by A.J. Coltrane
Qvadriga: It’s turn-based chariot racing for your android phone!
Do you like old-school strategy games? Like, really old school?
Back in the dark ages of board games there existed Circus Maximus.
Published by Avalon Hill in 1979(!), Circus Maximus was cool because you could select and train your horses and riders, bribe the officials, and run your buddies off of the track, all for fame, glory, and riches in ancient Rome.
It’s been out of print forever, but it still has a passionate fan base. These guys are taking it waaay more seriously than I ever did:
So I was really exited to see a sort-of-port for the phone – Qvadriga:
In Qvadriga you maintain a stable of four chariot teams. Your drivers can gain experience and become more skillful, assuming they survive. The game forces you to balance aggressiveness against keeping your drivers alive — go too fast around a tight corner and the chariot might break apart, leaving your driver dragging behind his horses. At that point you have to hope that he can get to safety before he gets run over. If the driver dies it takes a new hire a while to get competent… Plus you have to buy a new chariot to replace the one you broke, and the good ones aren’t cheap.
Anything goes, you can direct your driver to whip the other drivers, the other horses, or use his chariot to ram into anyone nearby. The game rewards weaving to cut off faster opponents.
There are two campaign modes, one of which allows you to resurrect a driver if he’s killed. The “Epic” mode doesn’t allow for resurrections. Ultimately the object is to become famous enough to be allowed admittance to the Circus Maximus, and then to have the driver with the most career wins of any driver still alive.
It’s $10 on the android store. I went ahead and forked out the $10 because I knew I’d get at least that much fun out of it.