We traded for this game in 2011 at the Gen Con no-ship math trade. We had not played this game before, but we traded for it because several of the comments for the game indicated that it made a good family game. So was this a good trade or not?
As the name implies, Bridgetown races is a racing game of sorts. The goal of the game is to be the first player to make it to all eight bridges on the map. Each bridge has a flag on it and each flag corresponds to one of the methods of transportation. For example, yellow is taxi and it allows players to move four spaces. If in the course of this move a player moves over bridge with a yellow flag then they can take that flag on put on the corresponding bridge on their score card. A player gets up to three moves a round and they can only use each form of transpiration once a round.
Each round begins with the players placing markers on one of the forms of transportation. Players place these markers one at a time in turn order. Any number of players can use any form of transportation. However, there are three spots in the middle that only one player can use a turn. One of these spots lets the players move double for a form of transportation, another allows players to go first regardless of turn order, and the final one allows players to switch flags on bridges. After every player has placed, then one at a time they move. Once all players have moved, new flags are placed on bridges if any were claimed, turn order changes, and the round counter advances.
There are some finicky rules about movement such as when walking is the only way to move from space to space and how the trolley works. The game ends if a player manages to claim a flag on all 8 bridges. If that does not happen, then at the end of the 5th round whoever has collected the most unique colored flags wins.
The Game We Played
As a two player game, this tends to be a fairly multiplayer solitaire game. This was especially so, because my plan was to start by collecting a flag on the Ross Island bridge and working my way bridge to bridge to the other side. My wife was a bit more scattered on her collecting of flags. At one point, I went first and collected the steel bridge before my wife did. Her whole focused on getting this flag, and it really flustered her to have it messed up. I messed up on my fourth turn, and this made it so that by the end of the fifth turn I was two spaces away from collecting flags on all eight flags. At the end of the 5th round I had collected six different flag colors and my wife had collected five, giving me the win.
My Rating: 1.5 (Do Not Like)
My Thoughts: I dislike this game. At the beginning of every round, players have to plan everything out. This leads to a ton of downtime, analysis paralysis, and frustration. I also have found that people get very confused and easily mess up the movement rules. A racing game should have tensions and excitement. This game is tedious and boring.
Her Rating: 1 (Never Want to Play Again)
Her Thoughts: I really do not like this game. I hate having to plan everything out in advance and I dislike the map a lot.
Combined Rating: 2.5
People who like very puzzle like games might enjoy this game but we very clearly do not. I went back and looked at the comments, and there several who consider this a family game. I am really scratching my head on that one. Family games should at least be fun.