Not know for their speed, unless they’re on a table that’s being flipped over at 90mph – most people can be forgiven for thinking that board games are a dry affair.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Whether you are driving a car round a track, pressing through a jungle, or slaloming down a slope, board games replicate the thrill of the chase with incredible accuracy.

So, here are ten of our favourite games to play at a clip.

Starting with-

10 | The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game (1989)

Criminally overlooked by many, RNHRG (blimey) is a fantastic party game that pushes cheating to the fore. Built around a simple dice-rolling mechanic, the game gives players a handful of cash to bet on the nag they are convinced is going to take the race. However, it’s important to realise that there are no limits to your betting – with each player able to take a flutter on an opponent’s nag as well as your own. This quickly opens up the playspace to backstabbing, bluffs, betrayals, and more. And with a stack of ‘dirty tricks’ cards, the combination of bone simple rules and tricksy plays makes it a perfect drinking game for semi-responsible adults.

9 | Rallyman: GT (2020)

Roll. And move. This simple mechanic forms the basis of many racing games, but few have perfected it as much as Rallyman. Built around a push-your-luck mechanic, the game sees players take simultaneous moves as you careen round the track, tasking you with gear control as your pirouette and slide past your opponents. This is complicated by a ‘warning’ symbol on your dice that can cause disaster or make the choice to – and this is the literal terminology – go ‘flat out’ and risk it all for an advantage. Throw in a modular board, and you’re guaranteed a thrilling ride every time.

8 | Powerboats (2008)

Ever wanted to simulate the raw thrill of powerboat racing on the tabletop? Well, you can anyway. A cult classic from 2008 by Corné van Moorsel, the game uses a three race structure to add tactics to the mix as you slice around a modular board and avoid damage to your boat. Simultaneously care-free and cautious, the game’s ‘add a dice’ system makes every decision count – reflecting each boat’s momentum as you careen round the course. Add in easy-to-pick up rules and a gorgeous design that looks great on your table, and picking up a copy is no-brainer.

7 | Snow Tails (2008)

Another underrated masterpiece, Snow Tails places you at the reins of a sled dog team and charged with making your way to the finish. Just like the real life Iditarod, your sled team is controlled by putting down two numbered cards – with difference between each representing the direction you turn in. While initially difficult to grasp, this produces a playing experience like no other as weave and turn round trees and slopes to slide (or crash) over the finish line.

6 | Formula D (2008)

A child’s playset come to life, Formula D is a twee joy that balances risk, reward, and pushing your wee-tiny toy car to its absolute limits. Famous for its tiered rules – ranging from beginner to adding weather and unique cars – the game revolve around accelerating through your gears. Represented by a selection of tide, the game give the tactile thrill of slamming a polyhedral dice across the table and…instantly spinning out of control. Balancing careful tactical decisions and brinksmanship, Formula D is the perfect choice for kids at heart everywhere.

5 | Odin's Ravens (Second Edition) (2016)

Taking a break from spinning our wheels for a minute, we can check in with the Nordic equivalent of pigeon racing. Designed for two players, you take on the role of Great Odin’s ravens as you tear through the sky to return to your creator while playing flight and Loki cards. The former lets you speed across the board and the later, unsurprisingly, lets you mess with your opponent by changing the board states, messing with their hands and more. Perfectly replicating a battle between muscle and wit, the game is a delightful filler that can slide into every shelf.

4 | The Quest for El Dorado (2017)

A low-cost delight, El Dorado brings you’re a frenzied brush through the south American jungle. Built around a modular board, players are tasked with managing their hands and their time as they forge through brush, river, and other perilous territory to reach the legendary lost city. With each player enjoying unique powers and assets, rivals can complicate things by making pitstops to economise their hand. Just not too much, lest their opponents take the time to lap them. Add a few expansions to spice things up, and you have a mainstay to your table that can open or close an evening with ease.

3 | RoboRally (1994)

In an ideal world, we’d be able to complete a race with our arms folded and without breaking a sweat. Robo…gives us one of those. Built around a programming mechanic, robo rally has you and your competitors input commands into your droid and pretty much pray to your respective gods that they end up somewhere near the finish line. With hazards, traps, and other robots complicating things, each game quickly dissolves into laughter as your hunks of scrap get turned around, enjoy a spectacular unforced error, or pull off a miraculous victory. A true joy.

2 | Flamme Rouge (2016)

Combining bluffs and tactical hand management, Flamme took the market by storm when it was first released in 2016. Tasking players with crossing the finish line in a hyper-stylised bike race, players use their two man cycle teams to manoeuvre themselves into position to thread their way through the pack and explode to victory. Combining rules for drafting and legitimate tactics with sprinteurs and rouleurs, and the game comes to life. Throw in mind games, bluffs, and double bluffs and you have a delightful tour de farce.

1 | Galaxy Trucker (2007)

Space – the final straw when it comes to arranging package delivery. Another winner from Vlaada Chvatil, Trucker sets you up a delivery expert and asks you to build and fly your spaceship to your destination. This breaks down into a frenzied building phase and then taking to the depths of space – represented by a wealth of hazards and opportunities such as cargo, virulent diseases, or meteorites that will punch a hole through your vessel. While it’s barely even a board game – and not strictly a racing game if we’re being honest – crawling over the finish with the remnants of vessel and $1 clutched in your remaining hand feels like a gold medal


Do you have any extra game that speed enthusiasts love? Share it in the comments below :)

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