Hot Rod Creeps: Pre-Race Prep

By Mike Rosenberg

"Looking out over the track, it looks like we are ready to start, race fans! The oil slicks have been lit on fire, the engine hamsters are on full gallop, the rat-apults have been crammed with pestilence-infested vermin, and most importantly, my sandwich has arrived.

And with a wave of the green flag held by a homicidal robot, THEY'RE OFF!"

That delightful little quote comes from the introduction story found in the game manual for Hot Rod Creeps, the nitro-powered high-octane customizable racing game from Cryptozoic Entertainment.

In Hot Rod Creeps, players take control of one of six Teams: Team Aliens, Team Battle Wizards, Team Food Fight, Team Monsters, Team Rockabilly, and Team Underworld. Each Team offers their own unique flavor and a Hot Rod that you will race against other players along a customized race track.

The game is both fast and furious. Hot Rod Creeps starts with a racing track, which you design. The game's got some sample tracks that you can build in the game manual, but part of the fun of Hot Rod Creeps is coming up with a track that you and your friends love.

You can make the track short or long, depending on how long you'd like a single game to play. Add obstacles and customize where they appear. The customizable track lets you keep things interesting even after the first, second, or hundredth play. Keep things conservative, or go nuts and design a monstrous track that will scare even the most seasoned racer.

Next, players place their Hot Rods on the race track. The player who has the closest birthday gets pole position, meaning they are placed closest to the starting line. Then, players draw cards from their Tank deck, and the race is ready to begin!

To play, each player gets one action per turn, which are the following:

  • Play a move card from your hand
  • Flip the top card of your Tank
  • Flip the top card of the Nitro deck
  • Draw four cards from the top of your Tank

Playing Move cards lets you move your Hot Rod across the track, and they also often have effects which can throw a monkey-wrench into how the game is played. Take, for example, the Move card below:

One of the Move cards you can find in the Battle Wizard deck. 

Inferno-tastic would let you move three spaces, shown by the Move symbol in the top left corner of the card. Its effect also takes place (and we'll get more into the Nitro deck later).

If you'd prefer to leave your fate up to chance, you can also flip the top card of your Tank as a play. This gives you a random Move and effect, and it lets you keep cards in hand if you'd like to save what you've got in hand for more critical points of the race.

Nitro cards: big speed, big risk...

If you have at least one card in your hand, you can also use a community-shared Nitro deck. This works in the same way as flipping a card from your Tank does: you flip it, and then move however many spaces it dictates. Be careful, however. The Nitro deck is dangerous, and that boost of speed can come at a dire cost. Moving 8 spaces serves no purpose if you burn through all your gas or your upgrades go up in smoke!

These Hot Rods that you're racing can run on a lot of gas, and if your Tank and hand empty out, then you run out of gas and lose your turn to go back to the nearest Pit Stop. However, you can keep your engine running by landing on Pit Stops throughout the track. Land on a Pit Stop, and you can shuffle your discard pile and Tank deck together.

But if you don't need a full Tank, the Pit Stop is also the place to trick out your Hot Rod with Weapons, Wheels, Engines, and Pit Crews. Each Upgrade provides a bonus to your Hot Rod on the track, and will either help you out or hurt your enemies.

Gas up, gear up, and draft past the other racers. The first racer to cross the finish line first is the winner!

Matt Hyra, the Lead Designer of Hot Rod Creeps, is excited to see what people come up with. "I think people are really going to enjoy building their own tracks. With puzzle-piece fittings, you can go crazy and make all sorts of custom race tracks. I hope people post pictures of their creations!"

Hot Rod Creeps comes out this August. Make sure you aren't left in the dust when new games like this one come out. Stay up to date on the latest Hot Rod Creeps news on our Facebook page!

Rosenfloggen's picture Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg has been a long-time trading card game fan and an active freelancer in the hobby game industry since 2004. He wrote, editted, and managed web content for Cryptozoic Entertainment from March 2012 until October 2013.