$10.00
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Introducing Tumblin' Dice



Good quality dexterity games, no matter how much they cost, are nearly always a good investment for a gamer. They're the kind of game that can be played by everyone, are usually a great deal of fun, and get hours and hours of play. Tumblin-Dice is a worthy member of the exclusive list of high-class dexterity games, and occupies a place of honor in my home alongside more well-known titles like PitchCar and Crokinole. This finger-flicking game puts a whole new twist on dice-rolling, and is a superb dexterity game that shines because of its strong social appeal. It's gone through several editions over the years, and most recently has been picked up by Gryphon Games as a fine addition to their already stellar line-up of games. In this review I'll show you the new edition, teach you how to play, and tell you what I think about Tumblin' Dice!




COMPONENTS

Game box

Tumblin' Dice comes in a rather massive box. It's big compared with your average euro game, but it's about 2/3 of the size and weight of earlier editions, although the board itself is the same size. I'm told that the folks at Gryphon Games have used lighter materials and streamlined the packing in order to cut down the size and weight of the game, in an effort to reduce shipping costs, without sacrificing quality.



The back of the box does a fine job of introducing the concept behind the game.



So how does the game work? This is all there is to it:
"Try to flick or push your dice as far as you can, without going off the board. At the same time try to bump your competition off if possible.
After each person has flicked all of their dice, the round is over and scores are tallied. You score the face up side of your dice times a multiplier of eather 1x, 2x, 3x, or 4x depending on which level of the board the die is on.
The winner is the highest score after 4 rounds.
"

Congratulations! You've just learned how to play Tumblin' Dice!!

Component list

Since the game comes with solid wooden components, the box is quite heavy. Each wooden part of the game board is individually wrapped and well protected. Here's the bubble-wrapped goodness you'll see when you first take off the shrinkwrap:



Here's everything that you get inside the box:
● game board (including wooden pegs)
● 16 dice in four colours
● rulebook



Rule book

The rules consist of a double-sided sheet of thin card.



That's all! That's because the rules of Tumblin' Dice are very simple, and you can explain how the game works to a new player in about 30 seconds. I like the fact that there are a couple of minor rule variations on the reverse side that you can explore - for example there's the suggestion for playing partnerships, and a suggestion for simplifying scoring for young children who can't multiply yet. Overall the rules are more than satisfactory.

Game Board

The game board is the chief feature and attraction of the game:



It comes in four separate sections, which need to be assembled together:



Assembly is a breeze, even for a white collar guy with two left hands like me. Basically it's just a matter of putting the separate pieces on top of each other. The two dowel pieces under each section fit neatly into the two holes of the section below. I'm not exactly known for my carpentry or practical skills, and if someone like me could manage this simple project within 60 seconds, so can you.

There's an ample supply of black wooden posts or bumper pegs that need to be inserted permanently on the lower part of the board, and look like this:



My copy of the game came with half a dozen extras. Hopefully I'll never need them, but it's nice to know that in the event of a breakage, I've got some backups. The pegs fit snugly into the pre-drilled holes on the board, and here's what the final result looks like:



Notice how the board has four different regions, each marked with a multiplier: 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x. The aim of the game is to roll dice in turns from the starting point or landing disk onto the game board, and to score points in the four scoring regions, each of which is one level lower than the next. The design looks rather like a baseball field, and we sometimes call the four regions: Single, Double, Triple, and Home run! Perhaps a baseball theme could have worked!



Our copy of the board had a few very minor blemishes on the playing surface, but nothing that would affect gameplay. Overall, the board is very solid, looks durable, and is of good quality.

Dice

Did I mention dice? Tumblin' Dice comes with 16 translucent dice in four colours, so that each player can have four dice in their colour.



The dice in the Gryphon Games edition are quite square in shape, with reasonably sharp edges. I see that as an advantage, because well-rounded dice would be much harder to control. Square dice with sharper edges make it easier to stop the dice on their descent (which you want), rather than have them tumble all the way off the board too easily as a result of some help from gravity. The colours of the dice are nice and bright, and the white dots make them look attractive. Thumbs up to the dice!

GAME-PLAY

I thought that games didn't get much easier to explain than Crokinole and PitchCar. I was wrong. Tumblin' Dice even beats out those games for simplicity of gameplay and rules! You can play with just 1 player, or 2 or 3 or 4 - to start the game, each player gets a set of four dice in their chosen colour. Roll dice to determine the order of play, and you're ready to begin!

