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Our family is always on the lookout for tabletop games. Whether it’s a fun card game, a classic board game or something new or unusual, we enjoy sitting down and playing. So, I often find myself perusing board game sites looking for something we might enjoy.
And so, about a year ago, I was looking at BoardGameGeek and found a great looking racing game on that was called PitchCar. It looked great and people were raving about it, but the price was outrageous – one of the page sponsors was offering the game for nearly $140. Oh well, I thought, looks like fun, but not at that price.
But I couldn’t get the game out of my head. Month after month, it itched my brain, so I started looking for cheaper prices. I finally found one at half the price, including shipping and bit the bullet and ordered. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year. We have spent countless hours playing this game and will likely spend many more in the months to come.
PitchCar is simple. The box includes 16 pieces of track, both straight and curved pieces, and 8 wooden disks, which serve as the cars. The quality of the entire set is outstanding. You build a circuit like one in the instructions or make up your own. Add the plastic barriers to each track piece to help keep cars on circuit and you’re ready to go.
The rules are pretty basic. Each player chooses a piece and flicks his pawn to advance around the track. If you flip your piece or go off the track, you lose your turn and return to your previous spot. If you knock someone else off, you lose your turn. Other than that, first one to cross the finish line after an agreed upon number of laps, wins. Vague rules are great, because they allow for plenty of home rule interpretations, like adding a die to randomly cast mechanical failures.
My kids love this game because they regularly beat me. A little of that is by design, but luck and smaller muscles are a definite advantage here. It took me a bit to gauge how much flicking power I needed to advance my car without careening off a barrier and rolling my piece beneath a sofa. We’ve left PitchCar set up for weeks at a time and, as I wander through the house, I often find my kids playing an impromptu game. Plus, set up a track on an open table during a party and you’ll be surprised how many adults gravitate to the game – and play all night long.
There are a number of extension kits you can purchase to expand your circuit, including pieces that allow for jumps, tunnels and chicanes. A miniature version of the game is also available. Buy enough pieces and you can build F1 circuits. (Although, I doubt Eau Rouge on my kitchen table will be as daunting as at Spa.)
PitchCar was previously known as Carabande, which you might be able to find used versions of that game for a much cheaper price, but be warned, the track pieces are not compatible with one another.
If you have the opportunity to play PitchCar – don’t pass it up. It’s great fun and, should you decide to take a chance like I did, it’s definitely worth the price.