Time to take a look at a totally rad game that is, like, a blast from the past. It’s
Lazer Ryderz is a new game from designers Anthony Amato and Nicole Kline, published by Fabled Nexus (an imprint of Greater Than Games). It’s a 2-4 player racing game where players are shooting around a table trying to be the first to grab three prizms. And before I get started, let me just say that autocorrect hates me right now – there are a lot of Zs where there should be Ss in this game.
The game comes with an initiative tracker, 4 turn order tokens, one d6, 4 character stands with sliders to track speed, 96 lazer pieces, 12 character-specific prizms, 4 neutral prizms, 4 launch pads, and the box that makes the whole thing look like an old VHS box set. I’m not kidding.
To set up the game, each player gets one set of lazer pieces, prizms, and a character stand (each set can be conveniently stored in one of the VHS boxes). The four neutral prizms are set up in the center of the table. After this, players then determine where they’re starting on the edge of the table and holding up a number of fingers to indicate what gear you want to start in. This is done with your eyes closed, and if two people pick the same gear, they stall out and have to start in first gear. You then assign turn order based on who is the fastest, with ties broken by who is the raddest (or closest to the person who is raddest – they start with the initiative marker).
On your turn, you first decide to shift up a gear, down a gear, or stay in the same gear. This is important for the types of maneuvers available to you. Each gear has straights and turns (soft and hard), and higher gears can go farther. Next, place one of the pieces from your chosen gear. Note that you may not measure or try out your options. You just have to eyeball it. When everyone has gone for the round, pass initiative and redistribute turn order. Paths remain on the board.
At the end of a turn, if a player has crossed a prizm, it is replaced with one of their character’s specific prizms. You need three to win the game. If you replace a neutral prizm, give it to another player to toss back on the board. If you replace another character’s prizm, they get it back.
If at any point you cross another player’s path, you have crashed. Remove your entire path from the board (you can keep any prizms you captured) and you’ll start the next round from the edge again, just as in the beginning. The player you crashed into also removes their path up to the point where the accident happened. This is a good way to get pieces back.
As mentioned before, the game continues until someone has collected three prizms. They win.
This game is like so totally 80s. Everything from the packaging, the marketing, and even the theme of the game is supposed to evoke some nostalgia. The game can mostly be described as Tron the board game, and it seems REALLY fun. It looks like it requires more spatial awareness than anything, and that there won’t be too much strategy involved. Still, it seems like a lot of fun and this is one I’d really like to check out sometime. Hopefully I find a copy out in the wild.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!