Know colloquially as the Tube to its regular travellers, the London Underground is an international icon that can translated without even mentioning its name. Its map, with lines of yellow, red, pink, blue and many more, make it a globally recognised brand.  One that can take people to many global acknowledged locations from Westminster, Oxford Street and many others. Equally recognisable are the landmarks. In Gibson Games RACE THE RAILS, you might traverse these but your ultimate goal is more simple. Get home!


Inside the box you find a 8 wooden pieces of various colours, a bunch of penny tokens, Route Cards, Starting location cards (with Assistance Required on the reverse), Answer sheet, Milestone cards, An Almost home card, a timer and a rule card. Oh do not forget the solution cards! Everything in the box looks good. It replicates the standard TFL font, imagery (with a nod to MONOPOLY with a top hat!) and cards are weighted and shine. This means in plain terms, you paid for quality and you get it.


To start, each player (up to 8 can take part) are given a starting location but do not look at it! 2 penny’s and a score sheet. Then all of the Route cards are shuffled and laid down, face up as to show the destinations. Two cards are drawn from the Milestone cards and placed at the bottom in view of everyone. Follow what they say as an example, for a busker, give 6 penny’s on the card to collect. The Almost Home card is left at the bottom so the winner can place their piece once completed. Leave the timer near this and then you are off! Flip over the starting station card, write it down and then race! You have to find stations that match, Move your piece, follow routes to other stations, check that the symbols on these do or do not match the Milestone cards (if they do, do as they say). If you need help, flip over the Station card to Assistance Required. All players can help, whoever succeeds gets a penny from the player. Then get to home! Once you do, flip over the Almost Home card and drop your piece onto it. To win, be the player home fastest with the most penny’s!


Race games for families are best when they require varied levels of participation. Kids and adults love to solve puzzles, they love to be the first and they love to do little silly side activities. RACE THE RAILS has all of this. It is a puzzle game, it is a race game and it is a fun game with a very stimulating mix of speed and accuracy. Games are rapid and draw you in with attention and excitement.


In truth, it is not for those who want a patient game of method and move strategy. It plays best to an audience who want to be on their feet. It also plays best with 4 players and least with 2 or 6.


Gibsons TFL collection have been universally loved by us. MIND THE GAP is a masterpiece of match, move and mindfulness. It is a table fave for high days and holidays. RACE THE RAILS is equally good. Diabolically simple to the non participant, it becomes a rapidly eventful game of twists and turns, penny’s and passenger moves. It might not always be fulfilling for some players but I imagine hours of play for those looking to perfect the route from Hammersmith to Home.


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