Monday, October 9, 2017

Village Run, the gamer version of a Denny’s placemat

Village Run is a simple little print-and-play game, a children’s race game that adds just a touch more depth than rolling and moving your pawn.

Not counting the pawns, the whole thing is on one sheet of paper. An 19-space circular race track, the rules, the circular speed meter and the power-up chart. So, this is a super easy, no construction build.

Village Run is a race. Choose how many laps you want the race to be and whoever comes in first wins. Every player gets two pawns. One goes on the track and the other goes on speed meter. On your turn, you can keep the same speed or try and move up the speed meter, which is 0-1-1-1-2-2-3, by rolling a die. 

The two restrictions are you can only stay on three for two turns in a row and you have to roll if you’re on zero.

The twist in the game is the power-up boxes. There are five of them spread out on the track. If you land on one, roll the die and consult the chart. Do nothing, move one space, move one space, reset an opponent to zero, switch places with the leader and take another turn.

Clearly, the basic strategy is to hit as many power-up boxes as you can. There’s an odd dichotomy between the speed meter, which flattens out the randomness, and the power-up chart, which ramps it up.

Okay, let’s be honest. Village Run isn’t very interesting. The game is pretty random and the effects of the power-up chart can get repetitive. I’m not even sure how well it works as a children’s game.

You know what Village Race really reminds me of? The gamer interpretation of one of those roll-and-move games that you used to find on children’s placemats at restaurants. (They seem to have been replaced by coloring pages in my experience) So that’s actually what I’ve done. Using the laminator, I made the game into a place mat. Don’t know if it will actually see use but it seemed like a fun idea.

I don’t think Village Run is a good game but I do think the speed meter and power-ups are interesting ideas. Being a free file with no construction is also nice.

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