The Biking Game Review
Spring is here (finally), and the time is ripe for fun family bike rides in the sun. But what to do on those gloomy, rainy spring days where biking just isn’t an option? Schwinn has the perfect pastime for families that can’t hit the trail. The Biking Game takes biking to board games, in an educational way. And the best part? It’s perfectly set up to accommodate all ages at the same time.
As you open the box, you’ll find that The Biking Game doesn’t have a lot of complicated parts and pieces (or tiny little figures to instantly lose). There is a nice fold-out game board, which features plenty of green terrain, a parking lot for the bikes, and even a muddy off-road track for those who have the equipment to take it on. There are two decks of cards that you’ll use in the game. The question cards each have a set of questions on them, similar to Trivial Pursuit. However, rather than featuring four different categories of questions, The Biking Game has four different difficulty levels.
At the beginning of the game, you’ll select your difficulty level. The levels are from one to four, and the questions for each level vary greatly. Younger kids (four and up) will want to start at level one, where the questions ask things like “What part of the bike is the arrow pointing to?” or “What is your favorite kind of bike?” As you go up in level, the questions get much more difficult, asking things about specific valves on the bikes, or the uses of different models. The level system really serves well to customize it to each player, so that your teenager and your kindergartner can both be challenged in the game – and you’ll all likely learn a few things you didn’t know about bikes in the process.
The other deck of cards is filled with fun facts about bikes. You’ll use both decks often as you play the game. To start, each of you must choose a bike to use on your trek. The bikes are cardboard pieces featuring a variety of bike styles. Once mounted on the included plastic stands, they get placed in the parking lot section of the board, where you’ll both begin and end your game (just like a real bike ride). To play, you simply roll the die and move your bike through the track. A single large red die comes with the game, easy for small and elderly hands to handle.
The track has three types of spaces. If you land on a red space, your turn ends. If you land on a yellow space, you must answer a bike question from the question deck. You are asked the question that coincides with your level. A decoder helps find the correct answer, so you can even play one on one with nonreaders without unintentional cheating (plus, kids love decoders). If you answer the question correctly, you get to roll the die and move again. And if your question card holds an image of off-road tires, you get to have that capability on your bike (important because only those players with off-road tires can use the shortcut to the finish). If you answer incorrectly, your turn ends.
The third type of space instructs you to go to the bike shop. The bike shop is in the middle of the board, so it’s good to land on that space at the beginning of the game, but not so much when you’re almost home. When players are sent to the bike shop, they must read a fun fact card out loud, and then play passes to the next player. The fun facts are usually something you wouldn’t have know about bikes, but they can be a bit boring at times, as they read more like a dry textbook than a “fun” fact. For kids who are uber-interested in bikes though, they provide little bites of knowledge and add a little variety to the game.
The Biking Game is an interesting take on the family bike ride. Whether you’re looking for a unique new board game, or just something new to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day, it’s a fun choice for families who need to accommodate a variety of ages.