LAZER RYDERZ (Greater Than Games)
It’s time to go lazer ryding! As the totally rad cartoon Tron ripoff from our childhood (that never was), you control all of the s’s-swapped-to-z’s action as the Phantom Cosmonaut, Galactic Waveryder, Lazer Shark, or Super Sheriff in Lazer Ryderz! Zoom! Pew! Swoosh! *Hair Metal Guitar Solo*
The action in Lazer Ryderz plays out quickly with players raising and lowering their gear to pick out a Lazer piece of that gear to play for their turns. Straight aheads play automatically, but on attempting turns, players need to roll a D6 and get their current gear or higher (faster turns are harder to make). Fail, and it’s straight ahead in whatever gear you’re at. Roll a Spinout (replacing the 6 on the D6) and you turn successfully but shift down to first gear for your next turn.
Lazer Ryding around the table in this way, players try to score Prizms by crossing over them (with the Prizm visible on both sides of the overlaid Lazer piece) and the first one to three Prizms wins! However, the longer a Lazer Ryder is out on the board, the more of their own and other’s Lazer pieces they’ll have to avoid. The only crossover options are at a Prizm on a trail (also, scoring it for the crossing player) or with Phantom Cosmonaut’s Power Prizm ability. Crash into a Lazer piece or the edge of the table and you remove your Lazer pieces (and the piece that you collided from the piece of impact on back) and respawn from your starting edge for the next turn. It’s a ridiculously fun game that’s easy to explain with just the right amount of luck and decisions.
Then there’s the art. With equal inspiration from your high school Trapper Keeper and favorite-80s-cartoon-that-never-was, the barrage of high-fives for great ideas from Lazer Ryder’s designers must have been deafening. Even the packaging rules with it’s beat up, vintage VHS “Original Series Box Set!” design. It’s worth noting too how cool it is that in the age of the big expensive boxes filled with beautiful miniatures, a game like this can awe with just a handful of plastic components and mostly cardboard pieces. Other games will cost you at least twice as much and take twice as long to give you the same amount of fun as Lazer Ryderz.
The only real concern with the games is that the rules are a little loose. There were situations in our games, particularly when nudging the Prizms that were bumped by a Lazer piece, that aren’t precisely defined. Does the Prizm go off to the side or out in front? If after being bumped it bumps into another Lazer piece does it go to the other side of the secondary path or does it get bottlenecked out to where the paths diverge? That said, all of these situations could easily be resolved with a common sense approach or the roll of a die for when it could go either way. Besides, you gotta play a little loose to hang loose, brother. Now let’s go ride some lazers! (Greater Than Games) by David C. Obenour