So, sometimes I play incredibly complicated games, and sometimes I just relax and play something quick and easy. Something like Fastrack.
In Fastrack, you and your opponent sit on opposite sides of the board, and you each start with 5 disks on your side. You also have an elastic band attached to your side of the board. Here are the complicated rules: using the elastic band, be the first player to flick all of the disks to your opponent's side of the board. Now, it's not as easy as it initially sounds - after all, there is only a small opening in the middle of the board to shoot the disks through. If you're able to shoot the disks over the middle divider, that's legal as well. Finally, if a disk shoots off the board entirely, it is out of play until the end of the round. That's it - now you know how to play.
Here's the first thing that I like about Fastrack - it's incredibly kid friendly. Now, I don't have children, so I'm not always the best judge of this. However, when I went over to a friend's house, his kid was playing Slithering-Jumping-Hissing Snake (oh, you don't know the rules to that one? They're fairly simple - you have to wriggle yourself across the floor... or jump... or even walk if you're not motivated. Oh, and you can hiss at people - and you definitely want to earn style points! But, really, there's no score keeping, so those style points just make you feel better.) Anyway, where was I - ah, yes, Fastrack. So, after I arrived and the very intense Snake game ended, I asked if he wanted to play Fastrack with me - the answer was yes, and we both enjoyed playing several rounds of it until I was ready to move on to the next game; he then played with the next person... and would have continued playing except that he had to go to bed. So, yes, I would say that I have tested this and that "kid friendly" is a very valid descriptor for this game.
Next, I really have enjoyed dexterity games recently. I realize that they're not for everyone, but if you're looking for something fast-paced that requires dexterity, Fastrack is a good choice. Most other dexterity games (like PitchCar) allow you to prepare for your turn and take your time, Fastrack is not like that. You have to be ready to go full speed the whole time.
Now for something interesting that I hadn't thought of when I first heard about the game. How hard is it to shoot your piece through the middle? Well, not too terribly hard. However, you have to be careful with this - keep in mind, you both have elastic bands. So, if your opponent is grabbing a piece and not covering his band while you shoot a piece at him a bit too powerfully, there's a good chance that it will bounce off of his band and come back to your side. This happens to me much more often than I would like - I need to work on shooting a bit more softly.
The only real "con" to the game is related to the nature of it - it is a very simple dexterity game. If you don't like dexterity games, fast-paced games, or non-strategy games, then why would you even consider playing this? For me, I enjoy Fastrack as a diversion, but it is not the kind of game that I will spend hours at a time playing. However, I will probably break it out and play a few games of it every now and then for a change of pace - and enjoy playing it when I do so. After all, it is relatively small and light, so it will be easy to carry to a gaming event and play when I have a few extra minutes.
Overall, I give Fastrack an 8.0/10. It is a fun, lightweight dexterity game that can be played just as easily with kids or adults. (Though kids might realize that it's much more effective to shoot all of the pieces off of the board rather than to your side of the board - this is actually a brilliant strategy. You've been warned.)
If you want to know some other opinions on Fastrack, you might check out Games With Two's Fastrack Review, or the Board Game Family's review of Fastrack (they even have kids!); or, if you want to read about other dexterity games, check out Crokinole, PitchCar, and Caveman Curling.
I would like to thank Blue Orange Games for providing me with a review copy of Fastrack.