We all like a bit of adventure in our lives, don’t we. Unfortunately, we can’t all be off on adventurous travels and exploits across the world and have to stick to finding a lot of our adventure in books and television. Television shows can show lots of adventure and one such television show that sees teams adventure across the world is the BBC show Race Across the World. I hadn’t heard of it until the board game of the same name arrived for me to review.
As it is a BBC show, with the power of the internet and iPlayer I was able to watch the show before playing the game to see what it was about. If like me, you haven’t seen the show it really is a race across the world and it is not as easy as you would think. Travellers are in pairs, and they have to race across the world, from the same starting point, same final destination, using any route that they like, whilst stopping at specific checkpoints along the way, but there is a catch – they cannot take any flights, it is travel by road, rail or boat, and they have no use of a smartphone (or any other electronic devices), no use of their bankcards, no Google Maps and only have cash equalling the price of the airfare to their final destination (this has to cover food, accommodation, travel and any other expenses), extra cash must be earned by taking on local jobs as they go. I really enjoyed watching the show and was looking forward to playing the board game version.
Now to the board game. The Race Across the World board game is a globe-trotting adventure game for 2-6 players, aged 8+, just like the TV show where the first to reach their final destination is the winner. Players, along with a travel companion, have to race from one destination to another without the aid of flights, electronic devices and only a set amount of cash.
In the box:
- Double-sided gameboard
- Pack of money: 50x £10, 50x £20, 50x £50 and 50x £100
- 4x 6-sided dice
- 62x Chance Cards
- 18x Job Cards
- 20x Accommodation Cards
- 9x Travel Companion Cards
- 6x Playing Pawns
There are two ways to play the game, a short version or long version. To set up the game, place the game board in the centre of the table. The game has a double-sided game board so you can play the game from London to Singapore (a longer game), as in series one of the TV show, or from Mexico City to Ushuaia, Argentina (a shorter game), as in series two of the TV show. Each player choses a coloured playing pawn and receives £900 in cash: 5x £100, 5x £50, 5x £20 and 5x £10. Each player randomly selects a travel companion from the travel companion cards. Place the Accommodation, Chance, and Job cards onto the allotted spaces on the gameboard.
Unlike a lot of board games on the market, the youngest player doesn’t get to start (which pleases the teenager in our house as she always finds this most unfair). The person whose birthday is next gets to be the starting player.
Now with the starting player decided, to start, each player selects the route they want to travel and pays the appropriate fare (this will also occur at each checkpoint along the route). Players then roll the corresponding-coloured dice for the selected mode of transportation to determine how far they have travelled. If you land on Chance, pick up a Chance card and follow the instructions. If you land on an Accommodation space, remember to pick up an accommodation card. If you are running out of cash, go to a Job space to earn some more cash (if you run out of money you must go backwards to the nearest Job space to earn some more). You need to work your way around the board, stopping at the checkpoints and try to make it to your final destination before the other players.
Overall, Race Across the World is a really fun game for family and friends. It is a game of luck, logic and strategy. As you have a travel companion, you don’t just rely on your own skills, you have to take into account the positives and negatives of your companion (they are outlined on your companion card) as they can help or hinder your progress on your travels across the board.
This is lots of fun to play with easy to understand rules. You travel through and across different countries using various modes of transport (boat, bus, train or walking). Travelling costs money but you do have the chance to earn more cash along the way to supplement your initial £900 starting money – if you run out of money you have to go back and earn some, delaying your race across the world.
It is a fun competitive game where you have to pick the best route across the board wisely, the quickest way (and more expensive way) isn’t always the best way, but the cheapest way can be slow but not necessarily the worst option, and a mix of the two just might see you victorious (especially if you spend your money wisely on accommodation). You do get chances to earn money along your route by getting jobs to pay for travel (and you will need to) and there are plenty of obstacles in the way to slow down your progress.
Race Across the World is an enjoyable globe-trotting strategy adventure game that we all enjoyed and had fun with. There is lots of strategic thinking involved, not just with the best routes to take but weighing up spending options, job opportunities and the strengths and weakness of your travel companion – you do have to be planning and thinking two steps ahead where you can. We really like the idea of the double-sided board for short or longer games, this makes the game much more interesting and playable.
A fun and entertaining tv show based board game, especially if you like strategy.