THE GRAND TOUR GAME
Marcin Wojcik, USA, 2014
I first heard of this game on Kickstarter at the end of 2013 (thanks for the tip, Hans) but it did not reach the goal (by far, I must add). However, the game has been eventually released a few months later.
The game consists of a three stage race, the second of which is a time trial and is run on a different track (printed on the flip side of the board). The first and third stages are run on the same board, but starting on different ends of the road, so they are different stages after all.
Board for stages 1 and 3
Board for the time trial stage
The rules are quite simple, suitable for a family game. It is basically a roll-and-move game, peppered with game cards that are drawn at every game turn and that that add some tactical edge to the race. During the time trial stage players do not draw cards but may still use those saved from the first stage.
However, what makes this game special is the wy it addresses the issue of doping. Besides the normal "Grand Tour" cards there are the "Feed Zone" cards, which are drawn when riders end their turn on the "Feed Zone" spaces on the board. When I opend my copy of the game ansd I looked at the Feed Zone deck, I could not believe my eyes: Endurance drinks, caffeine, testosterone, secret pills... even EPO!
I quote from the game's website: "sometimes the team manager might put some illegal performance enhancements and that will be up to you what would you like to do; use them and gain advantage over other riders or race clean and refuse to use it." Of course, using these cards is not without risk, a rider might get caught: there are some random drug tests in the "Grand Tour" card deck.
Although the game is supposed to be a family game, I am not 100% sure it is suitable for all young kids (or for all parents, to be more precise). However, I see no problem with it. I am not a political-correction freak.
By the way, I can remember just one other game in which riders can take advantage of doping, Homas Tour (and that featured was replaced when the game was reissued as Um Reifenbreite).
Regular "Grand Tour" cards
Potentially controversial "Feed Zone" cards
The small plastic riders were designed specially for this game, if I have understood it well. They may not look so different at first sight (al least in size and colours) from the usual plastic riders found in so many games, but they are better, This, along with the sturdiness of the box and board, are a plus for this game.
Click here to go the the official game website
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