Review: Rideshare Wars


THIS REVIEW IS FOR AN EARLY VERSION OF THE GAME. ARTWORK AND GAMEPLAY COULD CHANGE FOR THE FINAL VERSION.

Designer:  Peter Madara
Year: 2018
Publisher: Zuroovi Games
Players: 1-4
Game Type: Hand Management & Set Collecting

The taxi cartel has lost its grip on the six northern cities. Today’s the day it goes out of business. You are the leader of a rideshare corporation and you are on a mission to scoop up riders left without transportation in the wake of the cartel’s collapse. But you are not the only rideshare operator in town, and so far it’s been a tight race for dominance. Today is your last chance to acquire just the right riders, and in just the right cities, in order to emerge victorious.


What's in the box.

SOLO SETUP
Setup for both the Solo and Multi-Player games is basically the same. For solo mode you will shuffle the Tool Cards into one deck, leaving two discard piles for them (face up and face down). You will set aside only 3 Loan Cards. Shuffle the Milestone Cards and set aside too. Give yourself a starting hand of Now take the rider cards and deal 3 decks of 20. These will be the contested riders for the Morning, Afternoon and Evening phases, as well as your game timer for 15 Rounds. Place the rest of the Rider cards to the right side, and lay out the top 4 face up, creating the available curbside riders.  Last give yourself 7 driver cards, and place 4 of them into the driver discard pile. Remove the rest from play.

Game setup.

SOLO GAMEPLAY
NOTE: We are only covering the solo play of the game, but it is practically identical to playing with others . Rideshare Wars takes place over 1 day, broken down into 3 phases, Morning, Afternoon and Evening. Your goal is to gain Milestones by picking up riders, based on their Cities and Locations in those cities. To do this you have to strategize your options, before the game takes the Milestones from you.

On your turn, you will take the deck of Contested Riders (Morning, Afternoon or Evening) and lay out the top 4 in order, creating slots 1-4 (determining the cards cost) and you are ready to start the round. IF you are on the Afternoon Phase flip over the Top Milestone card. You will first take a Tool Card and add it to your hand. Tool cards, will help you throughout the game by either giving your extra choices on your turn, or you can use them face down to access other things, like getting more Driver Cards into your hand. Next you have the option of paying a Tool Card to remove a contested rider. Personally I did not find this was needed in my plays, as playing solo I was not worried about other people needing cards. Next you have to acquire a Contested Rider. You do this by paying the cost (Driver Cards) of where the card is in line (ex. Slot 1=1 Driver Card). The next step is to lay a card in your player tableau. On your first few turns, this will be the Contest Rider you just picked up. So you want to watch for City or Location Combinations to get those all important Milestone cards once they come out. Now you can take up to 2 optional actions before ending you turn. Optional actions obviously help you get what you need into your tableau, but at what cost? Some examples are picking up a rider from the curbside, banking a rider (placing it face down to just get the points but not the benefits of the City or Location), getting more Driver or Tool Cards. It's all very, very nicely laid out on a 2 sided player aid card. Last, check to see if you met the Milestone Card's conditions (only if a card is showing, as it won't be shown in the Morning Phase). If after the evening phase you did not meet the conditions, the card goes the game, and once they get 5 it's all over for you. Last you will prep for the next phase of the day by removing the Contested Riders you did not select, laying out the top four Contested Riders for the next phase of the day, and then doing the same for the Curbside Riders. Now just repeat and hope you have what it takes to beat the game.


FINAL THOUGHTS
Rideshare Wars uses strategy and some luck, based on what cards are shown during the phase of the day you are in, to not have the game end early. You have got to get those milestone cards from going to the game, because once it gets 5, it is all over. Hopefully you will be able to make it to the end, and then it all comes down to score, which will tell you how well you did. It's not easy, not at all, and that challenge factor is what made it fun for me. The concept and theme is very unique, and easily makes this game stand out. The artwork and content is fun, and full of humor, so it adds to the overall appeal. I did find the rules to be laid out nicely, but a little confusing at times. Keep in mind that I have an early version before the kickstarter, so this could be changed. But even though I had an issue or two, the player aid cards are a great addition to help as you play. I really enjoyed this game, and think it stands out from the pack. I like a challenging game that I can't always win, and of courseI love a card game that can do that with simplicity. It does take up a lot of table real estate though, so make sure you have room to play. Overall though, I am happy to have this in my collection now, and I can't wait to get it out again and again. Someday I'm gonna score more than 48 points... maybe.

SCORE
4.0 out of 5 Solo's

PROS
• Unique concept, I can't think of a game that plays like this.
• Challenging, with a little luck thrown in.
• Great artwork and design.

CONS
• Takes up a good deal of table space.

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