Number of Players: 3 - 5
Length of Time: 15 - 30 min
Game Designer: Rena Lawhead & Daniel Lawhead
Publisher: Sheep Tree Studios
Crazy Commute is a card game published by Sheep Tree Studios and is an active Kickstarter campaign at the time of this writing. You can check out Crazy Commute by clicking this link: Crazy Commute.
It should be noted that we were provided a prototype copy of the game, so take that into consideration when viewing our photographs of the components.
Crazy Commute is a three to five player card game in which players take on the role of a driver during their daily commute. However, this isn’t like any regular commute because players will utilize items to duel their way past their opponents and come out ahead! The game comes in a small card box and contains five Driver cards, ten Event cards, and fifty Item cards.
Driver cards are used to represent each player in the game, such as the Zombie Driver (aka the Tired Commuter). Event cards are used to add an ongoing effects to the game, such as the Dirt Road card (which stops the Bottled Oil Slick card from initiating a duel). Lastly, Item cards, which are used to duel other players or defend against a duel. An example of these cards include the Bottled Oil Slick, Tire Springs, and Rocket Fuel cards.
The game begins with each player choosing a Driver card. All Drivers are then lined up on a play surface so they make a horizontal line facing forward, with no one ahead of anyone else. The Item cards are then shuffled and a starting hand of five cards are handed to each player. Once that is done, the Event cards are shuffled into the remaining Item card deck, which will now represent the draw deck. From there, the first player sets the game up by drawing a card from the deck, discarding one card from their hand, and then moving their Driver card forward one space so that it is in front of all other driver cards. This step is important because it puts someone ahead of everyone else so that players have someone to try and pass ahead of. From there, players will each take a turn in clockwise order trying to pass ahead of other Drivers and duel each other until one player has won seven duels- winning the game!
Player turns consist of three steps. The first step is drawing a card from the Deck. If an Event card is drawn, that Event card is immediately placed on the play surface face up so its instructions can be followed. A new Event card will always replace the current one. Otherwise, the drawn card is placed in the active player’s current hand and they move on to step number two.
From here, the active player may choose to either discard one card from their hand so they may draw two new cards from the Deck or instead, they may choose to attempt to pass one or more Drivers ahead of them. In the event that no one is ahead of the active player, they simply duel the discard pile (which contains facedown cards). During this step, if the active player decides to pass a Driver, they then declare that by specifying the targeted Driver. The target player then must decided either to allow the active player to pass them or to initiate a Duel to try and block the active player’s attempt to pass.
If the targeted player allows the active player to pass them, then the targeted player will take a random card from the active player’s hand and place it in their own hand. The active player then moves their Driver ahead of the targeted player. If the targeted player decides to initiate a Duel to stop from being passed, then the targeted player will play an item card from their hand. Each Item card can be defeated by the card listed at the bottom of the Item card. For example, the Tire Springs can be defeated by the Prune-Fed Pigeon. Therefore, players take turns playing Item cards back and forth until one player cannot (or chooses not) to defeat the last Item card played. In that case, the last Item card played is taken by the winner and kept as a victory marker to keep track of how many Duels that player has won. The other cards are then placed in the discard pile. If the active player won, they move their Driver ahead of the targeted player. If the active player lost, they remain behind the targeted player.
From there the third step allows the active player to draw back up to five cards. And then it is the next player’s turn. Play continues clockwise until one player has won seven duels.
And that is Crazy Commute! Players continue to try and pass each other, dueling their way to victory!
Now for the gameplay. As you can see, Crazy Commute was very easy to learn and to teach to others. This is definitely a game that almost all ages can enjoy, including children. As you can see from our pictures the art was very simple, but clean and appropriate. Our cards were also pretty durable and have not been damaged through our game plays. Our games also averaged eighteen minutes with three players, so we feel confident that the advertised fifteen to thirty minute game time is accurate. Also, it should be noted that this is a three to five player game- which means that for all our couples out there, you will need at least one more person to play. We tried playing with just two (as our own experiment), but we agree with Sheep Tree Studios’ decision to make it a three player game- two players just did not allow enough options. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something to take into consideration if you (like us) primarily play with two players.
As far as strategy, this game’s complexity weight is low, but still brings enough to the table to make you think about who you duel at certain times and which card you use to initiate a duel. Being ahead of the other Drivers is one of the best ways to secure success in this game because you simply have to duel one card from the discard pile instead of an actual player. But allowing a player to pass you so you can take a card from them can also be beneficial with multiple players as a way to stock up on cards. However, during our game plays we basically only choose this option when we did not think we could defeat our opponent. Otherwise, we almost always tried to pass Drivers.
In the end we really enjoyed playing Crazy Commute. The game plays pretty quickly and is easy to teach, which lent itself to its advertised “competitive party game” label. We even used this as a filler between heavier games as a way to unwind for some casual fun. I mean, who doesn't want to throw Prune-Fed Pigeons at the guy who cut you off in morning traffic! We also liked the size of this card game, which makes it an easy travel game. Ultimately this is a quick, simple game that anyone can play.
We hope this review of Crazy Commute was helpful, and if you like what you’ve seen, we recommend visiting Crazy Commute’s campaign on the official Kickstarter website. There, you’ll be able to see more visual representations of the game and even the ability to pick up a copy for yourself.