Review – Wreckland Run
Oh what a glorious day to shuffle and dice roll!
|Renegade Game Studios
|Dice Rolling, Cards
|30-45 minutes per chapter
Wreckland Run is a solo game that sees you piloting a stripped down but souped up vehicle in the vein of Mad Max as you fight and destroy your way across the apocalyptic wasteland, facing different foes and bosses along the way. As you play, you’ll take damage, earn scrap, and install upgrades to your rolling death machine. So is it a gentle roll through the park, or is it a Costco Parking lot on Black Friday kinda mayhem? Read on for the review!
All the cars and people are decked out like they’re attending a post-apocalyptic car show. Some vehicles and people are adorned with skulls or spikes as well. Each scenario has a Win and Loss paragraph to read, and the losing sections describe some of your injuries without being too graphic. Your vehicle can take (and give) damage, but when something is destroyed on your car you just place a card on it showing damage, and when enemies are eliminated they are just removed from play. The 10+ age suggestion is an accurate summation.
In Wreckland Run, the game is played over 3 rounds, each having 2 different phases: Wreckage, where you repair and upgrade your vehicle, and Run, where you battle with enemy cars and bosses over a series of turns. A player wins if they can defeat the boss in the third Run, and they lose if the vehicle Core takes too much damage before they can do that.
In each Wreckage round, you’ll draw a number of car parts determined by the scenario in the Journal, which is left out both for reference and placing any red dice (more on that later). After drawing the parts, you roll all of the dice and can spend any or all of them to upgrade your vehicle. However, using the red dice means you’ll have to roll them once again, and apply any effects on the boss’ board of the Journal, which can be anything from No Effect to dealing damage to a specific part of your car, or several places on it. Once you’re done upgrading, you move on to the Run.
During each Run, you’ll place enemy vehicles around yours according to the Journal, and then roll all dice again. A Run is broken up into different steps, but basically you roll a red enemy die, place it (activating that enemy), then get to place 1-3 of the white dice, then repeat. If you do this 3 times and there are more than 2 enemies left, you start over; otherwise, if there are 2 or less enemies, you move on to the next Wreckage round and the remaining enemies retreat.
I was initially excited to try another game in Renegade’s Solo Series after how much I enjoyed Warp’s Edge, but I didn’t get that initial feeling of loving it with Wreckland Run. My first feeling was actually one of being overwhelmed, as the game has a LOT of symbology on the enemies and the parts you’ll be adding to your car. The quick reference guides do help, but it is a lot.
The campaign is fun, and I like how it drip-feeds new enemies who stay in the deck to challenge you more, but I also question: what if you need to put everything away in-between chapters? Each deck wouldn’t be too hard, but short of taking a snapshot of your car’s setup and upgrades, there isn’t a built-in way to bookmark your progress, which would be disappointing to anyone who doesn’t have enough table space to leave it out for all 7 chapters (or a gaming table where they can store it left out). Not a huge deal, but it was something I wondered about. I do really like the Journal and the small 1-2 page stories in between each chapter that help pull everything together. Any game that helps cut down on setup by having a rulebook kept out and open is doing something right. Also, the art feels like an awesome cross between Samurai Jack and Mad Max, which wasn’t a sentence I ever thought I’d type.
Overall, Wreckland Run is fun, as long as you don’t tire easily of shuffling decks and rolling then assigning dice, since that makes up the core of the mechanics of play. While it doesn’t quite have the same, “one more round” draw that I felt with Warp’s Edge, it’s still a solid and enjoyable solo game. If you’re hankering for a solo game set in a car-centric post-apocalyptic desert, look no further, meatbag!
The Bottom Line
A solid and enjoyable solo game. If you’re hankering for something set in a car-centric post-apocalyptic desert, look no further, meatbag!