Tuk Fast Tuk Furious: An Informal Review

Told y'all I wouldn't be gone-gone! Sorry for not responding to anyone anywhere yet. I so appreciate y'all's encouragement and support, especially in wanting to shift gears here. My approach is just going to be writing when I feel like it, not out of a compulsion to participate here per se. Thank y'all again :) will respond properly soon, just not been active all that much.

Played Tuk Fast Tuk Furious with Alex (To Distant Lands) and some of his friends tonight! I know that comparing one thing to another, especially of a different medium, is generally unhelpful and non-descriptive. Let me change your mind. Picture Mario Kart, but with your imagination. And you drive lovely little tuk tuks. Can you picture it?

Tuk Fast Tuk Furious is a four-player game. Everyone plays the role of a tuk tuk street racer, hoping to win to accomplish some unrelated (and ridiculous) goal. Alex had our race take place in Paris during the lead-up to the 2024 Olympics, with blocked roads and Parisian police and baguette bakers. The prize: a ludicrous amount of Bitcoin. My character, Trixie the Auto-Tech from Not-Cuba, was personally invested in winning the prize to become a majority shareholder in Akon City. Other characters included a pickle-obsessed politician, a struggling film producer, and a femme fatale drag queen.

Rules Summary

The game starts by rolling for our initial "Flow", a score representing how ahead we are of everyone else in the race. You describe how your character prepares for the race, and then roll 2D6 for a result in the 0–2 range; if you start with a 0 or 1, you need to describe what goes wrong.

Each round thereafter, one player describes an obstacle on the race course, and everyone describes why they may be advantaged or disadvantaged at the obstacle (with the acting player assigning –1 or +1 each to one other player based on their response). You roll D6: 4–6 means you increase your Flow by 1; 2–3 means your Flow stays the same; and 1 means your Flow decreases by 1. If a player is in the lead, they modify their roll by –2.

The end of the game is sort of an auction. You secretly declare a "Speed" number, and roll 2D6 plus your flow score. The winner is whoever rolls the highest without going under their Speed, which would result in them crashing (meaning, it's possible for everyone to crash and no one to win).

Thoughts

It was so fun to play something so casual and goofy! This to me is a perfect example of what I often call "party games": simple one-page games that prompt players with silly situations to imagine solutions and mess around and improvise bits. There's enough structure to not feel lost or like you're not just making stuff up, but it's all driven by player improvisation and participation. It embraces the social occasion as the fun part of playing the game! Like, sure, you're trying to win, but winning is the excuse for playing (rather than the aim of play being to win). Maybe this could be rephrased in terms of "playing" as opposed to "gaming", which I had wanted to write about to expand on my last post but didn't feel like it was particularly interesting.

The rules were best when they structured the conversation. We "drove" through places in Paris that were simultaneously iconic and also absurd to drive through with our little tuk tuks. We got stuck in a traffic jam at the Arch de Triomphe because of baguette bakers protesting the Olympics, drove through construction ramps at the Notre Dame (to eventually crash and fly through its stained-glass window), ramped off the glass pyramid (combination Apple store?) at the Louvre, delved into the catacombs where we were assailed by ghosts and police, and finally broke through barriers at the Eiffel Tower to drive underneath and complete the race. Everyone crashed except for my character! It was really fun to make up some random obstacle we all had to deal with, and then play-argue for why we each would be really good or really bad at dealing with it.

My only complaint is that the minutia of the rules felt a little clumsy. I didn't like having to refer to a table to know if my character's Flow increased or decreased or stayed the same, and it seemed like all our Flow scores were consistently low. It's sort of funny in that we kept falling over ourselves, but also it's supposed to be a race and we should feel like we keep going past each other! I would make these changes:

  • Your initial flow is somewhere from 1 to 6. (Maybe everyone picks from a pool of four dice?)
  • Each round, roll D6: if higher than your Flow, increase by 1; if lower, decrease by 1.
  • Keep the highest/lowest of 2D6 if you're advantaged/disadvantaged, rather than modifying by ±1.
  • The leading player doesn't subtract 2 because they're already at greater risk of falling behind!

Overall, it's a really delightful little game! :) It's so silly and low-stakes without being totally stakes-less.

Comments

  1. Sounds very fun. I am looking out for quick to pick up, rules light "party" games as you described here. I've been asked to run D&D for friends before when something more casual and playful would have been better. An excuse to do silly little bits with your friends.

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