Titan Race is a dice rolling race game by Fun Forge Games and designer Julian Allain. Each player takes control of one of six titanic monsters from Olaf & Ragnarok to Ftag’hn & Cthooloo and attempts to beat the other monsters by traveling around one of the various race courses that you have to choose from. When I say traveling around, I mean it literally, as there is no track to race on, but rather the board is divided into rows and columns. The monsters can move forward, left and right, never moving backwards, but when they reach either the left, right or front edge of the board they wrap around to the opposite side! Each time a player wraps around from the front of the board to the back they complete a lap, and the first to complete three laps is the winner. Each monster has a unique ability, and each of the boards has spaces with unique effects which make the game asymmetrical to say the least. Some spaces on the board also provide access to bonus cards which provide powerful effects with which to boost yourself forward or keep your enemies back!
At the beginning of the game the start player rolls a number of dice equal to the number of players and then chooses one of those dice to use. The dice faces represent various actions such as moving forward and dropping a trap or moving to the right or left from two to three spaces and so on. Each die face is colored to match one of the monsters and if you choose the die matching your monster on your turn, then you gain a life. Once the start player has chosen their die and completed their action, the next player chooses from the remaining die and then completed their action. When the last die reaches the last player, instead of using that die, the player collects all of the dice and re-rolls them, thus the start player rotates opposite to the turn order of the game. If a monster moves into the space of a monster in front of it, that monster takes one life point of damage and gets pushed one space in the same direction. This can cause a chain reaction pushing multiple monsters across the board. If a monster loses all of their life then they tip the piece on the board on its side and skip their next turn. Then they refill their life back to the starting life and take their turn as normal.
Titan Race is an enjoyable little game that has a couple of great mechanics that I enjoyed quite a lot. The dice drafting which forces the start player to rotate against the normal play order is an awesome design and probably my favorite thing about the game. The wrap around board is also quite fun and unique (as far as I know) among racing games. With only five players in the game we played there was surprisingly very little player interaction, however I feel like in many games players attempt to take the non-combative strategy initially, then as they become more adept at the game they begin to employ every strategy at their disposal. In Titan Race you do have to balance your means of attack, because if you are just using the push, the downside is that they always get pushed forward so you are pushing them closer to victory. The components of Titan Race are also excellent. Each monster is a sculpted plastic miniature (very easily paintable by those so-inclined), the dice are good quality, custom and colorful, and the cards are decent quality as well. My one complaint about Titan Race, and this was shared among all the players of our game, is that the boards are just too small. On a larger game table where the players are spread out, it can be quite difficult to see the spaces on the graphically-intense boards. Aside from that I would say that if you want a relatively quick, light monster-themed dice game you can’t go wrong with Titan Race.