Turbo Drift Preview

Quick Look:


Designer: Rob Cramer
Artist: Mark Boardman
Publisher: Button Shy
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-4 players
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Turbo Drift. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Kick the tires and light the fires it is racin’ time! I know that is a quote from a movie about fighter planes, but hey sounds good here too. In Turbo Drift players are trying to be the first to cross the finish line while avoiding barriers and other players along the way.

To set up Turbo Drift each player will choose a car and place it on one side of the table behind an imaginary start line. Note: it is recommended to play on a 3′ x 3′ table space. On the other side of the table players will place the Finish Line card. Barrier cards are then shuffled and placed randomly between the start line and the Finish Line card. Lastly players shuffle and create a 2×3 grid—off to the side—using the six Path Cards. The first player then receives the First Player card and the Boost card.

4 player set up with the goof squad!

On a player’s turn he will perform the following actions:

  1. Select a Path card or cards from the 2×3 grid. Players can choose 1, 2, or 3 Path cards on their turn with varying effects:
    • If a single Path card is selected he also gains the First Player card which he can keep for himself or give to another player.
    • If three Path cards are taken he must shuffle them and use in the order they are in. For one or two cards he has the choice of when they are used.
  2. Play a Path card (i.e. Drive). A player drives by laying down the Boost card behind his car, lining up the tire marks. He then removes his car and plays the fist Path card in front of the Boost card, again lining up the tire marks. This continues for as many Path cards he has. Once all Path cards have been played he returns his car to the front Path card. When returning the car he flips it over indicating he has taken his turn. The Boost card is then passed to the next player. See examples of driving in the images below.
  3. Return card(s) to the 2×3 grid. Once finished he returns the Path card(s) to the empty spots in the 2×3 grid in any orientation and order he chooses.

A couple other things to mention:

Barriers: When driving a player may encounter a Barrier card. If a Path card is played that overlaps the Barrier card or will cause the player’s car to over lap the Barrier card the player may not play the card. And instead ends his turn. The only exception for this rule is the Nitro rule below. To avoid a crash a player can choose to back up on their turn.

Nitro: On a players turn he can take all six Path cards from the 2×3 grid. This is called Nitro and can only be used once per game. The cards are played in the same way as three cards except a player may stop when they want (after a Path card has been played and before the next). If a player hits a Barrier card while using the Nitro move they are knocked out of the game in a flaming ball of explosioness (I know not a word but is sounds good).

Boost: There are several spots on the Barrier cards that are indicated by a flame symbol, these are boosts. When a player’s car or a Path card overlaps a boost symbol he takes the Boost card from the back of the path and places is at the front, adding to the player’s move. The rest of the Path cards are then played in front of the Boost card or the player’s car is placed back down if no Path cards are left in the move.

The player to reach the Finish Line card first is the winner and “King of all Drifters!” “The looser will be stripped of all modifications and become stock!” Who doesn’t love a little Tokyo Mater.

Here are some game shots that demonstrate driving with the Path cards.


Turbo Drift is one of three wallet games that are being Kickstarted by Button Shy Games starting January 3, 2017. Avignon: Pilgrimage and Find Your Seats are the other two, be watching for a review of Avignon: Pilgrimage soon.

I don’t have a lot of experience with wallet games like Turbo Drift, however if this is any indication of how they play I am very impressed.

Turbo Drift is a very quick game to learn, set up and play. I think our first game from start to finish including rule reading took about 30 minutes. Most games after that took anywhere from 15-20 minutes. With it playing so quickly you can easily get several games in one sitting.

Mechanically there isn’t a lot going on—draw cards, move, return cards—however each one of those phases holds a lot of strategic choices. Choosing 1, 2, or 3 Path cards can mean getting the first player card in order to block someone or moving further along the course to get ahead. Returning the cards to the grid has huge implications on your opponent’s turns. Figuring out what their best course is and placing the Path cards down in such a way that limits their options can be a game in itself.

As I mentioned above this is a wallet game which means there are not a lot of components. For the components that are there I am not sure if they are final since the game has not been published yet. The card quality is fine and the artwork is okay. My one gripe here is that the cars do not look very race car-ish—one actually looks like a sedan. Again maybe this isn’t the final artwork.

Actual wallet the game came in.


From a kid’s perspective my boys really enjoyed playing Turbo Drift. They liked the artwork (so I may be off with my opinion) and the game play. My oldest thoughtfully compared the path placement mechanism to that of Star Wars X-Wing noting that players can get themselves into a lot of trouble if they don’t choose the right Paths. I agree 100% with him as I got that X-Wing vibe too.

Overall I think Turbo Drift is a hit and at the low price point ($12 includes shipping) you should strongly consider picking this one up. Players looking for small portable games that play quickly but pack some punch will love Turbo Drift. 

I am giving Turbo Drift 7 out of 10 super meeples and 8 out of 10 super kid meeples.

7 10

Check out Turbo Drift on:

Coming to Kickstarter January 3, 2017

About the Author:

My name is Dane Trimble I am the Advertising Manager for a national magazine by day and a husband, father of four, and board gamer by night (and mornings). I have a passion for board games as I believe board games help bring families closer together while providing kids a unique way to learn many diverse skills. And they are down right fun!!!

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