Monza: (Fine) Motor (Skills) Racing

Monza(by Jürgen P. Grunau)
Players2-6 players
Playing Time10 minutes
Age 4+
PublisherHABA Games
First Published2000

Monza is a car racing game for children using coloured dice – a subtle variation on the roll-and-move mechanic that makes the game more interesting overall and hints at strategic choices.

Up to six racing cars compete in a short circuit on a three lane race track. Each space on the board is a distinct colour, that corresponds to the six different colours on the dice. On their turn, the player rolls six dice, and moves their car from space to space according to the colors shown on the dice. You continue to move until you no longer have dice colours that match the adjacent spaces. This means that whilst the game moves forward quickly, there will occasionally be turns when you don’t get to move at all. First one over the finish line wins.

In addition to turn-taking and simple game concepts, it helps teach color recognition, color matching, and sequencing. At ten minutes playing time, it is the perfect length for the attention span of young kids.

The components are top quality, the board is bright and colourful, the custom dice are well made, and kids love playing with the little wooden race cars in between games. It is more engaging and fun for parents than the typical roll and move, but the game isn’t likely to sustain their interest past age 8 or so, except possibly as a filler on family game night. The games are notoriously close, but there can be turns when players don’t get to move their cars at all – this can be frustrating especially for little ones. It is obviously very luck based, but there is sufficient decision-making that young kids will feel very gratified when they win.

Highly recommended for kids aged 3 to 6, as a step up from roll and move games, and for the first game kids will be able to play (and even teach) independently.

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