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Gumball Rally

A fun go-kart race for 3 to 8 players

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Gumball Rally

Gumball Rally

Image courtesy of Z-Man Games
I need to start this review with a disclaimer: the designer of Gumball Rally, Ted Cheatham, is a personal friend. He was one of the founders of the gaming event Gulf Games, and it's because of his friendship that I got invited to attend.

But that just explains why I was willing to try Gumball Rally and not why I like it as much as I do. The reasons I like it are as follows...

Why Gumball Rally is a Good Children's Game

  • Gumball Rally plays well with 5-8 players, and there aren't a lot of games (children's games or otherwise) that fall into that category.

  • It plays quickly and cleanly.

  • It works really well with mixed audiences of kids and adults, or with all kids if you have an adult to "run" the game.

  • There are opportunities for clever play, but no real way to target another player.

Racing Go-Karts on Your Table

This is a race game (go-carts, evidently) which uses relative position in the pack rather than a track/board to simulate the race environment. Players are working to be in the front of the pack when they reach the checkpoints (there are two of them) and the finish line.

The game comes with chunky cardboard "car" pieces - which is good, since you set cards on them & slide them about. In fact, that's pretty much how the game works:

  • Play one of four suits of cards on your car, then
  • Pass every car that has a lower number on their card or has the same suit you played.

At the end of the round (everyone plays in race order), a special event card is drawn. Most of them send the player with the highest card in a particular suit to the back of the pack, although some send all the players who played a particular suit to the back.

Tucked into this deck are the checkpoint and finish line cards as well. When one of them is drawn, you score for being in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. At the finish, 4th place also scores. Based on the points accrued for each checkpoint/finish, the player with the most points is the winner.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but Gumball Rally just works like a charm with larger groups.

Details

Gumball Rally is for 3 to 8 players, ages 6 and up. It was designed by Ted Cheatham and published by Z-Man Games.

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