Way, waaaay back in 2006, I had a conversation with Andrew Fargo in the parking lot of the then existent Game Parlor in Chantilly. We were complaining that the big new thing seemed to be Zombie Games (at the time, they were). They were fun, for certain– you run from the horde, but killing them makes so much noise that you’re always attracting more of them to fight you. So you basically are always in run and fight, run and fight mode until you are overwhelmed. It was Andrew was said the magic phrase– “you like race and fight games. You should make a racing game that combines zombies and racing.. like the zombie races”. We had a laugh over that idea but it stuck in my head, that conversation. So I contacted my good friend Howard Whitehouse. “Here, Howard, take these GW Zombie horde figures.. and make them into Jockies wearing colorful, but rotting silks!” Howard came through. I think you’ll agree.
So why Tibet? Well, why the hell not? In the Pulp universe, everything sinister and evil hails from Tibet, so why not a diabolical event featuring ravenous undead, innocent children and Yak Carts? I decided this game is, kind of, a pulp era game. Taking place in the high reaches of the mountains of Tibet, where an evil monastic order kidnaps and kills its victims, then brings them back to consume the flesh of the living– but in the form of a footrace!
So the idea for the race is that you have to get YOUR racing team to get over the finish line. A racing unit is the Yak Cart, the Tibetan herdsman driving it (wearing team colors), the Zombie Jockey (wearing team colors) and the motivating force, or “bait” that keeps the zombie moving forward. In a word, a cute little kid with a bucket of rocks. The race starts and the child gambols and hops to attract the notice of the Jockey. The jockey lurches forward in search of brains. The cart moves forward in a forward motion. The Jockey will stay fixated on the bait child until it pulls a certain distance away from the cart, then it will lose interest and move towards another diversion (animals, humans, other racing team bait). The sweet spot is to keep the jockey interested enough to follow, close enough to be attracted by the child, not too far to lose interest. If the jockey gets attracted to the driver and Yak, the driver can whip the jockey, but this is risky, as it could cause the jockey to lose a limb. Likewise, if the jockey moves too fast and appears to at risk for catching up with the cart, the bait (child) can throw a rock at the Jockey, which slows it for a turn and allows the cart to pull away. The child could miss, though. There are more buckets along the race course. The bait (child) can hop down and pick up a bucket and clamber back aboard if the cart is close enough, as it will always be Just fast enough to pull ahead if the child is nimble enough.
The carts rumble through the rocky paths of the course of the Olympiad and try to be the first one across the finish line, while staying on the course while participating. If you can get the entire team across the line, you earn a victory bonus. If you lose the bait (child), YET still get your jockey across, you get a slight penalty but still victory points. If your zombie jockey loses focus and attacks someone else and wanders off, you get disqualified.
Obviously, this is a silly game designed for entertainment purposes. It’s an old design that has literally been back burner material for almost a decade and a half. I’m glad to get this one going 14 years to late!