Race to the Boom

Role: Designer

Date: Fall 2014

The rules imply a bit of role-playing is involved: players take the role of research scientists from the Manhattan Project simulating nuclear proliferation between neighboring nation-states. This backstory is reinforced through the materials I used to create the game: metal washers, a green-army tin, painted objects and typewriter fonts all convey an early military research operation put together with paint and scraps of whatever they could find.

Players (as scientists) took the role of one of six world leaders, and tried to acquire six specialists – an engineer, a diplomat, an economist, a strategist, a general, and a spy. The first player to obtain all six specialists is able to complete the atom bomb and wins the game. Choosing names for their leader and nation-state are optional, but encouraged.

The original version of the game had neither a spy or a diplomat and could be played by 2 – 4 people. Players could choose two of four actions: build defenses, acquire money, attack a rival nation, and defend yourself from a rival nation. In the second version up to six people could play, and you had two more actions to choose from: sabotage another player (preventing them from taking a turn) and form defensive pacts with other Leaders.