I first came across Dragon Racer after seeing a series of images from the game on Imgur. Intrigued, I shot a quick email off to Thylacine Games to see if they’d be interested in a review. I’ve now had a chance to sit down and play this one with my kids, and am very glad I followed up on my gut instincts.
Dragon Racer is about just that, racing dragons. Each player will have a team of 3 dragons that they need to “Fire Up” each round and move across the board. This is done with a card drafting mechanic. Each turn players draw cards and have a draft, trying to get the correct cards they need to power up their racing team. As you play more and more dragons get shuffled into the draw deck, gradually getting more powerful. Each dragon a player can “Fire Up” provides movement around the board. Players can then swap out weaker dragons on their team for more powerful ones they received during the current round. There’s also a boost mechanic that lets you score some extra movement if you have more dragons from a certain racing area than other players.
There’s also an attack system where you can make it harder for other players to “Fire Up” their dragons, and variable player powers. Some characters give movement bonuses if certain conditions are met during a round. One even lets you field 4 dragons on your racing team instead of 3. The winner of the game is the person who’s gone the farthest around the track after 7 turns.
The game has a good amount of depth to it, and the basic rules are very easy to grasp. The best part? It plays in 15 minutes.
Dragon Racer is beautiful, and underneath the makeup is a damn good game. You can snag a production copy of the game for $30, or a print-and-play version for $7, over at the Dragon Racer website.
A copy of Dragon Racer was provided free for review by Thylacine Games.