Sometimes you just want to blow people and things up while taking a ride on the most pimped out toboggan time will ever know. Artic blasts will slap you in the face as you negotiate a psychotic obstacle course.
We’ll slide into the fun bits after a while but let’s look at the fine print first.
Designer: Jeremy Holcomb, Joseph Huber, Stephen McLaughlin, and Dan Tibbles
Publisher: Bucephalus Games
Date Released: 2008
Number of Players: 2 – 4
Age Range: 8 and up
Setup Time: less than 5 minutes
Play Time: around 30 minutes
Shuffle the upgrade tiles and lay out twelve of them. These tiles are the gadgets you can use to pimp your ride.
Each player then rolls all but the percentile die in a set of polyhedral dice (D20 or Dungeons and Dragons dice). Toboggans of Doom comes with a set of two but if you’re playing with more than two players, you’ll have to bring more. A set of polyhedral dice—minus the percentile die—is a four-sided die, a six-sided die, an eight-sided die, a ten-sided die, a twelve-sided die, and a twenty-sided die.
You use the dice as currency. If the upgrade has a dollar sign with a number, you’ll have to use any combination of dice to pay for the upgrade. But let’s say that the cost says something like $d4. You’ll then spend a four-sided die (d4) with any number rolled in order pick up that item. Players take turns purchasing upgrades until they run out of dice.
Sample Upgrade Tiles
There’s one main thing you’re looking for in upgrades: avoiding the obstacles in your toboggan’s run. All obstacles either have you go “over,” “around,” or “through.” You have to roll over a target number for “over” obstacles, under a target number for “around,” and between two sets of numbers for “through.”
More Sample Upgrade Tiles
Big dice, like a twenty-sided die, work best with “over,” while small dice, like the aforementioned four-sided die, work best for “around” obstacles. “Through” obstacles throw a wrench in the works as the target numbers can vary.
Once everyone has spent their dice, the run begins. The mountain is three columns of tiles by ten with gaps at the third and sixth row. This is what it should look like.
The mountain with two check points
Each player takes turns trying to make it down the mountain. You only get three tries (rounds) with a chance to buy more upgrades, but if no one finishes the course, players count up victory points earned by reaching the gaps (checkpoints) in the race.
Toboggans of Doom plays like a snowy version of Mad Max: Fury Road, and it’s about as deep as the movie, too. If you like mindless dice chucking with little strategy, you might like Toboggans of Doom.
There are some upgrades that beat the pants off the other ones; you’ll always want to roll a d20 (twenty-sided die) for “over” rolls and d4s are great for “around” rolls. Whoever manages to snag those upgrades will usually win but with dice chucking, you get a lot of luck, too.
Example of the mountain before the first checkpoint
I enjoy the idea of this game. I have plenty of polyhedral dice in my arsenal and they get a lot of love with Toboggans. I also like how the designers used the dice as currency. You’d bid on the various upgrades and if the upgrades had a dollar amount (instead of a flat die for the cost), you’ll have to add some dice together in order to purchase an upgrade. I think Toboggans should’ve stuck with a variable dollar amount and not use single dice as the cost for any upgrade. Most of the over-powered upgrades use a single die as the cost, so whoever picks first will get the best gear.
Example of the mountain before the second checkpoint
I played this game when it first came out and my kids enjoyed it. That was six or seven years ago and after dusting it off recently, they were less pleased with the game. Toboggans is one of those games that look clever at first glance, but wear thin real fast.
Toboggans of Doom is fun if you want to shut off your brain and chuck some dice. If you yearn for something a little more than that, you should look elsewhere.