Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
What else do you do on a wet and windy Christmas holiday but get out the board games. Luckily, I was sent The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game from Rascals to test out, and despite my son being younger than the suggested age limit of 12, we sat down to have a game. We are horse owners and have an ex racehorse, so we were intrigued to see if it was anything like “real” racing.
On opening the heavyish box we were impressed by the quality of the contents.
Contained in the box is:
- Really good quality game board illustrated with six coloured jockey silks
- Deck of Really Nasty cards
- Deck of Lane cards
- Pack of six race cards
- Pack of Betting slips
- Large stack of play money
- Bookies white board & pen
- 7x playing pieces (6 horses with different coloured jockeys and one riderless horse)
- One A4 double sided instruction leaflet
The instructions take a bit of reading the first time around but once you have memorised them, they are pretty simple. You can have 2-6 players, one jockey of each colour, and each player is given £20,000.00 to start with together with a betting slip. Each game has six races and the race cards are shuffled and laid out in order that the six races will run. Each player then gets a lane card, so they know where to start and 7 really nasty cards. Just like a real-life horse race the odds are different for each horse. Each player chooses one speed, 1-6, per horse per race with 1 being the fastest and the lane x the speed determines the odds. The horses and odds are written up on the Bookies board, a whiteboard very much like the one at the races. You complete your betting slip, put your money down and the game begins.
There are three sections of the board where you can double up your dice throw but only if you have a certain horse number, this can make a big difference on your speed round the board. There are also five hedges to jump and a water jump these are one place that the really nasty cards come in, if you have the relevant card you can make another players horse fall and unless they have a remount card they are out of the race. There are also several other types of really nasty card, a whip round card which you can use at the start to make a player miss two goes, a slip up on the flat card which causes a fall between fences, horse under pressure card which makes a horse go right instead of forwards, a false start which gets all horses brought back to start again, and a riderless horse card that can be used if you have fallen to block others. Then just when you think you have won there are three cards that can disqualify you from the race by throwing a specific number on the dice, photo finish, objection and stewards enquiry. Those really do cause some words when the winner finds out he has now lost all his money!
The object of the game is to win the most money over the six games and we certainly had fun doing that. With odds up to 50:1 you can quickly rack up a large bank balance which you can just as easily lose if you bet recklessly. You can find that players can quickly be out of a race with the really nasty cards causing fallers at every fence, but with six races on each race card the odds are that you will finish some races. As with most board games with more players the game gets more exciting and louder!
I am really looking forward to playing this on Boxing Day with the extended family, it’s a great game where you can in the spirit of gamesmanship be really nasty!
The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game is a fantastic game suitable for most members of the family as our six year old had no problems understanding the rules of the game once it was set up. I would highly recommend this game whether you like horse racing or not, but it certainly will be a particular favourite with my horse loving friends.
Available to buy from Amazon here.