“Bump your opponent off the track!”
Released in 1975 by Whitman, the Race Around board game pit two players against each other in a race to bump each other’s cars off the race track.
The game board was illustrated with five red and five blue spaces on which players positioned their plastic cars at the start of the game. Players chose the scorecard whose colour matched their cars.
The player with the high spin started the game. Each turn began with the player identifying which of their five cars they would move during the turn. The player spun the spinner and moved their selected car the number of spaces — one through 10 — indicated by the arrow.
The cars followed along the paths set on the board. If a player passed an opponent’s car, they earned an extra spin as an opportunity to knock the opponent’s car off the board. During that spin, if the arrow landed on the “10 win” spinner wedge, the player bumped the opponent’s car off the board for the remainder of the game. The captured car was placed on their scorecard. An extra spin was granted for each opponent’s car passed during a turn, but cars could only be removed with a “10 win” spin. If a number one through nine was spun during this subsequent spin, no action was taken.
If a player landed on the same space as an opponent, each of them spun the spinner. The highest spin knocked the opponent’s car from the board, acquiring it for their scorecard. If a player landed on a space where one of their own cars rested, the opponent took the car off the board and placed it on their scorecard.
The player who bumped all their opponent’s cars off the track — while still having at least one of their own cars on the board — won the game.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included the game board, 10 plastic cars (five each in blue and red), two scorecards (illustrated with numbers one through five), and a spinner. Instructions were printed inside the box top.
The psychedelic pop-art-inspired design of the game board and accessories make Race Around an appealing acquisition for game board collectors. The game occasionally comes up for sale through online marketplaces, but Race Around isn’t always easy to find. The colourful game is vulnerable to environmental factors such as exposure to light. Care should be taken to preserve the game’s visual appeal.