As you round the bend into the dirt road of smuggler’s lane, you kill the engine and the lights. The wail of the sirens is approaching quickly. You inhale and hold your breath as if it will make a difference. The lights can be seen through the trees and can’t be more than 50 yards away. But as soon as you see the lights they are gone. The police car didn’t see you pull into the lane and must believe you to have continued on the main road. You wait until you can’t hear the siren anymore and decide to start the car and take the smuggler’s lane back to the main road and continue on your delivery. It may be dangerous and at times crazy, but there is nothing like these moonshine runs to get the blood pumping!
Set up for Moonshine Run is quite easy. Each player starts with 10 moonshine dollars. Once you decide who goes first, give them the round tracker and they shuffle the cards and place them in the middle of the play area.
The game lasts for 6 Rounds, on the 7th round the game ends. A round lasts until each player has had a turn.
The deck contains three main card types:
- Moonshine Stash – At the end of the round these are “delivered” and turned into Moonshine Dollars
- Hazards Cards – which are broken down into 2 types: Road Hazards (for example Mudslides and Fallen trees) and People Hazards (for example, Police and Rival Moonshiners)
- Item Cards – are items that can be used to benefit you by giving you a bonus or effecting other players negatively
Each day starts with the player drawing a number of cards from the deck and placing them face down in a line in front of them. The number of cards depend on the day, since your “runs” get longer with each passing day. Players can also use some of their money to buy additional cards to add to that day’s events.
Once the cards are all lined up, one at a time, players reveal the cards. If it’s a jug or other “safe” card, their day will continue. Players continue revealing cards until either:
- there are no more cards to reveal
- the player elects to stop or;
- the cards force the player to stop.
If a run has ended in a success or voluntarily stopped, players add up their moonshine jugs and get that much in money. Money and any unused item cards received are taken into the next round.
This continues until the last day of the week. The player with the most moonshine dollars at the end of the game is the winner.
Moonshine Run is a fun little press-your-luck game with an amazing theme. I am someone that isn’t really a gambling man and normally plays this style of games quite safely. While playing Moonshine Run I found myself living dangerously, well, dangerously for me anyway. This was due mostly to the theme. The idea of being a moonshine runner, pushing yourself to make the most money possible while staying safe from the law, really got the blood pumping.
I have a few poker buddies that love press-your-luck style games and they are normally the crew I turn to when playing these style of games. They are also normally the guys that beat me horribly too. But in Moonshine Run I found I could really hold my own, which normally never happens with this crew. I found I got caught up in the theme and the fact that the host had some actual Moonshine in his liquor cabinet may have helped a little too.
What I thought was a light simple easy game turned into quite a nerve racking push-your-luck resource management game that was at times quite stressful. I think the game would have been fun if it just had the hazard and Moonshine Stash cards, but the addition of Item cards is what really takes this game to the next level. Some of these cards are amazing, unless they are played on you and then they are just plain annoying. Also, there is one rule in this game that I love and that can even up the playing field; the Tip Off rule. If you don’t have any Moonshine and draw a police hazard card, you can tip off the player with the most money and they must pay 15 dollars. This essentially takes 15 victory points off that player and when you do it in round 6, oh man do you annoy the current leader.
Not only do I love the theme of this game, but the art is stunning as well. I think especially in this game more so than most, the art really makes the theme of the game pop and come alive. The player assistance cards have 1930’s style cars which look like they are old school photos. All the Hazard and item cards have this vintage and dated look to them. The artist has done an amazing job making this feel and look like it came straight out of the back woods of the 1930’s.
Moonshine Run is a fun little press-your-luck game that I believe has been themed beautiful. In all honesty, I’m normally not the biggest fan of press-your-luck games. But this really is more than a simple press-your-luck game; it has a little resource management and a little player interaction. You pair that with an amazingly well thought out theme and you have yourself with a great fun little game.
Moonshine Run is due to hit Kickstarter on the 6th of June, and this is a game you should really add to your collection.