The fun Cool Runnings board games with real ice cubes

15. September 2018 - Anika Semmer

Cool Runnings Board Game - Race Game With Real Ice Cubes | Review


Icon Spielen © Abenteuer Freundschaft


With a game figure made of ice, each player starts the race in the Cool Runnings board game. On the way to the game, the ice cubes sweat, drip and melt – the winner is really the one who stays the coolest?

Cool Runnings has a cool idea that sets it apart from all the other race games: it’s a double race! The game pieces are made of ice and in addition to the race towards the finish line, the game piece must not melt – otherwise you are out.

The player who reaches the finish line first does not always win! The other players make sure of that with rubbing, hot showers and other attacks on the fragile game pieces of the opponents.

At first, this sounds very original and like something completely new – we were very curious to see whether the concept of the Cool Runnings board game would work. After all, we expect a family racing game to be fun and entertaining, with no long waiting times for the kids and, ideally, action as well. Our detailed review of the Cool Runnings board game can be found here in the conclusion.

Note on transparency: Ravensburger kindly provided us with a review copy of the Cool Runnings board game. However, this review is unpaid and reflects our honest opinion.

The Cool Runnings Board Game at a Glance

  • Game type: Family game, Race game
  • Age: from 8 years
  • Players: 2-4 players
  • Duration: approx. 30 minutes
  • Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag
  • Game author: Olivier Mahy
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Goal: Be the first to reach the finish line with your own ice cube piece or make sure that all the other ice cubes on the track melt before you do in order to be the only Cooler of the round to win
Ravensburger Spiele 26775 - Cool Runnings
Ravensburger Spiele 26775 - Cool Runnings
Das außergewöhnliche Wettlaufspiel mit echten Eiswürfeln; Für 2 – 4 Spieler ab 8 Jahren, Spieldauer: 30 Minuten
19,87 EUR Amazon Prime

Cool Runnings Board Game – The Race Game With Real Ice Cubes

The Cool Runnings board game is a race game from Ravensburger

Race to the finish with melting ice cubes

Preparation – Freezing the Ice-Cold Game Pieces

The Cool Runnings board game works with ice cubes

The ice cubes must consist of exactly 6 ml of water

Before a game of Cool Runnings, you first reach for the pipette. Since each player needs an ice cube as a game piece, you should freeze them about 2-3 hours before you want to play.

Everything you need is included in the game box: a pipette to measure out 6 ml of water and 8 ice-blue moulds into which you drop the water. You need a little patience for this – you have to be precise, otherwise you will have an unfair advantage or disadvantage if there is more water in one ramekin than in the other. Then the ramekins go into the icebox.

Setting Up the Game

The Cool Runnings board game is an original game from Ravensburger from 2018

Game setup to start playing Cool Runnings

First build the race course with 5 parts, with the finish line marking the end point at one end. Then shuffle the 60 playing cards and place them in a face-down pile next to the race course. Each player is dealt 4 cards in their hand.

You also need a bowl of tap water, a teaspoon of salt and a towel to dry your hands.

Now get the frozen ramekins with the ice cubes and take as many ice cubes out of the ramekins as players are playing with. Each ice cube is placed in a coloured tray, which is then placed on the ice cube tray – the game piece is ready. All the game pieces are now placed in front of the first game board piece – this is the start.

Rules and Game Principle

In the Cool Runnings board game, there are two ways to win the competition: you reach the finish line first or all the other players are eliminated because their ice cube has melted, in which case you are the winner no matter how far you have progressed on the game board.

There are fields with symbols on the game board: Blue numbers with plus in front, red with minus, lava fields and ice fields. If you move a piece onto a + field (plus field), you immediately move your piece that many fields forward, if you move onto a – field (minus field), you are immediately hit by the attack of the top card of the discard pile on the lava field and you are protected from attacks on the ice field.

The game is played clockwise. The player whose turn it is looks at the 4 cards in his hand and may play one of them. He decides whether he wants to move his figure or take an action. Each card shows an action picture with an ice cube on top (action) and a number with a blue plus or red minus (move) underneath.

Playing a Card as an Action

In the Cool Runnings board game, you can use actions to slow down teammates

A water shower for the ice cube

There are 7 different possibilities for attacks. You are free to decide which player to attack. For example, with the action symbols Polish Up, Squeeze Out and Hot Breath, you take the ice cube, rub the surface with your thumb, take it in your warm fist or blow on the ice cube until the player whose piece is affected has counted from “One ice cube, two ice cubes, three ice cubes… to 10 ice cubes”. Sprinkling salt is also particularly nasty!

