Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 03:56.
Keltis Or is a dice version of the popular Lost Cities card game. When Knizia submitted the Lost Cities Board Game, a follow-up to the original Lost Cities, Kosmos, the German publisher, decided to retheme it from an archeological expedition to leprechauns and clover harvesting. The American publisher kept Knizia's original design and name, Lost Cities: The Board Game, while in Europe the game is distributed as Keltis. Keltis is popular, and spawned six sequels and variations.
Keltis Or plays much like Lost Cities--collect and play sets of sequentially numbered tokens. However Keltis Or uses three six-sided dice, with pips 1-5 and a Wishing Stone icon. You get two rolls and you choose which gets locked or rerolled. You can pick up one of the five suited chips, numbered from 0-10, that match a single pip value, or sum of pips that you rolled each turn. You can acquire a zero chip by rolling a Wishing Stone. On the numbered chips are randomly distributed long- and short-term score modifier tokens. Since there is a sunk cost when starting a new suit, one must balance long- and short-term goals as well being careful not to take on too many suits.
Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 10/04/2011 - 22:19.
Perudo Santaba is a South American folk dice game that is played around the world. It is a strategy game of odds calculation and bluffing, but is often played as a drinking game, particularly in southeast Asian countries like China and Singapore. Being a folk game, there are numerous variations of the rules. The rules I recommend are the FISA (Federation Internaionale De Santaba Association) tournament rules because they are well tested.
Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:43.
Button Men is minimalist, polyhedral dice dueling game. The game is sold in the form of 2.25" pin-back buttons, each with a character portrait and series of (usually five) numbers representing types of dice. For instance, the Hammer character button has a portrait of a Roman gladiator and the numbers 6, 12, 20, 20, and X. This means that Hammer fights with a d6, d12, d20, and variable dice in the range of 4-20. Because of the simplicity of design, numerous buttons have been created by various publishers with their original IPs.
Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:28.
Pickomino is simple dice game by Reiner Knizia. The game consists of sixteen domino-like tiles with cost values of 21 to 36 on the top portion and worm victory point value icons, 1 to 5, on the bottom. The game also includes eight six-sided dice with standard 1-5 pip values and a worm icon instead of the 6. Each turn a player rolls dice and choose which same-value dice to set aside, then roll the reminder. Thus if you roll a set of two 2-pips, three 4-pips, and three worms, you can set aside one of the three sets. The worms count as 5-pips, and at least one worm die is necessary to buy a tile. You cannot pick a set of dice with pips that you already have set aside, making Pickomino a press-your-luck game. You can buy any tile that adds up to your dice pip count or less. If you roll the exact number, you can steal from another player's top stack. Who ever collects the most worms is the winner.
Submitted by IanSchreiber on Tue, 09/21/2010 - 01:15.
Roll Through the Ages is Matt Leacock's second game, his first being the wonderful Pandemic, and it is already clear that Matt has no intention of being "typecast" as a designer. Pandemic was a purely cooperative game; Roll Through the Ages is competitive. Pandemic was a board game with cards; Roll Through the Ages is a die-rolling game with no board. Pandemic required no material components other than what comes with the game; Roll Through the Ages requires you to keep score with pencil and paper on a special scoresheet. The two games share little in common, so it is clear that Leacock can work with a broader range of mechanics than many practicing designers.
And yet, there is a clear similarity between the two games, in that both were clearly created by a guy who is a user interface designer at his day job; there are multiple play aids and references for both games, such that you almost don't need the rules to play... just follow the instructions on the components in front of you. This attention to the game's "interface" would appear to be a game design signature of Leacock's, and one that digital and non-digital game designers alike could learn from.
I describe Roll Through the Ages as "Civilization meets Yahtzee." You start with three "cities" (dice) and roll them, then can reroll any or all of your dice up to twice. The faces of these dice show resources such as food (required to feed your cities each turn, else you take a victory-point penalty), workers (used to build more cities to get you more dice, or build monuments for victory points), and trade goods and coins (used to purchase special abilities, such as getting +1 food per die or getting an extra reroll, which additionally give victory points). At the end of the game, sum up the points, highest score wins.
For the most part, Roll Through the Ages is indirect competition (as with Yahtzee). You roll your dice, record your score, and then pass the dice to the next player; you are not directly attacking other players, and on their turns you mostly sit around and wait for your turn again. To the extent that players affect one another, it is mostly about reacting to what your opponents are doing. If one player builds a particular monument, other players get only half points for completing the same monument later, so building part-way towards a particular monument is both an aggressive move (dissuading the opponents from building there) and a risk (someone might get a ton of workers and be able to finish it before your next turn). If one player looks like they're trying to trigger the end of the game, other players may shift from a long-term building-up to a shorter "grab all the points I can now" strategy. In some rare cases, your die rolls affect other players (modified by two of the many special abilities). And so on. But for the most part, you're trying to maximize your personal score and hoping that you do a better job than your opponents.
On the game's official website, you can download the scoring sheets for a variant that extends the play time but also adds a trading element to the game, which adds a bit more player interaction if you like Catan-style trade mechanics.
Either way, a game of Roll Through the Ages takes less than an hour to play, and each turn offers some interesting risks and tradeoffs that change based on board position. For people who want to play a civilization-building game but don't have all weekend to devote to a single game, you could do much worse.
Draw A Stickman is a short linear story in which you draw a stickman and the environment. The drawings are animated as you draw them and you see your story unfold. It is more of a directed doodling session, in which you get to be creative in the confines of the narrative, than a game. It is an interesting use of doodling as a game mechanic.
If you really want to have fun, play twice and give your stickman some creative tools and outfits for his adventure. They recently added a second episode that you can illustrate and more may be added later.
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