Not an outrageous thinking mans game; but just good solid ameri-trash fun. You take the role of a driver in a road rally race who is not only attempting to get to the finish line 1st; but kill as many pedestrians along the way and shoot your opponents all the while. It is very reminiscent of the old 70's flick Death Race 2000 which had Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine in it. If you haven't seen that go check it out. It's a bad flick, but in a good way.
So as I said, you drive around this crazy track full of obstacles and tight turns trying to hit pedestrians and shoot each other. Now this game runs afoul of all the things you'd expect. For 1 it's kind of campy. It has to be. I mean you can't create a game about killing old people and children and try to be serious about it; nobody would buy it. 2 is the backlash that the game has gotten for the exact reason stated in 1. Killing old people and children. Now the game is satire and a lot of people don't get that; but it is what it is. I can ignore the social implications for the entertainment value that the game can provide. Playing this game doesn't mean I'm going to go run down kids and granny's nor does it mean I agree with those who in their jacked up minds would. It means that I enjoy games and this is a game.
The game is heavily ameri-trash style using dice and cards to determine outcomes. Every player is given a dashboard to keep track of their statistics. On this card you keep track of your speed, how many people you've killed and how many opponents you've shot. You also have your three primary pieces of equipment placed above the card which will generally consist of a gun, some armor and then some other little gadget to help you along the way.
You use the dice in the game to decide whether you've run someone over or whether you are successful at shooting your opponents. It's a very basic system. The damage caused to opponents is taken from their hand of cards. Each player starts with 7 cards and at the beginning of each turn can draw up to 3 cards if they have less than 5. Cards are VERY important.
When you shoot an opponent they must give you cards equal to the amount of damage your weapon did thus increasing your hand. However there are a lot of ways to lose cards from your hand as well. You can of course play cards to activate the effect on them, you can discard them to speed up or slow down an extra 20mph past the regular limits, you can lose them going through obstacles, and you could lose them to other card effects. Beyond this you must also discard cards to power your weapons up so that you can shoot other players. There is a LOT of card cycling in this game. Once you've lost so many cards that you can no longer discard you Wipeout. Basically you lose one of your attached gadgets, cease movement, drop to 20mpg (lowest speed possible) and you take a -20 points at the end of the game.
Wipeout 3 times and you can, depending on the variant your playing, no longer make pit stops to fix your car or are eliminated from the race. The components for the game are really nice. The tracks are made of heavy duty card stock as are the tokens. The plastic playing pieces are good, but a little silly looking. You definitely get what you pay for in this game which is good considering the MSRP of $60.00 USD. I'm still going to have to call this worth the price.
The game seems like a lot of fun and with the right crowd I can imagine it would be. Check out the Board Game Geek page and see what it looks like. Keep in mind it's a game, but if someone you know picks it up or you get a chance I think it's definitely worth trying out whether you decide to pick it up yourself or not. I have to also state that I have at this point traded the game away. Not because it was bad, but because there are assuredly better. Still if it sounds like something you might like go give it a drive.