I've never ridden on a toboggan -- so I've never tricked one out with a Teleporter, swerved around the Mad Scientist University or jumped over an Acid Pit. If you play Toboggans of Doom, you'll have the chance to do all of this -- and more! Players race to either reach the bottom of a hill first or to have the most points after three runs.

The "hill" is composed of three rows of tiles, divided into sections of three, three, and four tiles. Each tile is face down until a player reaches it, and every tile has an obstacle. To go over an obstacle (represented by a yellow arrow) the player has to roll equal to or over the number on the obstacle. To go through an obstacle (red arrow) you'll need to roll between or equal to the numbers on the obstacle. To go around an obstacle (blue arrow) you need to roll equal to or under the number on the obstacle. Failing a roll ends your run.

You can beat the obstacles by upgrading your toboggan. At the start of each turn players buy upgrades -- and this is the most original part of the game. Twelve upgrade tiles are turned over; each upgrade can be used on one or two types of obstacles, or will affect other upgrades. Players roll a set of six dice -- four, six, eight, ten, twelve, and twenty-siders -- to buy upgrades. Going one at a time, players by an upgrade by discarding dice equal to an upgrade's cost, by discarding a die of the same type shown on the upgrade, or by discarding all remaining dice to snag one upgrade. This makes for a variety of purchases and guarantees a player can always buy at least one thing at the end of their turn. Some obstacles are discarded after use, some can only be used once a run, and others are usable as often as needed.

During a player's run they get a point for each face-down tile they encounter and flip over. Players have to go in a straight line down the tiles, but at the two breaks (three and six tiles down) they can move to another row; players also get points for reaching these breaks. If no one's reached the bottom of the hill by the third run, whoever has the most points wins.

Toboggans of Doom is easy to learn but hard to play. Since obstacles aren't discarded when beaten, players will have to face the same obstacles multiple times. Since many obstacles are discarded when used, players often have to start from scratch for their second and third runs -- and may be very ill-equipped if they do make it far down the run.

On the plus side, Toboggans of Doom is incredibly easy to learn, quick to play, and has nice artwork and a great sense of humor. (What other game lets you use an Army of Moles to get through a Viking Opera -- on a toboggan?) This game is a decent filler game, to be played while waiting for or preparing for a "main" game.

Overall grade: C+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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