Race To The North Pole
Race To The North Pole is about getting your expedition members as quick as possible to the center of the North Pole. Is this the perfect game for a snowy winter’s night? Let’s find out!
The rulebook is written in a comic-book style and unfortunately the layout could have been a lot better. The rulebook consists mostly of big pictures with a lot of little text underneath them to explain everything that is mentioned in the display. It makes reading the rules a lot more complicated than it should be and nearly impossible to read the rules aloud because not everyone has the same picture in front of them.
When you struggle through the gamerules, you’ll discover that the rules are pretty simple: you always start at the basecamp on your side of the gameboard and you are trying to reach the middle of the board as quickly as possible.
To do that, you have 3 action cards available in front of you. But beware: after a certain amount of time a storm will hit the table and the whole gameboard will shift to the left or right, causing everything to move. When this happens, you will get a new set of actioncards, base camp and the layout of the route to the middle of the board will change.
The player who gets all his explorers first to the center of the board, wins the game!
When I first saw this game I was intrigued by the rotating gameboard and the nice looking rulebook. After playing the game, I’m not completely sure what to think about this game.
First of all: this game doesn’t feel like a racing game at all. You are just trying to get to the middle of the gaming board as quickly as possible. But because you can attack eachother during the beginning of the game, almost nobody can actually get there. If you are playing with 4 players it’s nearly impossible to reach the middle without being kicked off the board and having to start all over again.
After a certain amount of attacks, the attack rule disappears and everyone can no longer attack eachother directly. From that moment on, it’s a matter of using the right tools at the right time to gain the victory. It felt like the game fell apart in two phases: in the first phase everyone was attacking eachother and it was really hard to get to the North Pole. In the second phase it was almost impossible to block someone from getting to the North Pole and the only danger comes from an angry polar bear.
Second: the spinning gameboard is a great idea, but it doesn’t do a great job as the imitation of a storm. Yes, it’s annoying that your explorer get moved around the table a lot, but it doesn’t effect the game much. In general, the feeling of a race to the North Pole, isn’t really there.
It’s not a bad game, but the game didn’t deliver what I expected. My recommendation would be: try before you buy.
(+) nice artwork
(+) possibility to add own rules
(-) the game has a slow start
(-) it didn’t feel like a race to the north pole