Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Welcome to the Game Zombies' realm!

Game Review


Ages 12 and up
Garfield Games
Game © 1994,1995 Wizards of the Coast
Date Reviewed:  11/25/2001
game in play
Uncle's Games link

2-8 Players 60+ minutes


In a futuristic world, computers run all of the factory processes for society. The computers controlling the factories use robots to perform their tasks. One day, the computers were bored and decided to start a new game -- RoboRally. In it, the computers would program their robots to drive around the maze of factory floors in a race to touch flags. The first robot to successfully touch the flags, in order, wins. However, the factory is still working and there are many hazards that can destroy the robots.


To begin, players choose from the six boards supplied in the game -- the chosen boards form the maze for the robots. Next, players decide upon the number of flags to use from one to six flags. Flags are placed on the board. Finally, a starting point is chosen. All players place the marker for their robot on the starting point.

Players are dealt nine (9) cards to start the game. The cards contain commands like "move 1" or "rotate right." Players select five of their cards to program their robots -- they place the five cards in the order they plan to use them face down on the table. Extra cards are discarded.

A turn follows these steps:

  1. All players reveal a card.

  2. All Robots move simultaneously according to the cards.

  3. Items on the board affect the robots -- conveyor belts, pushers, mashers, etc.

  4. Lasers do damage -- from the robots and the board.

  5. All robots have a forward pointing laser on them.

  6. If any robot is still on a flag now, they "touch" it.

  7. Repeat steps 1 - 5 above for the remaining cards programmed this turn.

After the programmed cards are used up (all 5 have been revealed), then all of the cards are reshuffled. Players are dealt a new hand to program their robot for the next turn -- However, they receive one less card for each damage point their robot has sustained. An undamaged robot gets nine cards, a robot with two points of damage gets seven cards, etc. If you would only receive four or fewer cards, you do not return all your program cards -- you are forced to keep a few cards from your previous program.

Robots have 3 "lives" in the game. A robot can be destroyed by receiving 10 points of damage, falling into a pit, or driving off of the board. A player who loses all three of his/her robot's lives is out of the game. When a robot is destroyed, its next life comes into the game with two damage points automatically.

Players must touch the flags in order -- flag 1, then 2, then 3, etc. Skipping around is not allowed. The game ends when one player successfully touches the last flag.

There are more rules regarding robots pushing each other, repairing damage, and special "add-on" weapons. These are best left to the rule book.

game closeup

board closeup

Another board closeup

Winning Conditions:

  • The first player who touches the last flag wins.

game in play

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Up!To put it simply, we LOVE this game. It won the Origins award for "Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Board Game" and "Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game" in 1994. It is truly worth these awards.

Everyone we have introduced to Roborally buys the game. This is a "must have" game. It does not get old, even when playing against the same group of players. Due to its ability to be played by 8 players, it is an excellent party game, too.

The robots in the game do not come painted out of the box -- they are just metal miniatures. You will have to paint them yourself.

The game feels rules heavy at first, but once you look at the set up and the quick reference cards, the rules are very easy to remember. This set is the most important of all of the RoboRally games, because it is the master set -- all of the other games require it for the program cards, the robots, and the damage markers. The most difficult rules to understand are those referring to the conveyor belts that turn. After reading these rules carefully, all of your questions will be answered... but the concept is difficult initially.

There are several rule variants that we prefer. We are particularly fond of giving bonus option cards (extra weapons or features) for touching flags. This keeps the players very competitive. Most of the variants are listed in the rule book.

The basic set of RoboRally has one minor flaw -- the game requires that you keep track of your "archive" point -- the place where you start if your robot is destroyed. This point is updated when you touch a square with a wrench on it -- but the game contains no pieces to mark the new point. RoboRally's sequel fixes this problem, but this set on it's own will require you to be more creative.

The creator of RoboRally is also responsible for creating Magic the Gathering, and Filthy Rich. Richard Garfield is definitely a name to look for on your board games.

Where to buy:

Any local game store -- Our copy was from a game store and cost about $30.

Update 7/17/2005 -- This game has been re-released as of July 2005... it costs US $45.

Uncle's Games link

Other Reviews
Zombie Main page