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Asmodee Digital have brought to the home computer one of the most enjoyably fun family card games ever published. Played with cards it is best as a 2 or 4 player game, though it works quite well with 3 players. Via the STEAM media you can play one player against up to 3 opponents all of whom you can select from the characters available, choosing the character by face and selecting the car they will drive. You can also do some character renaming. None of this makes a difference to the game, there is no difficulty level as it is all a matter of luck as to which cards you are dealt and what you draw from the top of the deck after playing. The skill is in knowing when to play and when to keep the cards you are holding, and, if they are hazards, on whom to play them - from experience playing in real life and also now on the PC it seems that if you play a hazard against one of the other players they will pick on you in the future, no matter where you are in the race. In real life I understand firends and family, notably my wife, playing hazards on me but in a digital game I would expect it to be programmed to pick on the car/character that is leading the race not the human player who is languishing at the back, but it doesn't, it picks on the human.

 

I love the game MILLE BORNES (1000 Miles). In the card game you play several races and keep a score each time. There are scores for winning, for not playing certain cards (such as the 200 mile distance card) and other assorted Victory point possibilities. These are noted after each race and totted up at the end; the overall winner (no they do not win Overalls) is the player with the highest VP value after the agreed number of races.

  

Players may hold 6 cards in their hand. If they pick one up and cannot play one then they must discard a card into the bin and forfeit their turn. Although it is a pain, picking up cards and not being able to use them (or any of the others that you currently hold), frustration at being unable to play, especially when you are close to the Winning Line, is also part of the fun. In this way it is an old fashioned game, the type players in the 1900's would be used to. Today it would be seen by many as having a poor and extremely well worn mechanic - draw a card, play a card or discard a card. The cards either move the character's car forward or they stop them from moving/assist them in movement. Playing a Hazard on an opponent is fun but it does cost you your turn, if they have a remedy to the hazard - New Tyre for a Puncture, Drive (Green Traffic Light) for a Stop (Red Traffic Light), Repairs for an Accident, Gas for Out of Fuel etc - they can play it on their turn but again it costs the full turn to do so, thus if you play a hazard and the recipient plays a remedy then both of you remain in the same position with nothing gained or lost. You only gain from playing a hazard if the recipient doesn't have a remedy in their hand. Of course holding onto remedy cards means you are always struggling to get Mileage cards; standing still isn't the best way to race.

  

In the card game you collect the Miles cards and keep the tally, stopping when someone reaches 1000 (or over) miles. When you play the card game in pairs you are both in the same car and thus either of you can, on your turn, play the remedy to the hazard - you also both play Miles cards into the pot. In this digital game the race track is broken into squares and you can watch your car move round the track, one space for every 25 miles. While you are moving your character is smiling but when you are given a hazard your character's face shows frustration and annoyance - the animation is simple but effective. If your car is immobile because of a hazard you can still play hazards on other players.

  

You can play Mille Bornes digital against human opponents or artifical ones controlled by the program, either way it is fun but it takes longer to play if all the players are human, even if 3 are human and one is a robot. In the card game ytou can only have one Hazard on you at a time, so if someone played a second hazard on you the first one was discarded (at least that's how I remember it - it has been many years since I last played the card version and my memory isn't the greatest now). In the digital game you can have more than one hazard on you, well you can if there are multiple human players.

  

There are remedies to the hazards as I have already mentioned, but there are also 4 Special Remedy cards, the Coupe-Fourre cards, one for each major hazard that doesn't actually remove the hazard it prevents it from being played on you in the first place - if you have the Petrol Tanker you can never run out of Gas, there are also special cards that prevent Punctures and Traffic Hazards. 

 The Driving Ace is the best Special card

 You can select to use either the new style cards or the olde-style cards, the artwork, particularly the Milestones are obviously different.

 200 Miles, the farthest you can travel in one move

  

I rate MILLE BORNES highly as a digital version that you can play alone or with friends. It's good fun to play alone but it doesn't have the competitive edge of playing face to face with real people. Even if played with friends unless you only allow one player at the keyboard, and all others in places where they cannot see the screen, it isn't the same.Apart from anything else it's a pain to have your turn and then get up, walk away and let the next player have their go. The idea of each player having their own cards is so that no other player, not even their partner if playing in pairs, knows what cards are being held. Onscreen everyone can see your cards and so they know what to play against you and what Remedies to save for themselves. As I say, this is a great rendition of a superb old fashioned family fun card game and well worth having on your PC to keep you away from soul destroying games like Candy Crush. I would however recommend that if you have at least one other friend you can play with that you also check out Toys R Us for the card game too.

  

  

  

  

Simple graphics, simple mechanics, simple animations, simply a very good game!

  

Asmodee.net have other games available:

  

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015