No of Players: 2+
Playtime: 20 to 60 minutes depending on track build
Genre: Card Game, Racing, Party Game
Disclaimer: The game we played was still in it’s early stages so rules/designs might change by the time it goes out to retail
Update: Playware has added many Social Media goals that includes new cards and racers as well. And if the game gets funded, they’re also looking to have a miniatures option. Currently they’ve unlocked asphalt tracks that will be printed on the reverse of tiles to give the game a more ‘race’ feel. Help them unlock more goals now!
Oddbods Go-Kards is Playware Studios’ 2nd Kickstarter game after their successful Avertigos – South China Sky campaign. Funding now on Kickstarter till Dec 12 2018, you can find their project here.
What’s It About?
Oddbods is a Singaporean-British CGI-animated kids television series that revolves around seven characters – Fuse, Newt, Pogo, Bubbles, Jeff, Zee and Slick – and their everyday antics. Based on one of the show’s episodes, Oddbods Go-Kards puts players in the role of one of seven characters and tasks them with doing whatever it takes to cross the finishing line first. Whether through sheer determination, or the usage of permanent Power-Ups, Special one-time use tactics or speed-boosting Dare Cards, Oddbods is essentially a tabletop version of Mario Kart and other popular cartoony racing games made surprisingly accessible and fun by its colorful and simple presentation but also by the surprising amount of complex outmaneuvers players can exploit to gain an advantage over the other.
Players set up their racecourse using Track Tiles and Corners. Each Tile contains a number of different spaces made up of different colours, each with their own unique effect. Corners house a very powerful effect that can be utilized when players land on it. With the ability to connect the Tiles and Corners in any combination, GoKards offers an exceptional amount of replay value and the capacity to scale its difficulty according to the player group’s skill level.
Once setup is done, players pick their drivers and get ready to race. Each player is then dealt 3 cards which are either Movement Cards, Dare Cards, or, in the case of the Advanced Game mode, Special Cards, which confer powerful bonuses but only if specific conditions are met. Players then take turns to move their pieces around the field, playing 1 Movement and 1 other card per turn unless a Dare card is activated. Players can also turn in cards in their hand for their coin value (indicated on the card) to buy a useful permanent Power Up card from the shop, forcing players to plan their moves or builds in advance. Player turns are then carried out until someone manages to cross the finish line.
Both Brandon and Bryan went down to Playware Studio’s office to try out the game with Sean, the game’s co-designer. They played a simple square track setup and used the advanced ruleset. The following is their thoughts on the game.
What were your thoughts on the setting of the game?
Brandon: I’ve little to no familiarity with the source material, but from a purely objective standpoint, most of the representations of the characters and the scenery seemed to be on model with what we were able to research so I think fans of the show will be fairly pleased with the portrayal of the characters in this board game. Most importantly, it’s a very accessible and enjoyable game which I think will help win over people who are either not very familiar with the source material or, not too familiar with board games in general.
Bryan: I’ve not watched Oddbods before so I can’t comment on how accurate the world is represented but based on Playware Studio’s attention to detail, I trust that fans will be delighted. Even with my unfamiliarity, a Racing-type game I think is perfect to help parents enjoy the game with their kids or other more older players due to the success of similar video/board games.
How did you find the gameplay?
Brandon: Off the bat, rules were extremely easy to pick up and could be explained as you played which is extremely important in engaging with a new player base. The entire game is a combination of a luck, racing and cost benefit analysis which can lead to surprisingly deep gameplay as the player learns quickly to string together cards in powerful combinations or even building a very powerful and advantageous deck from the permanent power ups available for purchase. It does seem however that luck is a defining factor of the game as Sean was left behind myself and Bryan but can be mitigated (as was my case) by purchasing Power Ups that help negate negative effects.
Bryan: Rules were easy to pick up. What I liked about the game is that each main character’s unique traits were represented in the Special cards of the game. For example, if you draw cards for the blue prankster Pogo, his cards allow you to do stuff like steal cards from others. Helps give the game some character. The game on average isn’t too unfair but a couple of unlucky draws could make it hard to catch up as Sean experienced when he was left almost a full track behind Brandon and me.
How do you find the visual design of the game?
Brandon: It’s a very vibrant, colorful and colorful looking board game with a good mixture of two dimensional and three dimensional elements to catch any bystander’s attention. Each of the various cards had good illustrations of the characters and appropriate buffs and debuffs that corresponded to their characters. Most importantly, each of the different types of cards were uniquely coloured and had font that helped distinguish them from another so you never were in doubt as to what kind of card you were holding.
Bryan: Card designs had sufficiently large text and it didn’t feel cramped at all. The details on the boards were very clear and the colours were bright but not overwhelming. Each of the Corners with their own standees were visually distinct so you can tell straight away what each does once you are familiar with them. The Tracks we saw had different themes as well such as a forest and a snow one to help make the track look more varied.
What was your favorite moment from the game?
Brandon: When I landed on the random power up Corner, attempted to buff Sean since he was so far behind as an act of goodwill, and ended up setting him back even further. Guess the Dice Gods were not on his side that day.
Bryan: Early on in the game, Brandon and me were in the lead and were near the end of the track. Then Sean manages to land on the Corner behind us and activates the Monster Truck, which runs over all Players on a track section and forces them back to it’s Corner, effectively destroying our current leads.
Would you recommend this game? Why?
Brandon: Extremely accessible and very fun especially with how randomness is a huge factor in this game. I think this is a great entry to intermediate level game for people of all age groups and all levels of sobriety. And depending on your temperament, you might end up laughing all the way to the finishing line, or devolving into a mountain of salt.
Bryan: It’s easy to learn, it’s fun for all ages and the modular track design allows for lots of replayability. For those getting it for their kids, the Family Pack should be more than enough. If you’re getting it as a party game though, I’d recommend the Pro edition. And unlike Mario Kart, you won’t lose your friends. Probably.
Fun for all ages, modular track design with tons of options for replayability, quick pickup, what’s not to love about the game? If you’re looking for something that can be played over a lunch break or a game that you could play through the night, you can’t go wrong with Oddbods Go-Kards. Here’s the link again.