Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
Excape - tacked on theme, great quick and interactive gameplay.
For something so minimal in it's pieces, it sure seems to evoke a lot of screaming and yelling amongst a group of people. Simply put the game is a press your luck mechanic with player interaction. The game is not deep interaction. But excape has enough to make it fun and worth while.
Most importantly the dice are special Each player gets 2 6-sided dice: (each dice has 1,2,3 and X)
Die 1: 1 - 2 – 3 – 5 – 6 - X
Die 2: 1 - 2 – 3 – 4 – 7 - X
Simply put you roll dice to try and make a 2 digit number. Based upon the numbers showing at the top of the dice. So a 3 and a 6 are counted as 63. Now you can take that value of 63 or you can continue to roll again for a higher value. Now on the 2nd roll up until you decide to place your dice upon the board, if you roll an X you lose a point for as many X's show up on your roll and your turn stops without being able to place you dice upon the board.
You then have a gameboard with a betting area 0 through 5. Say you like your roll of 63. You then place your roll on one of these positions. When it comes back to your turn and IF your dice are still on the board you move your, very nice same color as your dice, point marker along the board that many spaces and you roll your dice again to try and get a high score and place it well enough to keep other players from knocking you off the board.
Simple enough , now here is the rub. You have to have your dice stay up on the board to get those points, You can lose points by rolling X's when pressing your luck. Though on your first roll X's count as a zero. (There is another rule that double X's on the first roll counts as a roll of 100 and knocks everyone off the board) and if someone decides to but a higher value or equal value roll beneath yours on the betting area will knock your dice off the board keeping you from getting points.
It is this simplicity that allows anyone to play and enjoy the game, it is not a deep strategy game, but it has interaction, playing to how other players think, betting, and some luck rolling.
This is one of those great short time “filler” games that is quick to set up, quick to spin up new people to play, and quick to play. It is this simplicity that makes the game seem deep and lasting. Though it gets boring playing back to back games, (say 3 at max) it is great for those little fillers at game day, or perhaps a larger family gathering to get that 4 to 6 player interaction without too much down time between turns.
Some people may be put off by the price for a simple box, but the value it brings of being able to be played and enjoyed by multiple groups and in such a short time is where Excape's value lies. It is one of those games I am glad I bought even after the newness has worn off. From my experience 5 is the best to play with, where 6 can get a bit crowded. If you are running with 3 or 4 you may want to take out the (5) as an area to bet to make the betting area seem less open. Also you may want to allow for house rules such as X's do not minus points for last place players to create that “rubber-band-AI” effect.
If you are looking for big and complicated you will not like this game. If you have a thing for new types of dice or like games fast, inclusive, and simple you should give this one a try. You may be able to slip this one in like a veritable gaming Mickey.
Good review. I have introduced this game to several different groups - including some non-gamers - and everyone has enjoyed it. Just enough interaction and luck to engage everyone. Good clean fun to end a night of more serious gaming.
It does seem expensive for what's in the box, but it's been well worth it.