Start your engines! On your mark! Get set! Go! The latest race in the PUSCAR (Psychotic Union of Severely Crazed Racers) Cup is on! Team Monsters, Rockabilly, Underworld, Aliens, Food Fight and Battle Wizards rip it up on the track to see who is the best of the best. Watch out for hazards, curves and dirty play as each team tries to take you out and capture the checkered flag!
Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Game Creator: Cory Jones
Game Designer: Matt Hyra
Ages: 15 to adult
Playing Time: 30- 45 minutes
Contents: 6 Team Decks, 1 Nitro Deck, 4 Upgrade Decks, 6 Plastic Hot Rods, 6 Hot Record Sheets, 50 Double-Sided Track Tiles and Extras, 1 3-D hot Rod Creeps Motor Speedway Standee and Others, 1 Rulebook
Suggested Retail Price: $45.00
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
In Hot Rod Creeps Customizable Racing Game the ultimate goal is to be the first across the finish line. Players can race 1 lap or a whole circuit and climb the leader board to see who comes out on top. Each player can pick from 6 different teams that each have certain strength you try to exploit against the other opponents.
The Teams are:
Team Aliens – Collect upgrgades as quickly as possible.
Team Battle Wizards – Have one card in hand to access the nitro deck.
Team Food Fight – Play cards in a sequence.
Team Monsters – Play cards quickly out of their Tank (draw pile) and maintain between empty and half full.
Team Rockabilly – Play or flip the top card of their Tank whenever possible as they have more flip cards than any other team.
Team Underworld – Track cards in their Tank and hand to avoid getting burned.
During the set-up phase a player can build any design of track they can think up. Start with the starting grid and complete it with the finish line. Each player then places their car on the starting grid by drawing them from a cup randomly. There is a rule for whomever has the closest birthday to go first if you chose to do that.
A number will be on the starting grid under the players Hot Rod, this is the number of cards that each player draws of their Tank to star your hand. They closer to the front, the fewer amounts of cards are drawn of the Tank.
The cards themselves are very simple to read and understand. In the upper left corner is the move value in other words how many spaces a Hot Rod may move when played. Down the left side is the card name and on the bottom is the game text. If it says “Flip Only,” than this card text is only in effect when flipped of the top of the Tank or a deck.
As you would assume the pole position goes first and then turn order is clockwise for the rest of the game. Each player may then choose one of the 4 actions for that one action that turn.
Play a Move card from your hand. This option allows a player to move their Hot Rod forward the number of spaces of the Move value. This always for planning a bit easier so the player can land in Pit Stops, avoid hazards and take the corners more safely avoiding damage. Any card played this way with “Flip Only” in the text is ignored.
Flip the top card from the players Tank. This option is of course random and the player must announce it before revealing it to other players. This is where “flipping” comes in so a “Flip Only” text card will be activated here. The Move value of the card still applies here as well.
Flip the top card from the Nitro deck. The Nitro deck is a shared deck between all players and most of the Move values on this deck are between 6 to 9 making it a risky option. These cards can have some nasty effects so play with caution. This may cause you to burn cards off your tank, hit a wall turning a corner taking additional damage. To take this option, the player must have at least one card in their hand.
Draw 4 cards from the players Tank. This won’t allow the players Hot Rod to move and it is a more strategic action. If the players tank is almost empty and doesn’t have 4 cards left, then they just draw what is left with no reshuffle.
The order of events is resolved by playing the card text first, then the Move value. This is because the game text may alter the actual movement of the Hot Rod. After the Hot Rod has moved then any Upgrade cards a player may have such as weapons or engines upgrades are resolved. These effects could further still affect the Hot Rods movement. Lastly any effects from the track such as hazards, corner damage or Pit Stops are resolved.
Pit Stops are spaces that a player must land in directly on the end of their FULL movement turn. The Move value of a card may not be shortened to effect where a player may land. When a player effectively Pit Stops, they then have the option of either Gassing Up or drawing an Upgrade card. A player may not attempt an additional Pit Stop by not moving a second time and drawing 4 cards. If a player chooses this option, then that player on draws 4 cards and their turn is over.
Gas Up allows a player to shuffle their discard pile into the remainder of their tank. The players Tank does not have to be empty to do this however, it may be more efficient to draw an Upgrade card if the players is not in danger of running out of gas.
