Designer: Jean du Poël
Artists: Jean du Poël
Playing time: 30 minutes
Age range: 6+
(Image courtesy of Firepigeon@BoardGameGeek)
Finger flicking games have been around for a while, with the best example being Crokinole, but the most thematic is probably PitchCar (previously released as Carabande). Here the discs you flick represent cars, racing each other along a masonite track.
The rules are as simple as you’d expect. Players start by placing their discs at the start line of the track, and in turn flick the discs forward with one finger. The first trip around the track is a qualifying heat to determine the start order for the finals, then players send their discs around the track three times to determine the winner.
It’s surprising that a flick game with discs as cars could feel so much like a real race, but it does. You can block other players, try to pass on the outside, or zoom through a narrow gap to pull ahead. You can bump cars a little bit, but if you knock a disc off the track (whether it’s your own or someone else’s), you have to reset and lose your turn.
The track itself is modular, so you can have many different possible configurations. And if the track segments that come with the base game aren’t enough, you can pick up one of the many expansions. The first is probably the most flexible (though be sure to pick up the version with the jump), but just about any of them will add variety.
If there are downsides to PitchCar, it’s probably the cost ($50+) and the fact that it requires a lot of space to set up. As an alternative, you can get PitchCar Mini, which reduces both of these problems. The discs are apparently a lot smaller than PitchCar, so it might be better for kids than adults. But if you can, get PitchCar. It’s a great game, has solid components, is easy to learn and tons of fun.