Cars: Cool Twists Starter Game Set is a game designed by Vitaly Silaev, published by Zvezda. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will journey into the world of Disney’s Cars as they race around the track 3 times. The first player to cross the finish line will be declared the winner.
To begin, each of the cars must first be assembled with stickers placed on them. There’s a rather detailed process that is explained in the instructions for each model kit. Once the models have been put together, the racetrack must be set up as described in the rulebook. Alternate configurations may be set up once player’s have learned the basics. Each player chooses a character and places the model on the starting line of the track. The special ability tokens are divided into 3 piles by color. All tokens are turned face down and each pile is mixed up separately. A green token is then placed on each green space on the board. Once set up is complete, game play can begin.
On a player’s turn, they will roll the die and move their character model forward that many spaces. Players can choose which lane to land in for each step of their movement. If the character lands on a space that contains a special ability token, they are able to pick it up and can use 1 token on their turn. There are also other special spaces that will either help or hinder the racers. The boost space allows the player to get a free turn. The oil slick causes the player to lose a turn. Once a racer finishes the first lap, the yellow special ability tokens are placed on the track. When a racer finishes the second lap, the blue tokens are placed on the track.
There are 5 different types of tokens that can be acquired while racing. The aggressive behavior token allows a racer that lands on the same space as another player to cause the other player to be removed from the race for 1 turn. The careful racing token is used before rolling and allows the player to chose to move from 1 to 4 spaces. The undercut token is used before or after a move and allows a racer to cause another player to lose a turn if they occupy a space beside their character. The evade token can be used when it’s not your turn and keeps your character from being affected by either another special ability token or character ability. The last token is the engine breakdown. It causes the player in first place to lose a turn. Each character also has a special ability that they can use. The players must check the rules for the information on each character.
There is also a racing team option. This is what the character cards are for. Basically what happens with this is that 3 other cars are chosen to make up the racing team and each character takes one of the jobs that the card indicates. Those jobs are tactic, mechanic and fan. Each one gives different abilities that can help a racer out. Of course that is only if this option is used with more models. Once a player crosses the finish line on their third lap, the game is over and that player is crowned the winner. With more players, you will keep going until the second and third place racers cross the finish line.
There are some neat looking pieces to this game. The racetrack is rather big and is made of really thick cardboard. I really like the design and the ability to change up the course as you like. The special ability tokens are thick cardboard as well and look nice with appropriately themed art. The die is just a normal die. The character cards are thin and flimsy but look nice with the character’s image on the front, along with their job stats. The character models are made of plastic and must be assembled before you can play. They are snap together and do not require the use of model glue….thankfully. When I was younger I tried assemble some of those snap together models, unsuccessfully. I just wasn’t any good at it. These aren’t that hard but it’s still mildly annoying to have to put them together before you can play the game. This greatly affects the first setup time too. In any case, you just need to be aware of this before telling your kids that they’re gonna play a new game. It could lead to a bit of frustration for you and them.
8 out of 10
The rulebook contains information in a couple other languages. It’s really nice and neat and in full color. It has lots of pictures and is well made. You will only use about 8 pages of the book though. The main parts you’ll need will be for the setup, character abilities and tokens. Once you’ve played the game a couple of times, you shouldn’t need the rules that much. The 2 pages of character abilities assume that you will purchase the other character models for use with the game. You’re certainly welcome to do that if you like. I really wish that the player abilities had been printed on the character cards as well as in the rules. It would have made it much easier for referencing. Another thing that would have been nice would have been a player aid for the tokens, but as I said earlier, you’ll figure it out after a couple of plays.
8 out of 10
The game is pretty straight forward. You roll the die and you move forward. The next player rolls the die and they move forward. Pretty basic gameplay. The only saving grace is the tokens and character abilities. Without these included in the game, this game would have been a waste of space and time, even as a kids game. There is a little bit of strategy in knowing when best to use your tokens to help you out. Of course, with a roll and move mechanic, you’re looking at a very luck based game. What can I say, dice usually hate me. Even so, I still found a little bit of enjoyment from this game. The kids seem to like it pretty well. That gives it at least a little bit of respect from me. In any case, I can at least give it a passing grade for the kids.
8 out of 10
Cars: Cool Twists is a very light racing game that kids will really enjoy. If you have kids and they like the Cars movies, then they will definitely like the game. I really wish there had been more characters with the game, as you only get 2 in the base box. The others have to be purchased separately. I’m threatening to break out the matchbox cars and have Lightning Mcqueen and Francesco face off against Batman. We’ll see who gets left in the dust then. This is a neat little racing game that the kids will love and the grown up can stand. I seriously didn’t mind playing it at all. It’s never gonna be a game that I take to game night with the guys but around the house, it works. Do yourself a favor and pick one of these up for the kids. It beats playing Candyland for the hundredth time.
8 out of 10
For more information about this game and various other models, please check out Zvezda at their site.