Kickstarter, you will be the death of my damn wallet. After putting down money on some new games the past few months that range from the interesting (Unfair), to the creative (Coriolis), to the just plain pleasant (Herbaceous), here comes one that looks like plain ol’ crazy balls-to-the-wall action; The Devil’s Run: Hell’s Highway.
Developed by Word Forge Game, Hell’s Highway is sort of the second edition of Devil’s Run, a post apocalyptic car combat game that actually uses 20mm scale miniatures. What does that mean? Oh, only that it fucking lets players customize and use Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, in addition to the excellent looking minis WFG produces. Have a General Lee or a Back to the Future Delorean toy lying around? Well, you can slap some guns, armor, tire spikes, or whatever on those bad boys, and you’ve got yourself some minis for the game!
Calling Hell’s Highway the second edition isn’t totally correct, but it’s probably the best thing to go with. It’s essentially the same game as the original Devil’s Run, but with the errata, expanded rules, newer minis, etc... In addition to funding the newest edition of the game, the Kickstarter is also being used to expand on existing factions, introduce new ones, and add new little toys for the players to have some fun with.
The world seems to have a pretty nice little history the devs have had a great time developing, with all the action taking place around San Francisco, the last bastion of civilization in the known world. Fighting over and around San Fran are factions that run the usual gamut of post apocalyptic tropes. You’ve got the Law Haulage (bullies masquerading as cops), the Skinners (savage cannibals), Justice (religious fanatics), and on and on.
The minis WFG put out themselves look fantastic, as well. The original releases were multi part kits, but one of the goals of the current Kickstarter is to release the occasional single piece mini, speeding up the time it takes to get from unboxing to actual play time on the table. I really just love the look of their stuff. Intimidating bikers, speedy looking buggies, massive trucks and vans, and even a truly massive war rig that’s available to any faction to use.
Of course, a mini game wouldn’t be complete without expies of famous pop culture icons. The current Kickstarter just finished unlocking the Conundrum Contraption and the gang of 30-something kids that travel around in it solving mysteries. They’ve also got the last of the Interceptors driven by Bane (heh), the Alpha Team, featuring Paceman and Maddog (hah!), and the Admiral Bruce driven by cousins Derek and Duke. Don’t see something you want? Well, there are even some pledge levels where you can develop your own character for the game, or even your own custom ride...
The rules themselves look like they play fast, are easy to pick up, allow for above 2 players, and have this interesting rolling road tile mechanic. What’s that? It’s actually pretty damn interesting. Basically, you only have so many tiles of road you use for the missions you play through, so as your vehicles drive across the road, you move the rear tile up to the front, effectively giving you the ability to have long sprawling combats, without having to take up entire tables for the game. I’ve seen a few short videos of this in action, and I really like what I see.
So far, the Kickstarter is going extremely well, currently at being 624% funded, with lots of great stretch goals to go. They’ve got a good mix of both free stuff added to the game with stretch goals, and add ons that unlock and help expand on the game and grow it a little more. I really can’t recommend this game enough. The people I’ve talked to that played the original release have spoken real highly of it, and the few gameplay vids on YouTube were just great to check out.
To say that I’m a fan of the post apocalyptic genre is an understatement. Growing up, I’ve gobbled up the movies, the games, comics, or anything else that I could get my hands on. Sadly, it’s rare that we’ve gotten a really great car combat game set in a post apocalyptic world. Sure, we’ve had the occasional Dark Future, Overdrive Arena, or Car Wars, but they’ve always kind of fallen short for a variety of reasons. Maybe the setting wasn’t all that interesting, the rules were kind of shoddy, or they just didn’t have the support and disappeared in a puff of smoke, like so much Keyser Soze. Devil’s Run seems to scratch that post apoc car combat itch, while also fixing a lot of the problems I’ve had with previous entries in the genre.
I live, I die. I LIVE AGAIN!