So…..last night Andy T of Mad-Dad Games came to the Mancave to give me a sneaky peek at his new stellar race game Sector 98: Hyperleague Racing.
Firstly it lived upto every second of the hype. It is an elegantly simple game completely devoid of the rules bloat that can cripple a game in its infancy. Within 1-2 turns I had the basics of the game down and was competitive. Now by that I do not mean this is a competitive game…oh no no no….i mean without any prior knowledge …of the game, mechanics, setting or even what my pilot or ship could do i was able to not feel overawed by a more experienced player. This isn’t so much about the OP level of gaming but more a fun evenings beer and pretzels game….or as Andy and I agreed “this ain’t no beer ‘n’ pretzels game…this is serious milk ‘n’ cookies racing!”
To give an idea of what the game is like……if you took Wacky Races, Gaslands, X-Wing, Cbeebies Kerwhizz and Star Munchkin and chucked ’em all in a blender, sprinkled some Mad-Dad humour and a pinch of kiddie friendly sci-fi you would have Sector 98.
The single race mode is quick and easy enough to setup and play and were it not for a whiffed Initiative roll I’d be sat here wearing a winners garland and sipping Glampagne (neither the Hairy Gamers nor Mad-Dad Games endorse drink-driving…even in a sci-fi made up world of cartoon characters…lol).
The campaign mode is where the game allows you to invest in your ship and pilot(s), gaining ship upgrades, bonus abilities and racing skills based on the experience you gain from winning races. Do well and the crowd love you, raising your fame. Lesser known racers receive a handicap skill based on the difference between respective Fames so the casual newer player isnt instantly at a disadvantage against the better, more successful or Ace pilots. I like this!
By keeping it simple Mad-Dad have extracted the essence of what a fun, inventive and easily picked up and replayed game is all about. Its slick easy to learn mechanics mean even the most novice of players are playing on an even field or gaming mat in this case. Its clearly a game aimed at the younger gamer but that said at no point did I even feel, as an experienced Attack Wing, X-Wing and Armada player, that the game was too simple or beneath me. The beauty here is in the elegant simplicity. I’ll certainly be grabbing a copy for my girls to play and will continue to watch this with excitement.
I cant wait for another chance to give it a go and may even drag one of the other Hairy Gamer reprobates along for some gaming….if not the Ginger Whinger as maybe the P-Unit is a bit young right now.
Hairy Gamer Jase
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