Add new comment | Casual Game Revolution

Add new comment

Roadkill

Try to avoid trucks and roadkill on your track of road, while collecting as many live animals and warnings signs as possible. Be careful what cards you're left holding at the end of the round, as your hand of cards can count against you.

Published by Helvetiq, Roadkill is a speedy, strategic card game that is light on rules. You must manage both your board and your hand, while trying to play plenty of trucks and dead animals onto other player’s roads.

Gameplay

Each player takes a road board. Each road is divided into two lanes and each lane has space for four cards. The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt six cards. On your turn you may play a card to either your board or an opponent’s, and then draw back up to six.

There are four types of animals in the game, and each animal type has alive and dead versions in the deck. You can never have two of the same animal on the same lane of a board (unless one of them is being covered by a truck card). You may play a dead animal on top of a live one or a live one on top of a dead one, as long as they are the same animal type.

Ventenarian cards may be played on a dead animal that is covering a live one, in which case the vet and the dead animal are discarded. The honk cards can be played on a live animal that is covering a dead one in order to discard the honk and the live animal. A truck card can be played on top of a dead animal. A truck stays in place, nothing can be played on top of it, and it cannot be removed for the rest of the round. A sweeper card removes all dead animals on one lane of a road so long as there are no other cards underneath those animals. Finally, the warning sign is placed on an empty space on a road, no other cards can be placed on top of it, and it cannot be moved for the rest of the round.

The round ends once one player’s board is filled. Each player then counts up the number of dead animals and trucks on their board and still in their hand. The player with the lowest number then randomly draws scoring tokens equal to the number of players. Scoring tokens can have a value of one to four. That player takes the highest valued token and passes the others onto the player with the next lowest number of trucks and dead animals. Players continue taking scoring tokens in this way until everyone has one. You then reset the game and play another round. The player with the highest score after three rounds wins.

Roadkill Components

Review

Roadkill is fast and light on rules, but still offers solid tactical choices. You need to balance your own road as well as your opponents' roads, keep an eye on the cards in your hand, and pay attention to how close you are to the end of the round. Maybe you want to hold onto a few trucks to see which players are pulling ahead near the end? But if you’re not careful someone else will end the round and you’ll be stuck with those cards counting against you.

The different card abilities add layers and can even combo in interesting ways. For example, the honk can remove a live animal card, revealing the dead animal underneath, but you could then use a sweeper next turn to remove all dead animals from that side of the road.

Roadkill does have a good bit of luck in the scoring system, which may frustrate some players. You could have a great round, but only draw tokens worth one or two points.

The artwork on the cards is cute and friendly, and keeps the game’s potentially dark theme extremely light. However, the idea of dead animals, while simply portrayed with x’s for eyes and tire marks across the card, might still upset some children. Also, there is no iconography on the cards to remind you of their abilities, nor player aids provided, so while learning the game you to have to keep referring back to the rulebook.

With fast turns and lots of player interaction, Roadkill is surprisingly pleasant to play and engaging as you constantly balance your board and the other players' boards, and have to choose carefully when to start pushing to end the round.

Pros: Component quality and artwork, player interaction, card abilities, need to balance board and hand

Cons: Scoring system, theme may be a little off-putting for some, need to check rulebook for card abilities

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.