2007 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Review
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Players: 2-10 (ages 8+)
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes, depending on number of players

NASCAR fans who need something to keep the wheels turning until it’s race day once again won’t want to miss the new Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup game. It may not be as exhilarating as being behind the wheel of your favorite car, but it’s a fun, easy game for NASCAR fans of almost every age.

To begin, each player chooses a driver (out of 12 possible drivers) and the corresponding car. (I chose Jimmie Johnson, my niece’s all-time favorite driver—“because he’s cute,” she says.) Players then take turns rolling a die and making their way around the board’s twists and turns.

Depending on which space you land on, you could end up taking a trip down Pit Road. You could end up racing ahead to catch up with the leader. Or you could end up crashing with another player in one of the Crash Zones. You could land on a Race Challenge space—and you could challenge the leader. Or you could have to draw a Changing Conditions card—which could be good or bad. But the most important spaces on the board are the Race Win spaces. If you’re the first to reach one of the Race Win spaces, you collect one chip, which will definitely come in handy—because the winner of this game isn’t the one who crosses the finish line first. The winner is the player who manages to collect the most Race Win chips along the way.

The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup game is a pretty standard roll-the-dice kind of board game—with a few extra twists—which makes it a simple game for a variety of players. In fact, I’d say that kids younger than eight could easily keep up—though they might need a little help with some of the reading.

While the game is played by rolling a die and moving playing pieces around the board, though, that doesn’t mean that the player who gets an early lead is sure to win the game—and that’s what makes it fun (though it rarely worked in my favor). Thanks to the challenges and the Changing Conditions cards, it’s anyone’s game.

While I played the game with just two players, I recommend playing with as many people as possible—because the more players you have, the more opportunities there are for lead changing. And the more lead changes you have, the more exciting the game gets.

Of course, if you have little or no interest in NASCAR, this isn’t a game for you. But if you’re a NASCAR fan (like my niece, the Jimmie Johnson fan, and her big brother, who’s all about Jeff Gordon) and you’re looking for something to bring a little NASCAR action to your next party, you can’t go wrong with the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup game.

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