quirkiness, and unique flavour the micro version brings.
Escape Deathrace 2182 Micro certainly is an intriguing little game. The theme certainly is absorbing. The characters asymmetric powers are rewarding, although perhaps a little unbalanced. And the game is quick, fast, and a lot of fun.