PitchCar Review

PitchCar game in play

Have you ever read an internet blog about board game reviews? (I hope so, otherwise I'm writing this to myself.) Well, I do, and several of them told me about PitchCar. Now here I am - the proud owner of my own copy.

In PitchCar, you build your own race track, and then each player races to get around the track three times. Your car is a wooden disc that you move by flicking it along the track. If your car flips over, knocks another car off the track, or goes off the track itself, then you are placed back where you started (and if you knocked another car off, it goes back as well). If you start your turn next to a rail or another car, you get a little bit of wiggle room to make room for a good flick.  The first person to cross the finish line the third time is the winner!  That's all of the rules.

The first thing that I love about PitchCar are the rails. None of the other reviews mentioned them. I figured that the game would just consist of carefully navigating along the path, and that it might be a bit slow. Fortunately, there are rails along the pieces that are made well and really let your car fly around turns. The rails help the game be much faster paced and can allow a really talented "pitcher" to send his car halfway around the course in a single (amazing) hit!

The next thing that I like about PitchCar is that the track is customizable. If the track were the same each time, the game would get somewhat boring. I think it is really important to the game that this track is customizable. Along with that, however, I think that many people will enjoy setting up different tracks and (if using the expansions) building crazy ramps and such. In the same reason that people enjoy Legos, I think that people will enjoy the setup aspect of PitchCar.

Really, the biggest pro that you need to know about is that PitchCar is a lot of fun. It has that "it" quality that makes people enjoy playing it together. It can be played anywhere from 2-8 people, and I believe it truly can be enjoyed with any of those numbers. It's fast enough that you could play a quick game when you needed a break from something else, but it's also fun enough that you could set it up and play it off and on throughout an entire night. When looking for a game where fun is more important than strategy, PitchCar is definitely where you should look.

However, there are a couple of nuisances about PitchCar. First, I have noticed that in my set the rails often come loose. You will fairly regularly be fixing your track by pushing the rails back in. And, if you didn't proactively push the rails in, you might occasionally be annoyed because the rail came off when you hit it with your car, and it can completely mess up your shot!

The other thing that I will mention that is a con for PitchCar is that the first player has a distinct advantage - especially depending on the track. The "official" rules state that you should each go around the track once in as few flicks as possible to determine poll position. We normally determine poll position by letting whoever feels like going next take the next turn. If the first player is able to get a good first flick, and some of the other players have bad flicks, there will often be a large cluster of cars together that are really hard for late-turn players to pass - while the first player is flying along by himself (until he starts lapping people).

The last thing I will mention that you need to be aware of - it is crucial that you set up your track on a completely flat surface. When we first got the game, we set it up on our rug. It looked flat but it was not flat. Remember where I said it was awesome that you could customize the track? Here is the con of that - if you do not set it up on a perfectly flat playing area, then the intersection of different pieces will give you a speed-bump feel, and cars will constantly fly off the track, even when going slowly!

Overall, I give PitchCar a 9.0/10. I got my copy in a trade, and I'm glad I did - I love the game! With that said, it seems really expensive for what it is (I think the base game lists around $75!). Fortunately, I already own a copy, so I will play the crud out of it! Now, I just need to find a way to get all of the expansions - yeah, all of them... because I want them... all. Bottlenecks, jumps, crosses, etc!

If you like dexterity games, you might also check out Crokinole, Sorry! Sliders, and Elk Fest.

1 comment:

  1. My young cousins had this board game! But the problem was, some of the track pieces didn't fit EXACTLY to the next piece, so we took sand papers and scratched some of the edges just a little, and we got the perfect fit! My cousins still love playing this game until now.

    - Jean Raizel