- You already know the game (who doesn’t?), but if you missed out on the out-of-print first edition, now’s your chance.
- There’s still time to order the Nürburgring Monopoly game straight from the Nürburgring Shop in Germany.
- May we recommend, though, some other racing and Nürburgring-themed board games?
If you can’t actually drive around the Nürburgring, you can at least pretend to do so on your table. The latest board game to try and reproduce the excitement of racing down the track is the second edition of a Nürburgring-themed version of Monopoly.
This time, instead of Baltic Avenue or Park Place, you can stake your claim to specific track segments. Instead of houses and hotels, the game offers viewing stands and tokens shaped like a trophy and a tire. The trouble, if you want to actually enjoy your time at the gaming table, is that Monopoly is a pretty boring roll-and-move game. Created over 100 years ago, Monopoly remains hugely popular even as the tabletop gaming industry is undergoing a creative renaissance.
Other than an insane number of reskins like this Nürburgring version, Monopoly doesn’t offer any of the clever game play mechanics and strategy you can find in many other racing and car-themed board games. There are games that recreate the ‘Ring on a board or just try to give players the feel of racing. If spending 45 euros (roughly $50) doesn’t sound quite like your cup of tea, here are some other options to expand your board game collection with the Green Hell in mind.
These games broadly fall into two categories. The first are racing simulations that use different ways to replicate the challenge of getting your car across the finish line first. The other simply use cars or racing as a thematic cover for game mechanics of all kinds.
In the first category, we have classics like PitchCar and Formula D. First released in 1995, PitchCar is a dexterity game where players take turns flicking a disk along a track made up of pieces that can be arranged in various ways. You could even build your own miniature Nürburgring with enough track expansion packs.
Formula D (and its similar predecessor, Formula De) try to simulate Formula 1 racing without the real-time element. It’s a strategic game of maneuvering and car management, with the addition of luck from dice rolls thrown in. An official Nürburgring track expansion board was released for Formula De, and it can be used with Formula D as well.
In the second, more gamer-y category, we can point to Downforce, a 2017 version of the 1996 game Top Race by acclaimed game designer Wolfgang Kramer. Instead of just racing, Downforce features cards players use to bid on cars, drivers who have special powers, and strategy in timing when to make your move on the track, just like real racing.
Coming in 2020 and currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign is Kanban EV, which has players taking on the role of managers in an electric-car factory and trying to make the best of their assembly lines to secure a promotion to the managerial board. The current version, just called Kanban, features similar game play but with gasoline engines. Looks like the EV revolution is coming to all corners of the automotive industry.