VektoRace by Kaleidos Games – Review

VektoRace by Kaleidos Games - Review 1

"A good ol' fashioned racing game."

VektoRace by Kaleidos Games - Review 2

Theme and What is it?

*Note* Copy of the game provided by the publisher for review purposes.

VektoRace is a tabletop miniatures recreation of Formula Racing. You will control a car as it speeds around a set track course. Maintain and control your speed, nitrous, and the wear on your tires and you can win the day. You’ll need to map out the best angles for your course and watch for the other racers. In the end, careful planning, managing your car, and a bit of daring could net you the checkered flag.

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Gameplay Mechanics

VektoRace is a tabletop racing game. The goal is to control the first car to complete a set number of laps. To do this you’ll need to pay attention to a couple of things.

You’ll need to focus on what gear you’re in. The game begins you in third gear and you’re freely able to shift up or down one gear. By using nitrous or putting wear on your tires you can shift further. You make the decision to shift at the end of your turn forcing you to plan ahead and gauge how you think you’ll do next round. Premeasuring is also not allowed so you’ll have to eyeball the distance you need to go before deciding.

You can also spend nitrous to give your car a small boost. This can let you jump ahead of the competition or put you well out of place for the next turn.

VektoRace uses a set of templates to determine the distance you travel and how you can turn at the end of your movement. All movement done during your turn happens in a straight line. The only turning you do is how you angle your car at the end of your move. Each of the movement templates has a number of indicators that show the free turns that you can complete at any time. The also show special turns that require you put wear on your tires.

You go until you’ve completed a number of laps around a preset course. The track is made up of a series of corner pieces that show where you’re supposed to turn and which side of the marker you’ll have to pass.

First across the finish line wins.

 

There are also some mechanics for drafting and pushing against other cars. Rules for pit stops are also included to get your nitrous and tires back in line for more of the trick driving.

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Initial Impressions

I like racing games and the paper craft cars that come in the box are nice looking. I was interested in trying this because I’m always looking for a fun little race game.

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Game Build Quality

The cardboard templates and tokens that come in the game are quite nice. They’re all clearly labeled and decently think. The paper craft cars are nice, but a bit small for my large ham hands and I wasn’t able to put them together due to the delicate nature of some of the tabs. The end result of this was I ended up using Hot Wheels and the octagonal bases to represent the cars on my track.

 

As for the rules. Their rough. The English translation came off as stereo instructions and I had to go through them a couple of times to make sure I understood them. This was especially true of some of the more granular rules such as drafting. Some things aren’t explained well. It references how turn order may change between rounds but never says how. We assumed it meant that turn order was based on pole position in the race.

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Artistic Direction

The art on the cars was very nice. My father is a racer and I’ve grown up being exposed to all sorts of racing and cars. I have a feel for when a car looks like what an actual racer might have on his car. The cars here are top notch. I’m not sure if they’re based on real vehicles but I could easily believe it.

The graphic design on the templates and tokens is really nice. Everything is easy to read and you’re never lost trying to figure out what something says or does.

 

Kudos all around for the solid art.

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Fun Factor

This is a good ol’ fashioned race game. It’s all about who can plan their run the best and get around the track the fastest. There are some fun moments where passing one car based on when you draft and when you use the nitrous that can get pretty deep.

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Age Range & Weight

The box says 12+ and it’s a close one. Once you figure out the rules they’re not that complicated. Everything flows pretty easy and makes sense. The hard part for a younger player is balancing when to slow down and judging distance. I could see a younger player getting frustrated with this. However, if they work at it a little it can be very rewarding to figure out the different turns and such you’ll need to win. I would say shoot for 16 maybe 14 but if you’re willing to help and they’re willing to listen you could go younger.

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Conclusions

VektoRace was fun.

I liked how the game came together and how the mechanics worked to give you a sense of what decisions mattered. Planning your route and making sure you nailed the turns just right feels good.

The rules are a slog and some information is missing. There’s no ideal table space given. My first game was in a much too small space and the game was crowded and frustrating. Use a good size bit property to play. I’d recommend going at least three feet by five or four by four.

The game says it’s for up to four players. You have enough cars and token you could easily play eight but you’ll need to jury rig some starting position rules. I haven’t tried it with more than four but I like my race games to have lots of people and cars on the track. I feel it makes the game more exciting. VektoRace was fine with the smaller player count but I’d have liked to see an effort to accommodate larger tables. Even a set up variant in the rules would have been nice.

All in all, I recommend VektoRace. It’s fast and fun with only slight downtime between your turns. It is possible for a player to get bogged down in the end of turn decisions but it shouldn’t take long to get used to how the game works.

Outside the rules. I really liked the paper craft cars but they were just a little small for my fingers. I sort of wish there had been a better option for this. I get that it was done to keep the games cost down but I wish they’d been a little better thought out.

 

As always, try before you buy and I’d say give this one a go. Though maybe go through the rules before you visit your local game store or convention to try this one out.