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Game Review


Author: Greg Lam
Pair-of-Dice Games
Game ©2001 Pair-of-Dice Games
game start

2 Players30 minutes


Knock your opponent's pieces off of the main play area before they knock your pieces out.


To begin, each player takes their colored dice and sets them up as pictured. This is a standard set up. Players have 4 four-sided dice (d4), 3 six-sided dice (d6), and 2 eight-sided dice (d8). If you look carefully, the players are set up in mirror image of each other to begin.

The number on each die determines the number of spaces a die may move -- e.g. a die with a 3 showing may move three spaces. The goal of the game is to bump five of your opponent's dice off of the play field and into the gutter.

Players take turns moving one of their dice each turn (see Our Opinion section of this review).

When a die that is being moved bumps into another die, the first die ceases motion, and the remainder of the movement from the original die continues with the bumped die. any number of dice may be in a chain-reaction bump. The last die to have been bumped is re-rolled at the end of movement.

When a die has been bumped into the gutter, it may still be moved, but cannot leave the gutter. This allows for dice in the gutter to block other dice from being knocked out.

The rules for this game are brief, but need to be read for the illustration of how the dice are affected by bumping.

game in play

Winning Conditions:

  • The player who knocks five of the opponent's dice into the gutter first wins.

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Down!This game was interesting in terms of strategy -- and in random chance. It's balance gets thrown off by the re-rolling of bumped dice. Bad dice rolls can be a serious detriment to the player with a superior strategy.

To start, we had a minor problem with the rules. The rules are usually distinct when referring to a single "die" versus the plural "dice." Our minor concern is within the movement rules which state, "Players take turns moving their dice." In this case it looks like "dice" is plural, so the number of dice are allowed to be moved per turn is left in question. Once we agreed that they intend to limit players to one die move per player's turn, we proceeded to play. The remainder of the rules accurately describe what you must know in order to play.

We concluded that one of the best tactics in the game is to place a piece in the middle of the board with a large number on it -- from here, any other piece you bump will almost certainly be sent to the gutter. When we succeeded in doing this, the game moved quickly -- defense against this strategy is very difficult once it has been established. In essence, when both players realize the importance of this strategy, the middle of the play area becomes a mosh pit for dice. Given the name of the game, I'd say that this speaks well of the intended design.

The main problem the Zombies had with this game was that it felt a lot like chess, but is missing the option for multiple strategies. The game strategy was interesting at first, but unless you really like to play this style of game, it didn't stay fun. We noted that picking up and re-rolling dice lead to potential misplacement of the dice, and a bad die roll really impedes your strategy. Speaking as the unlucky player who rolled almost exclusively ones and twos, the random factor eliminated me from playing well. If you like chess style games for strategy, and strategy only -- avoid this game. If you like chess, but want a substitute with a strategic ability equalizer (the random dice) this might appeal to you.

As for our copy, I plan to hang onto it and bring it out on the occasion that I want to play this variant of a strategy game. It won't be often, but when I want it, it's a reasonable game.

Where to buy:

Pair-of-Dice Games' Web site is the easiest place to buy this game (unless you live in Massachusetts)-- As of August 2002, the game costs about $14.

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