If you’ve always wanted a Mario Kart board game and can’t wait for an official Nintendo version, publisher Brotherwise Games might have the next best thing: Dungeon Kart. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Dungeon Kart pits a gaggle of cute monsters against one another in boisterous go-kart races, complete with power ups, drifts, and collisions.
Like all the best board games about racing, Dungeon Kart offers very tactile components: cheap but appealing acrylic standees for racers, and a detailed ‘dashboard’ player aid to track your racer’s speed by moving a throttle back and forth.
The racetrack is assembled from a series of hex tiles, letting you build different layouts. The more expensive Kickstarter pledge levels offering additional tiles to take your racers into space or down a slippery ice peak.
That racetrack is littered with collectible coins, granting you access to power up spells and your racer’s special abilities. Different terrain can slow your down, while hazards – on the track, or distributed by your opponents – might cause you to spin out or crash.
Racers have different abilities: a Heavy racer can easily bump other competitors into harm’s way, while racers with Handling will find it much easier to steer. As ever with race games, there’s a tension between ramping your speed up as much as possible, and keeping control so you don’t spin drastically out of control.
Unusually for a Kickstarter board game, the basic pledge level is a modest $50. Brotherwise estimates it will deliver the finished game in August 2024. If you want to back the project, you have until 5am UTC on September 8 to pledge.
We like a good race game at Wargamer, whether that’s the restrained resource management of Flamme Rouge, or the over the top luxury of the classic Formula D. The goal of race games – win the race – is so easy to explain that they make perfect kids board games, or board games for reluctant grownups.
We’re also watching out for Corvus Belli’s cart racer board game REM Racers, notionally set in the same universe as miniature wargame Infinity, but focused on super cute remote-controlled robots.