I bought a new copy of this game myself.
The game: Träxx by Steffen Benndorf and Reinhard Staupe, published by Nürnberger-Spiele-Verlag in 2015.
Elevator pitch: A quick simultaneous play route-building filler. May the best route win!
What’s in the box? Four boards, four dry-erase pens, fifteen cards and rules. The components are minimalistic, but perfectly functional.
Colours are bright and everything looks chippy. I’m slightly worried that colourblind people may have trouble with this game, but it wouldn’t be a complicated task to scan a board, adjust the colours a bit, then print and laminate a new board.
What do you do in the game? Players try to draw a line that covers as much of their board as possible. Game lasts for fifteen rounds and on each round, a card is drawn. The card tells which colours are ok this turn. If a card says “yellow, yellow, blue, red and white”, you can draw on two yellow hexes, one blue, one red and one white.
The line can be extended from both ends, and you have to watch out so you keep your options open and don’t fence yourself in.
There are scoring locations on the board, numbered 1–10 and scoring the same. Here’s the only bit of interaction: the first player to reach the location scores the full points, on later turns only half the points are awarded. In the end of the game, players lose one point per unvisited hex. Highest score wins.
Lucky or skillful? Both, in a good mixture. The cards involve some luck, and while everybody sees the same cards, there’s some luck involved in how well the cards suit what you’ve drawn. (Everybody starts from a different hex, so that also means the cards have slightly different value to each player.) You can definitely play poorly.
Abstract or thematic? The game is abstract, with no suggestion of theme.
Solitaire or interactive? Almost zero interaction, as is usual in the genre.
Players: 1–4. Solo game is a point-chaser, which seems like it would be boring. Adding players is possible, if you buy a new copy or create more boards yourself.
Who can play? Age recommendation is 8+. The rules are dead simple, but winning the game does require an amount of forward planning that most small children don’t have. Let’s put it this way: anybody can play, but not everybody can win.
Those who are colour blind may have some difficulties, especially dichromats.
Length: 15 minutes.
What’s to like: Really simple rules; good level of challenge; plays swiftly.
What’s not to like: Almost zero player interaction; supports just four players out of the box.
My verdict: Träxx is a fine example in the coupon-filling genre. Not my favourite, though, Avenue would probably be my number one choice. However, it’s fairly cheap and a small box, so why not. It’d be nice to have support for five or even six players without buying another copy, though.
The biggest problem for Träxx is availability, as it has only been released in Germany. If you’re buying games from Germany, adding Träxx to your order is a good idea if you like the genre. Alone, it’s probably not worth the effort to hunt down.
On the scale of Enthusiastic, Suggest, Indifferent or Avoid, Träxx gets Suggest from me.