Kids Will Love Rally Run!, a Fast Tile-Flipping Game
Many of my friends’ children are reaching the age that they’re able to play simple board games — and it’s an exciting time. I’m thrilled to be able to play classics like Candy Land, Cooties, and Sorry with them. I love teaching them automotive-themed games, and Rally Run! has become a popular one we play.
A great racing game for young children
Designers: Katja & Markus Nikisch
Box Dimensions: 4″ x 4″ x 2″
# of Players: 2-4 people
Ages: 5 and older
Category: Tile-flipping movement and memory
Play Time: 15 minutes
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How to Play Rally Run!
Place the pit stop tile in the center of the table, then arrange the rest of the track tiles face-down in a five-by-five grid, with the pit stop at the center. Shuffle the trophy tokens and place them face-down on the pit stop. At each corner of the grid, place a finish line tile (each has its own color that matches the secret color of a trophy token). Place a corresponding-colored car token on each finish line tile and let each player choose their car.
On a player’s turn, they flip over an adjacent tile (connected by the road’s path) and move their car onto that tile, returning the tile they’ve vacated to a face-down position. When moving onto the new tile, the player can rotate the tile to choose its orientation. If that new tile is a dead end, the player cannot move onto it, and must instead remain on the original tile.
Instead of moving your car on your turn, you can instead swap the locations of two unoccupied road tiles — to foil your competitors or move past a road block.
When a player reaches the pit stop in the center, they take a trophy token, which tells them which colored finish line they must head to. The first player to reach their correct finish line is the winner.
Rally Run! includes:
- 4 rally wooden race cars
- 24 road tiles
- 1 pit stop tile
- 4 start/finish tiles
- 4 golden trophy tokens
- 1 set of multi-lingual instructions
HABA puts effort, quality, and creativity into its games, and Rally Run! certainly exemplifies that. Although its box and price are small, the attractively colorful tiles and sturdy components will withstand the roughhousing of young players. All the tiles are filled with illustration details, and the cartoon-like design is brimming with charm.
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Thoughts on Learning Experience
Rally Run! offers easy-to-read instructions that utilize visual aides, bullet points, and bolded call-outs to the most important information. You don’t have to be a literature major to understand these rules — they’re written for parents to teach their children or for young readers to learn, so they avoid using big words or long sentences. The idea of the game is simple enough that children can comprehend and do their best.
Thoughts on Playing Rally Run!
This is an excellent game for children who love flipping over tiles and moving pieces around. Even better, it’s a great way to introduce children to racing-themed board games, since the theme so seamlessly fits into the tile-flipping activity.
Rally Run! isn’t the first racing-themed children’s game we’ve reviewed from HABA. It’s another in a growing library of games that introduces young players to cars and motorsports, which also includes Monza and Crash Cup Karambolage.
As an adult, I do feel that Rally Run! is quite short. A couple rounds in, someone has already made it to the pit stop and is on their way to the finish line. If you hit a dead end once, it’s practically impossible to come back and win (you can try to slow them down by swapping tiles, but then you don’t progress your own car). That’s wise for children with short attention spans, but amplifies the impact of luck.
I would love to see the idea of a tile-based racing game like this for adults, in which the racers don’t know the track ahead of them and have to use a combination of luck and planning to progress. It’s a creative concept. I’d recommend buying two copies of Rally Run! so you can make a bigger grid to challenge older children and adults.
It’s no surprise that HABA has made yet another great racing game for kids, and we recommend checking out Rally Run! along with HABA’s other automotive games.
You can purchase Rally Run! on the HABA website.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.