Dale Yu: Review of Fast and Furious: Highway Heist

Fast and Furious: Highway Heist

  • Designer: Prospero Hall
  • Publisher: Funko
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age:12+
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Funko 

fast and furious

In this cooperative game, you team will be able to play through three different scenarios set in the movie world of The Fast and The Furious (Tank Assault, Semi Heist, Chopper Takedown).  While the same board is used for all the scenarios, there are specific pieces and cards for each of the three scenarios as well as a special pamphlet to help you set it up.

To start, find the setup pamphlet for your chosen scenario and get out the necessary bits.  Each player gets to choose their own Character and starting vehicle.  Note that each of these boards has their own attribute ratings for Speed, Control, Athletics and Defense.  Over the course of the games, you’ll have to make Skill rolls for one of these attributes, and the number of dice yo uget to roll is equal to your skill rating in that Skill. Slide the two cards together to make your starting combo.  Place a cube in the top slot of your vehicle strength track.  You also get a player peg which is used to show your location when you’re not in your car.  (Yes, as I found out, just like in the movies – you’ll need a certain suspension of your disbelief as cars drive themselves at high speed while you’re climbing out on the roof).  Finally each player gets two Boost tokens – these are used to either improve your own roll or to give your teammate an additional die to roll on their turn.

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Take the Scenario board for your chosen scenario and place it next to the Road Board (which is used in all 3 scenarios).  Take the specific Enemy card deck and shuffle it.  Also take the Stunt cards for this scenario and set up the deck – you can change to difficulty of the scenario by altering the composition of the deck (essentially, giving you fewer rounds to accomplish your goals).  The top card of the stunt deck is placed on the Road Board.  Set up the pieces on the board as directed by the setup pamphlet.  The Road board is set up with the top edge being north, and all of the vehicles traveling (as assuredly crazy high speed) from left to right, that is West to East.

The game is played in a number of rounds (until certain game end conditions are met or when the last Stunt card is out of the game).  In each round, each of the players will get a turn, though the group can decide in what order players should take their turn in each round.  There are two phases to each player turn – take 2 actions and then roll the enemy die and resolve it.

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The actions are what you’d expect for a game based on this action movie series.  Some of the actions do not require a die roll.  If they do, calculate your current skill (if you are driving a car, you get to add the attributes of your car), and roll the number of dice equal to the skill level being checked.  Your teammates can expend a Boost token to give you an additional die per Boost token. Then the dice are rolled, and you get one success for each Green circle that you see.  If you do not have enough, you can spend a Boost token of your own to convert any Boost symbols seen and convert them to Green circles.

Your action choices are:

  • Drive you car (no roll)
  • Leap from your current car to another (no roll)
  • Ram an Enemy SUV (needs Speed 3)
  • Force a car in a different direction (needs Control 3)
  • Shake an enemy off your roof (needs Control 2)
  • Brawl (with someone else on the top of the vehicle you’re standing on, likely with no one driving it) – (Needs Athletics 2)
  • Hijack an enemy SUV – (Needs Athletics 2)
  • Take a Boost Token (instead of doing your second action)
  • Take a Stunt Action

As you are doing these, you should always keep your eye on the Stunt cards at the bottom of the Road Board. If you meet the conditions listed on the card, you can try to accomplish the stunt (usually involving a skill check roll).  The rewards are listed on the card, and you often earn Boost tokens for successfully completing a Stunt.

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Then, you roll the Enemy Die – this may cause enemy SUVs to ram or attack you, cause enemy humans to jump on cards or attack you, or they could cause enemy cards to come into play.  There is a chart on the bottom of the Scenario board for enemy cards, and they are placed in the leftmost slot and the immediate action is resolved.  When the card is pushed all the way to the right most slot (3 slots total), then you resolve the red activate action box on that card.

Repeat this process until all players have had a chance to take a turn this round.  Then, take care of your road maintenance.  Any Wrecked cars move 4 spaces west on the board (and destroy things in their path).  Unmanned cars move 1 space West (you know, because no one is on the gas pedal).  Finally, slide any Stunt cards on the board one space to the left and deal a new stunt card to the  rightmost space.

The game ends immediately if players achieve the stated goal of the scenario.  They also win immediately if they are able to complete the Game End condition on one of the highest level Stunt cards.  The players lose if the Level 3 Stunt card moves all the way off the left of the Road board.

My thoughts on the game

I’ll admit that I’ve never actually seen any of the movies, and I’m happy to say that you really don’t need any knowledge of the movies to be able to play the game.  (This is one of my big concerns about any game with such a IP tie-in; will it only work for fans of the movie?)  Just imagine a high speed chase with crazy stunts and acrobatic moves.  Lots of explosions and carnage.  That’s what you get here.

The scenarios that I have played are pretty well designed, and honestly, we have come down to just about the last round in each game that I’ve played (and we’re still playing at the basic difficulty level!).  The players can work together to try to achieve the main goal of the scenario (as seen on the scenario board), but honestly, so far, I’ve only won the game by completing the Level 3 Stunt card which also grants victory.

The players definitely have to work together to come up with a good plan in each round.  There are always multiple things going on, and timing things right is crucial.  It is important to remember that when you are behind the wheel of a car, you also get to add the stats of the car to your skill rolls.  This can be useful when you perhaps need to nudge an enemy SUV or do something else in order to set up a teammate’s action in a later turn.

Managing your boost tokens is also important. The are super helpful in both of their uses.  Sometimes, you need to help out a buddy – for instance, some characters have poor baseline skills in certain things, and for them to achieve success in on a particular roll, they might really need to get an extra die just to give them a chance – and then, they still might need to spend a Boost token of their own to convert Boost icons into success icons.

The pace of each scenario is left a little to luck – sure it will all even out – but a lot hinges on w hat the enemy die roll is on each turn.  The enemy cards can be especially disruptive, and if you roll the dreaded skull on a couple turns in a row – all of your plans could be dashed as you now have a bunch of other things to deal with. 

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Each of the scenarios looks to take about an hour, and I actually like the way that each of the scenarios has their own specific components.  It allows each scenario to be a bit fuller and more thematic as it has dedicated cards and vehicles.  The plastic components are fine, certainly good for a mass market production.  Though I am vaguely aware that Vin Diesel was an actor in the series, I don’t have much more familiarity than that.  It appears that the publisher did not get the visual rights to the actors (similar to what appears to have happened in the Rocketeer game), and it while it doesn’t bother me at all, some of the gamers who played with me did mention that the resemblances were sometimes not very close.

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So this one isn’t as close…

Fast and Furious: Highway Heist is a cohesive cooperative game that places people in the midst of a high speed chase from a movie series they are likely familiar with.  There are three specific scenarios to challenge you, and replay value is further increased by being able to modify the number of Stunt cards in your deck.  It is, honestly, a bit on the complex side for a mass market game, and this is definitely a title that could satisfy a regular gamer – though I do think that it should do fairly well as well with a casual gamer who gets this for a gift.

Thoughts from the Opinionated Gamers

Steph – I played with a bunch of fans of the movies and they were LOVING it. I haven’t seen the films but felt it was very thematic. I liked it well enough.

Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!
  • I like it. Dale y, Mark J
  • Neutral.  John P, Steph H
  • Not for me…

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
This entry was posted in Essen 2021, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

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