If a player plays an attack card, the attacked player can ward it off and pass it on to any player by playing a card with the same action symbol. This can go on until the last player to be attacked has no card left to ward off – he or his piece will then be hit.

Playing a Card as a Move

The Cool Runnings board game is played with cards

The cards in the Cool Runnings board game

You can move any figure. Blue numbers mean so many spaces forward, red, so many spaces back.

End of Game

A round is over when all but one ice cube has melted. No matter where that ice cube is on the race track, it is the winner. Or one ice cube makes it to the finish line before all the others – then it is the winner.

Review and Conclusion


Time literally slips between your fingers in the Cool Runnings board game. After the first scratch or the first shower, the character is already dripping and that’s when the race fever takes hold. “Just you wait – I’ll give it back to you!” is the first reaction, but it can backfire badly if you keep passing it around until it hits your own ice cube. And consistently pushing forward is not necessarily the smartest way to win, as the other players can simply move you back again. Most of the time this is done grinning onto a lava field with disastrous consequences…

In our case, all 3 games of the Cool Runnings board game ended with a dripping, salted game board and at least one melted game piece. Translated, this means: it was high pressure, we often opted for the action cards and as a result Cool Runnings was very action-packed and entertaining. During the entire race, anyone can suddenly take their turn – so there are no waiting times.

It’s not easy to keep track of everything and react correctly or not make a mistake in the hectic rush between counting fast and taking action: you have to be concentrated in Cool Runnings. And yet you can’t really take your time, because it melts away.

The rules are simple, clearly explained and you don’t have to look anything up after the first game.

The idea alone of having ice cubes as game pieces is quite ingenious. The interactive actions and the race against time make Cool Runnings exciting and engaging not only for children. You could say that compared to other race board games, the special thing about the Cool Runnings board game is: less strategy, more action!

The biggest criticism among our younger players was that four of us can never play more than two games at a time. If you play as a foursome, you may even only get one game in – in our case, two ice cubes could not be completely removed from the mould and smaller ice cubes do not mean more equal chances to win….


Original, entertaining race game with a lot of action, where you don’t just break a sweat on hot summer days.

Much more strategic and less action-packed is the the Quest for El Dorado – another new game from Ravensburger from 2018. Stay up to date on recommended family games on our leisure ideas portal. And there are also lots of colourful ideas for gifts and activities with kids, your partner and friends!

There’s a lot to discover at Abenteuer Freundschaft and if you want to keep up to date with our latest ideas, just follow us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

*There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you buy a product through one of these links, Abenteuer Freundschaft may receive a small commission without the product costing more.


Similar Posts

Water games for kids  keep them busy all day at the pool, lake or sea

Water Games for Kids – Best 25 Games for Pool, Lake and Sea

Water Olympics, rescue bridge or dirty dancing in the water? Kids can't get enough of these water games without accessories and with few materials.

The best swimming pool games for kids include games with diving, throwing and catching

Swimming Pool Games for Kids – 14 Absolute Favorites

Pool party - can it be topped in summer? Whether summer party in the pool or kiddies birthday party in the garden with paddling pool, with the right games children have maximum fun.

The new GraviTrax Power Extension Interaction brings electronics to marble play for the first time

Gravitrax Power Extension - Does Electronics Take Fun to a New Level? | Review

Do electronics bring more fun and action to the GraviTrax universe? What's new with GraviTrax Power? Is it worth buying? Everything you need to know about the new marble run expansion at a glance.

Vampire Games for Kids

Vampire Games for Kids – 5 Fang-Tastic Games for Kids Parties

Whether for Walpurgis Night, Halloween or a children's birthday party with a theme like ghosts, witches or vampires, these games for little bloodsuckers provide mischievous fun and many funny moments.

7 games with confetti for kids party, carnival and birthday

7 Games With Confetti – Fun Filled Party Games Every Kid Will Love

What is colorful and stands for party fun? Confetti! The game ideas fit perfectly for carnival and children's birthday and are guaranteed to put you in a good mood!

Game instructions for 7 games with streamers for carnival and children's birthday parties

7 Games With Streamers That Have What It Takes to Be a Party Hit

Throwing, blowing, balancing - these game ideas with streamers are great fun and perfect for carnival and children's birthday parties. Who will lift the treasure in the snake maze?

(C) 2024