You're screaming down the straight away in top gear when suddenly, up ahead, you see three cars side-by-side blocking your way. Do you step on the brakes, damaging the brakes and tires or downshift to third, using extra fuel and damaging your brakes and engine?
These decisions and many more are part of the world of Formula Dè racing. At first look, the game appears to be simply roll and move, but in reality it's a mix of planning moves, managing resources and taking risks. The game comes with six movement dice ranging from a four-sider with the numbers one and two for first gear, up to a 30-sider with the numbers 21 to 30 representing sixth gear. The key is to shift gears smoothly in single increments while keeping up with the race leaders and anticipating future events.
While sounding easy, the world of Formula One racing is not putting the car in sixth gear and speeding around the course. The tracks have numerous turns that require a great deal of speed control. Formula Dè builds this in by rating each bend by the number of game turns you must take to negotiate it. If you come to the curve too fast, you must evaluate your remaining resources (tires, brakes, fuel and engine) to see how you can use them to safely negotiate the turn and avoid a spinout. If you start downshifting too soon and take the turn at too slow a pace, you'll be left in everyone else's exhaust.
Many other factors in the world of racing are also built into the game. Engine damage can occur whenever you max out (i.e., throw the highest number) in fifth or sixth gear. Collisions can accidentally occur if cars move together too tightly. Tires can be replaced by pulling into the pits. Starting at either the beginning of the race or when coming out of the pits can have different of success. Finally, advanced rules add such factors as slipstreaming, weather conditions, tire selection and debris in the road.
In general, the more cars on the track, the more interesting the race. While up to ten can play, it's also enjoyable for two to five with each person running in two car "teams."
Boldo's is always willing to run an in-store gaming league. Contact us if you would like to put the petal to the metal and try your hand at the Formula One circuit.