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Players own one or more race cars, and they're trying to finish high in the standings in order to earn back the cost of the car. Cars move around the track through the playing of movement cards, but each card typically pictures several cars, so you're frequently advancing the opponents' cars in addition to your own. Pay attention to the position of the pack and the layout of the track, however, and you can sometimes force those movement points to be wasted.
This version will include four different racetracks and materials for a pit stop variant and stock option variant, the latter of which involves secret shares that rise or fall depending on the outcome of each race.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
In the field of car-racing games, this one stands out due to the added element of wagering, which allows even those whose cars are lemons to possibly win the game. You bid on your cars in an auction round based on the car-movement cards you've been dealt, and the cars are then moved around the track with strategic cardplay. The wagering occurs at three different points during the game, with the most money being awarded to those who wager correctly earlier in the game. A very similar game, Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix, removes the wagering element from the game, thus making it a very attractive game for 9-14 year old players in particular.
A few years ago, Milton Bradley published this game designer's Daytona 500, a terrific game for two to four players, which unfortunately is out of print. Ever since, I have been looking for a racing game as good as Daytona 500, and hopefully using the same excellent system of cards with moves to be given to more than one car at a time, for five or six players. While Top Race, with its wagering intervals, is better than Mayfair's Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix (also by this game designer), they both lack the elgance, the grace, the beautiful challenge of the long double curves at either end of the Daytona 500 racetrack. So the search for the 5-6-player race goes on, and for the fan of Daytona 500, this one can only be a disappointment. On the other hand, if you haven't played Daytona 500 and aren't making that comparison, Top Race is certainly playable and enjoyable in its own right.