Overall Rating: 10/10
GLAM Age Range: 6-Adult
Number of Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 20 min
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: Family dice game! Easy to learn, quick to play, and a winner of a Mensa prize? Quite the combo! This game gets rave reviews for good reason. I posted a picture of all the games I got for Christmas and this game got the most enthusiastic attention by far. And now I see why. It's great for both kids and adults and it's a lot of fun to play. It's kind of like a speedy cousin of the game Yahtzee with more dynamic and engaging game play. We're actually going to laminate some of the scorecards so we can use them on repeat, the one downfall of this game is how quickly you go through these.
How to Play: Your goal is to get the most points. You take turns rolling six dice, two white ones and four that are different colors. The added total of the two white dice are the "wild card" number for the round and any player can use that number to mark off a spot on their scorecard. The person who rolled is the only one allowed to use one of the white dice and any one of the colored dice to make a total then mark off that number in the row of the corresponding color of the colored die you selected. The trick is, you can only mark from left to right on your scorecard and if you skip any numbers you cannot go back to them and mark them later. The game ends one of two ways. It ends once two rows of colors are locked, which happens when a player marks off five numbers in a row and then is able to mark off the number on the far right - a 2 or a 12. When a row is locked, all of the players are no longer able to mark off any numbers in that row and the corresponding color die is removed from game play. The second time it happens, the game is over. The other way for the game to end is when a player has marked off all four of their penalty boxes, which only occurs when they do not mark off any of the number boxes on their turn rolling the dice. When the game ends you tally up your points for each row which is entirely based on how many number boxes you have crossed off. You subtract any penalty points and then add up your total. The high score is the winner!
Variations: It's such a well balanced game that I think any alteration of the rules would actually lessen it. Perhaps you could set a timer if you wanted to do a speed version of the game and only give people ten seconds per turn to roll, make a decision, and mark their scorecard but that seems unnecessarily intense for most family game play.