May the best roller coaster win at capitalism! From Pandasaurus Games comes Roller Coaster Rush, a game where you and your competition work against each other to create the best roller coaster for your investor’s new theme park. Designed by Scott Almes with Art by Kristen Pauline and Design by Stevo Torres, this game will take you for a ride.
What’s In The Box?
- 4 Marbles
- 19 track pieces
- 4 launch pieces
- 19 blueprint cards
- 4 investor cards
- 9 showstopper cards
- 1 active player marker
- $1 and $5 coin tokens
Something especially nice is that the box has a layout guide that shows exactly where to put the track pieces back. Almost any game with large parts can get messy inside the box when they aren’t being used, so it’s nice to see that some extra effort and consideration went into designing the box.
How to Play Roller Coaster Rush
Roller Coaster Rush can be played with up to 4 people, but we played a two-player game for the purposes of this review. Before starting the game, put all of the coins in a pile to create the Bank. Each player receives $20, a marble, and an investor card with the ‘Uninterested’ side facing up. Shuffle each of the blueprint cards and deal them out to the players—when playing with two players, each person will get 6 blueprint cards. Players then acquire the track pieces that match their blueprint cards along with a launch piece and build the first iteration of their roller coaster.
Once the first player is chosen (we used the classic method of “youngest goes first”) the game can begin. Players can take one of two actions each round, Calling an Auction or Demoing for Investors. If a player chooses to call an auction, they choose one of anyone’s constructed blueprint cards to bid on. Each player secretly decides how much they are willing to bid on the piece, and whoever has the highest bid wins the piece and puts the money they bid in the bank.
The winning bidder then collects their blueprint card and flips it over to the constructed side. If the card is transferred from one player to another, the player who lost the card and the coaster piece may reconstruct their roller coaster any way they like, and the player who gained the card must add the piece to their roller coaster. After all is said and done, the winner of the bid and the player who lost their track piece can both flip their investor card to the ‘Interested’ side.
If a player’s investor card is flipped to the interested side, they can opt to demo their roller coaster for investors. Players roll their marble down the launch and gain $1 for each piece that the marble passes on the run (if the marble doesn’t complete the track, you may run it a second time and gain money from the better try). The investor interest card is then flipped back to the ‘Uninterested’ side, and the player’s turn is over.
The game ends when all blueprint cards have been auctioned off. Each player then rolls a marble down the track up to two times, and instead of gaining money from investors, they gain victory points based on the number of flags on each piece that the marble rolls past. The player with the most victory points wins, and in the case of a tie, the player with the most money left over can claim victory.
Roller Coaster Rush has all the potential to be an excellent time, and while it doesn’t quite live up to that, it’s still fun for a couple of rounds at a time every once in a while. Maybe it’s just because the words “roller coaster” invite a lot of excitement, but things can drag out in this game after a while, and that sort of clashes with the vibe it’s trying to set. That doesn’t drag my like of it down too far, though. The quality of the pieces is pretty good and the art and graphics are lovely, and when things are fun they’re really fun.
Overall, Roller Coaster Rush might not be the best game to play over and over again in quick succession, but it’ll still be fun to bring out every once in a while.
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Images and Review Copy Courtesy of Pandasaurus Games
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