Tuesday , January 18 2022
frequent flyer game

Board Game Review: ‘Frequent Flyer’

Frequent Flyer revisits the classic days of players rolling dice and moving around the board. In the earliest generation of board games, roll-and-move was the biggest mechanic as players worked their way across spaces. While there have been other mechanics, that method of play is tried and true, with its appeal to chance as well as planning. Frequent Flyer takes the classic mechanic and brings it into the modern era with a new spin that will send players racing.

Setup in Frequent Flyer is easy: all players need to do is choose their favorite color for their plane pawn and a “home city” representing one of the major airports of the United States. Each player receives a Destination Checklist that helps keep track of where they have been and how many miles they have traveled. Players take turns rolling a 20-sided die that will send them toward a random destination as far as another roll allows. They race to be the first to visit all 20 destinations and become the winner.

Frequent Flyer is a clever mixture of luck and strategy. Luck comes from rolling the dice for high numbers, while the strategy comes in with planning which paths to take to get places fastest. As more destinations are crossed off their list, players receive more agency in choosing where they are heading, making planning more important as the game progresses.

To add more to the luck side, players may finish their turn on an “FF” square to collect a Coach card. Many of the cards are bonuses, such as moving forward extra spaces or immediately advancing to a certain destination, like Minneapolis for the Mall of America. Other cards may move the player backward or even force them to return to where they departed and reroll. It is truly the luck of the draw, so players will have to decide whether they are feeling lucky as they plot their courses between destinations.

Throughout the game, players receive frequent flyer miles that can be cashed in for special bonuses. Players can choose their destination for their roll, upgrade to “First Class” for double movement and First Class cards instead of the regular “Coach” for extra bonuses, or even get a direct flight without having to roll for it. During the final rounds, players will eagerly cash in their mileage to get extra moves and chosen destinations, building to a climactic sprint to the end.

Frequent Flyer is a roll-and-move board game for two to four players aged eight and up. It is a moderately long game, lasting between half an hour to a full one depending on how many players are in the game and how long they take to plan their journeys. With its light rules and balance of luck and strategy, it makes for a great competitive family or friendly game night.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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