Draw and Upgrade card allows a player to draw from 1 of 4 different types of Upgrade cards: Weapons, Engines, Wheels and Pit Crews. This card is put in the appropriate slot on the players Hot Rod Sheet. You can only have one of each upgrade at a time in the appropriate slot. If a player draws Weapons upgrade but already has that slot filled with another Weapons Upgrade then the player chose to replace the current Upgrade or discard it. These Upgrades improve a player Hot Rod and often allow that player to hurt another player.
Weapons Upgrades will typically trigger when a Move value of 4 or 5 is played. This affect triggers whether the Move value was played from a hand or off the top of the Tank. This is obviously to harm a fellow opponent.
Engine Upgrades again usually trigger when a Move value of 4 or 5 is played either from a players hard or their Tank.
Wheels Upgrades come into player when one player Drafts one or more other players. The number of Hot Rods Drafted does not increase the Upgrades effect, but it may affect multiple opponents at once.
Pit Crew Upgrades trigger when a player Pit Stops. A player who runs out of gas is forced to Pit Stop and this cards text is triggered.
There is a only one Hot Rod per space allowed so if an opponents turn would end in an already occupied space then, that opponent then “Drafts” the Hot Rod already occupying that space. Drafting allows that player to end in the space directly ahead of the occupied space and is trigged by any card or affecting moving a Hot Rod. You can also draft backward as well if a card text forces a Hot Rod backwards. This puts the moving Hot Rod in the space directly behind the occupied space.
If a card moves past a Hot Rod, Passing may be in effect. Passing triggers some certain card text and Drafting is considered Passing in this instance as well.
Running out of gas occurs when a players Tank (draw deck) is empty and as long as the player has cards left in their hand they are safe. If a player ever has no cards in their hand or tank, they then must move their Hot Rod backwards to the nearest Pit Stop. This is not a movement action, so no Passing, Drafting or other effect takes place. After reshuffling a Tank, then the player draws 2 cards to their hand.
A player can take damage called Burn. This effect removes cards from the top of a Tank. Burn can come from cards, hazards, Upgrades etc. When Burn takes effect, the player takes that many cards from the top of their Tank and places them in their discard pile.
Damage is an effect that removes cards from a players hand and can happen from card text, corners, hazards and so on. Damage forces a player to discard cards from their hand but if they do not satisfy the damage amount, then that player must Burn the additional cards from their Tank to satisfy the Damage amount.
When a players Hot Rod comes screaming around Corners, there could be trouble! A bold red line that has a difficulty maker assigned to it distinguishes a Corner. If a players Hot Rod is going faster than the assigned number than that Hot Rod will take damage.
There a few Hazard and Bonus spaces to be aware of as well. These can be added to the track to bring additional mayhem to the gaming experience. You have Banana Peel, Fan Frenzy, Oil, Potholes, Varmint Crossing and Rain Slick hazards while only to bonuses, those being The Spotlight and Sponsor’s Row bonuses.
The components are a good quality. This stock for the track, fire hoop, crowd stands etc. However the ramps for the fire hoop could have been much better done as my copy it’s worthless. The cards are of nice quality and the player sheets are ok. The art work is amazing especially if you enjoy Rat Fink style art. Some of the track parts don’t quite fit together perfect but that is to be expected and doesn’t detract from the game experience. My copy came with a Monsters Team sheet missing while I got 2 Underworld Team Sheets. There was a slight bit of damage on a couple of track pieces and to the manual, but I did receive a review copy not a retail copy.
Hot Rod Creeps is a very little but very fun stick it to your opponent game. Playing once is a bit of a let down as the game goes quick and the set up and take down time is more than most games so I recommend running a circuit to really get the feel and effect. Running a leader board definitely adds to the game experience. This game has a ton of replay ability to it as the track never has to be the same and the randomness of peoples decisions, Upgrade cards and effects. This is a great game for kids or people who aren’t into heavy strategy. It’s got a comical feel to it and provides for great social gaming and jokes. There is definitely some strategy to this so please don’t think I am saying their isn’t, but it’s light and fun as opposed to anything causing analysis paralysis. If any player suffers from that in this game, don’t play with them again lol.
I am giving this game 7 out of 10 stars for fun, replay ability and social gaming.