Raceway 57: A surprising find for entry level gamers.

Raceway 57

Raceway 57 is a game that I found abandoned on a “Half Price Books” shelf in Nora, Indiana.  I really didn’t think much of it when I picked it up, but I have a soft spot for abandoned games and decided “What the heck, it’s only a few bucks”.  What I got in return was an interesting race game with more game play than I had originally estimated.

The physical design of the box is what originally turned me off.  The old-time feel of the imagery caused me to originally pigeon hole this game as an overly simplistic game, created to get a quick buck rather than provide an interesting game.  The pieces inside the box were slightly better than mediocre.  The plastic pieces were somewhat substantial, the dice were balanced, the cards were quality.  My only complaint was about an inconvenient typo on the “control dials”, a cardboard cutout with paper dials used to keep track of stats.   The box cover could certainly use a makeover to match the other contents.

The game is set up with a very careful balance of resource use and conservation.  The game is played using a combination of dice and cards.  Either can determine on a single turn how far your car goes.  However the more spaces you move on a turn the more other resources are depleted, such as gas, tires, and suspension.  Lose those and you could find yourself puttering along or totally out of the race.  This culminates in a very careful dance of speed vs. caution.

My major complaint is that the game required a good deal of luck in addition to its savvy resource management elements.  While this is to be somewhat expected, a series of lousy dice rolls was enough to take me from way in the lead to the back of the pack within just a couple of turns, with little to no hope of catching up.  But such is the way of dice based games.

Ultimately, I think this would be a great game for entry level gamers.  It played rather quickly,  the rules were simple and it did not leave me with an unsatisfied feeling when I was done.  This isn’t a game I am itching to play again, but I can certainly see it being pulled back out for more use, which is more than I can say for some abandoned games.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 9:48 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Luck and Betting Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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