Most tailgating games these days are not terribly kid friendly. Tailgating games normally fall into two categories: Drinking games and tossing game. A lot of the times, kids can play neither.
Tailgating drinking games like beer pong are not for kids for obvious reason. As for the tossing games, kids can play them but normally the distance they need to throw or the weight of the object they are tossing is too great depending on their age.
What if there was a tailgating game that was created by tailgaters themselves in a parking lot that can be played with kids and adults and the adults can including drinking elements while the kids do not? That game is called Tailgate 500.
Tailgate 500 is a vinyl playing surface that looks like an oval race track commonly used in stock car racing. The game comes complete with the playing surface that fits onto a standard folding utility table you find at almost every tailgate party. Included with the game are six miniature race cars that are made in the USA, dice, lead car chip and instructions.
As you can see in the top photo, we were sent a sample of Tailgate 500 the Tailgate Beer edition. The game play is simple and quite fun.
First you can play with more players than six. Although the game comes complete with six cars included, you can add more players and just use Matchbox cars or Hot Wheels as your game markers. The number of people playing is only limited by how long people want to wait before it is their turn to roll.
Once you have determined how many players there are, you establish the starting grid. The rules define how this is done. Once the game is ready to start, the first car rolls the dice and advances that many spaces. Normally a game of Tailgate 500 is played to complete two laps but depending on how long you want to play you can increase the number of laps completed as long as all players agree on the length of the game.
Once all players have rolled and moved their car, the dice goes back to the first car to roll again. Pretty simple concept of rolling dice and moving your game piece however many spaces you rolled. This is why it is a great game for kids. Although the game officially says ages six and older, if your child can count to 12, they can play this game. There is some reading involved when it comes to bonus advancements or penalty moves backwards. But as long as someone old enough to read the game board is playing with a younger player, you should be fine.
As for the reward and penalty spaces on the board, this allows for everyone, even the last place car, to be in the game. Specially marked spaces can move your car up two spaces or back two spaces with such things as, “Get a new sponsor, move up two spaces” or “Flat tire, move back two spaces”. The big rewards come when you land on a space saying you successfully pulled off a sling shot and you now advance one space ahead of the lead car. Big penalties include going to the back of the pack or being sent to the pits.
You might be saying, “So this looks like a big game of ‘Sorry’ only on a NASCAR track and using Matchbox cars.” If you want to make that comparison you are within your rights to do that but Tailgate 500 is a bit more than that. Because this game was created by tailgaters out in the parking lot, of course there are ways to introduce drinking elements. For example:
Green spaces move up your car and a yellow space moves it back. You could easily designate these spots places where if you land on a yellow penalty space you have to shotgun a beer. Place a kamikaze shot on pit road and whomever is sent to the pits needs to do a shot. Land on a green space? Designate the person to your left to play shirtless until it is their turn to roll. The possibilities are endless as to how you can implement your own “house rules” to Tailgate 500.
After testing it out and putting it through it’s paces, we deem Tailgate 500 to be “Tailgate Approved”.
The entire game rolls up into a tube the size of a movie poster and the playing surface is designed for outdoor use. You can spill salsa or, heaven forbid, knock over your beer on the game surface and it won’t hurt it. Just wipe it up with a paper towel or make whomever spilled the beer Zamboni it right off the game surface.
Tailgate 500 and all parts and pieces are proudly made entirely in the USA. The Original Race Ready Game Kit is priced at under $50 and can be found at Tailgate500.com. If you prefer the TailGate Beer version of tailgate 500, you can purchase one from the TailGate Beer web store. Both versions of the game, the Original Race Ready Game from Tailgate 500 or the Tailgate Beer version are priced at less than $50.