F9 is crushing the box office at the moment, and while you can't exactly recreate the over-the-top experiences that fans love about the series in real life, you can bring some of that excitement to your tabletop courtesy of Funko Games and Prospero Hall. Enter Fast & Furious: Highway Heist, a game for 2 to 4 players that puts you in the driver's seat as your favorite characters from the franchise through three thrilling scenarios. Highway Heist lives up to its name and evokes the fun, thrills, and ridiculousness of the franchise in a way that's easy to pick up after a few turns without sacrificing complexity and depth, and you won't even have to leave the house to enjoy it.
Players choose from a roster that includes Dom, Letty, Roman, Brian, Han, and Tej, and each driver comes with their own unique ability. You also get a special ability depending on which vehicle you choose, and the presentation of this mechanic is pretty slick, having you pair your driver card with the vehicle card and combining the stats on each to let you know how many dice you need to roll for skill checks.
Speaking of presentation, Funko Games found a way to deliver the feel of a high-speed chase without the size and space requirements that you might expect. The board is only three panels long, and all of the action takes place in those three spaces. It's immensely impressive how you get all the frenzied movement of a car chase on this small of an area, and even when you throw in all the player boards and card decks, you still have a wealth of space. In a world where some games demand an entire dining room table's worth of space, it's a welcome feature.
Despite the smaller area, you don't feel hindered in any way when utilizing the various mechanics. You'll be zooming up the road and darting in between enemies and wrecks with ease, and having everything grouped together like this makes the scenes look as chaotic as their film counterparts, especially when you factor in the main objectives.
The game comes loaded with three scenarios, and each one focuses on a different skill set and adds a new mechanic to the mix. In the Tank Assault, you'll be attempting to destroy a tank by taking out enemy SUVs in the path of the tank to do damage, though there are mechanics like Stunts that allow you to pull off some cinematic maneuvers to inflict damage as well, like hurling an SUV in the air so it lands on the tank. In the Semi Heist, you'll attempt to steal cargo from a Semi and make off with it, though you'll have to get out of your car and on top of the Semi to make it happen. Finally in the Chopper Takedown, you'll not only need to take out a Chopper that's firing at you but also deal with Deckard Shaw's car while doing it, and all three require a unique strategy to gameplay style to complete.
That's actually what I appreciated the most about the game. The actions you can take are pretty easy to grasp onto, and after a few turns, you'll be moving through your turns and the enemy's turns at a brisk clip. Each scenario will make you up your game though, requiring you to expand your tactics and skillset by getting on top of your car and hopping onto another one, hijacking an enemy SUV when your car has been destroyed, or using a wreck as a ramp and sending your car into a Chopper to damage it. Meanwhile, Stunt Actions up the chaos even further, requiring you to satisfy certain conditions and movements but ending in not just damage towards your enemy but one-of-a-kind moves that feel right out of the movies.
While all of the scenarios are fun to play, the Semi Heist is the true star, feeling as authentic a recreation of a Fast & Furious movie without buying your own race car and revealing you had a mysterious younger brother. Everything just comes together in this particular sequence, and you'll be adapting on the fly while utilizing all of your various skills and losing all track of time in the process.
If there are some flaws, it's mostly in things that just could have been a little better or more refined. The visual style used throughout the components is colorful and stylish, but when you get to the Player Cards showcasing the characters, the models are a bit lifeless and bland. Sure, you know who they are, but compared to everything else, they just look rather plain. The only other nitpick is the Tank Assault scenario, which just wasn't as fun or thrilling when compared to the two scenarios that come after.
Funko Games really knocked it out of the park with Highway Heist, an experience that makes you feel as if you're living out the movie without all the danger and mileage you'd need in real life. It's easy to pick up and learn regardless of your experience level with board games, and truly evokes the best aspects of the franchise, making it an easy recommendation.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Fast & Furious: Highway Heist is in stores now, and you can pick it up right here.0comments