At Bunyip Kingdom we don’t write long-winded articles filled with ponderous rules explanations because like you we usually skip to the end! 😎 We just want to get a feel for the game and know where it fits, and if it’s reasonably easy to learn. So keeping with the game itself we are going to race to the finish because, let’s face, few of us have time for essay-like reviews that just go round and round in circles. Pardon the pun…this is a Nascar game after all! 😆
GMT are well known for their heavy games usually about war. They usually produce very meaty games for a particular niche in the board game market. However with Thunder Alley they have hit one out of the park in creating a game that is more generally accessible. Yes I know that’s using a completely different sport analogy but anyway…
This game holds far more general appeal than some GMT titles, has a lighter ruleset and is very accessible even for younger players and it would be ideal for family game night too.
Not to mention the presentation is absolutely outstanding! GMT is quite capable of producing very high quality games with typically very good presentation and components but this is one of their very best in the looks department!
We don’t really have any complaints about this game but it would have been nice to step it up just a little bit with model cars. Though that would have been more dosh down. This game could be pimped very easily though as it is already beautiful to look at.
Thunder Alley does not rely on any previous knowledge of Nascar and to be perfectly honest you don’t even have to like racing at all to enjoy this exceptional game. If I watch any racing at all it is usually rally car racing or Moto GP but the team and I were hugely engaged by this title!
In a nutshell, the game revolves around controlling a number of cars per player and your performance is gauged not solely on coming first but in how you manage each car and each lap.
The game is card driven involving event and racing cards. The former clearly has things that happened to you and your team as you go along and often are triggered by accumulating a particular amount of damage. As an example, before one blows a tyre or has engine troubles certain criteria must be met which means these are not just hapless occurrences. Racing cards allow for certain maneuvers to be performed. One would think that this would manifest itself in a very boring, cerebral game but somehow GMT have managed to capture the spirit of a racing game. Thunder Alley also manages to accommodate players who like to have their games lighter but at the same time have a title that provides solid strategic challenges and management components that allow for a more tailored approach. Put it this way, Thunder Alley holds a lot more strategic options than games like Formula D, as it should. I am aware, even with my limited knowledge on racing, that NASCAR is actually quite a strategic sport. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this game is naff! It’s absolutely brilliant.
The game is not likely to get old in a hurry either as GMT have been quite generous providing not one but two double sided, mounted maps that are outstanding in their quality and graphic presentation.
Talk about variety!
We are looking forward to getting this one back on the table soon and can confidently say that this is a game that will come off the shelf again and again. Which, to be perfectly honest, is getting harder and harder to say of so many games as the companies pump them out so quickly that the majority of games today, in our humble, weighty and well-respected opinion😂 are hyped, bought, played and collect dust there after.
Thunder Alley is not one of these games. It’s a keeper! Find yourself a copy today!
A review copy was provided for this unpaid review.