Player Turn

On your turn, place one of your dice on the `launch pad' at the top of the board. Then give your die a push so it rolls or moves into the scoring areas. Note that if a die doesn't get beyond the 0x area, it still counts as a turn but is taken off the board and doesn't score anything. So make sure you give it enough momentum - but not too much so that it goes all the way off the board! Use whatever technique you like: roll, flick or slide, as long as the die makes contact with the launch pad before beginning its journey down! Sliding is arguably the best technique to control speed and accuracy, but you can develop good skills with flicking as well.



But now here's the fun part: you don't score right away! As you roll, you can try bumping an opponent's die off the board, or perhaps improving the position of one of your own dice. This is where aiming and skill comes in! And the fun, because the results aren't always what you expect, and spectacular hits and misses are sure to be rewarded with cheering and jeering alike!



To see what this looks like in practice, see the videos here and here.

Scoring

Each player rolls one of their dice in turns in this way, and this is repeated four times so that each player has rolled all four dice. Now you're ready to score. The end result might look something like this:



Each player tallies up their score, with each die earning points equal to its face up number, multiplied by 1x, 2x, 3x or 4x, depending on the level it is on. Obviously the 4x level is the most lucrative, and if you do manage to get all four of your dice here, each one would be worth 24 points, for a total of 96 points!



The quest for that elusive perfect round is not easy (I haven't seen it happen yet!), and you'll need some luck and perhaps some help from your opponents to make it happen!

Four Rounds

A full game consists of a cumulative score from four rounds, so if you do bomb out in one round, don't worry, there are three more in which you can try to make up for it! You can keep score with pen and paper, and if you wish there's a score sheet you can download here.



Variants

The rules come with a few simple variants, including partnership play, where you play in teams of two players. We've tried this, and it's great fun, especially when pairing up new and experienced players, as a way of leveling out the playing field with newbies. The official Nash Games website also lists a few other playing options that are worth exploring, such as the concept of a Double Dice, and Offense and Defensive Dice.



CONCLUSIONS

What do I think?

I can't say enough about how much fun this game is. There's constant excitement, as players and spectators whoop and holler at lucky bounces, brilliant strikes, and terrible bloopers alike. Not for nothing is it currently rated as the #9 top party game on BGG, ahead of games like Werewolf and Liar's Dice! We recently hosted five non-gaming couples for a social evening, and Crokinole and Tumblin' Dice proved to be terrific ice-breakers, and were equally in high demand the entire evening. Tumblin' Dice is also great as a team game, so it's the ideal kind of game to have on a table at a social event. It's addictive, and doesn't get old quickly.

In comparison to Tumblin Dice, Crokinole requires a higher level of skill, and a better player will in most cases beat a weaker player in Crokinole by sheer superiority in dexterity, and if I had to choose only one of the two to keep, it would probably be crokinole. But Tumblin' Dice also has room for skill, especially when trying to knock off your opponent's dice, or trying to land high-scoring dice of your own, and there is some scope for developing your skills and improving your play. Nonetheless the highest scoring 3x and 4x levels come with the risk of over-shooting and scoring nothing; furthermore, it is difficult to control what number your die will land on (although there certainly are techniques you can develop that will increase your odds!), so even the best players can roll some 1s, giving weaker players a chance to be competitive. The bumper pegs also add a forgiving nature to the game, because even the most terrible roll could bounce back off a peg and remain in scoring position. So there definitely is some luck involved, and those looking for a pure dexterity game where the outcome depends 100% on your skill will find this frustrating, because the dice do add an element that is unpredictable. But while skill is rewarded and can be developed, most people find that the mixture of dexterity and luck is just right, particularly given how quickly the game plays, and how much fun it offers, in part as a result of the variable dice results. A full game of four rounds can be played in 10-15 minutes.

The Gryphon Games edition is a solid product that I'm very pleased with - it has a smooth playing surface which is visually appealing, and on which the dice tumble quite consistently and pleasantly. I've not played with any of the earlier editions, but one noticeable difference with most previous versions of the game is that the 1x area of the Gryphon Games edition is a separate level, rather than merely separated from the 0x area on the same level by a black line as with older editions like the one pictured here:



In one respect this change is an improvement, because it eliminates debates about whether or not a die is in play. On the other hand it does also mean that gravity begins kicking in at an earlier stage of a roll, and that could arguably make precise rolling more difficult! Other editions of the game are also available, including a miniature version. For a more detailed overview of the different editions, see this thread.

In our home, we have a chart with House Records for the highest round score and game score (download a file you can use for this here), with different categories for 1 player games, 2 player games, 3 player games, and 4 player games. This offers an extra incentive and challenge when playing! Our current house record for a single round is 78 (achieved by my 6 year old in a 2 player game), and for a complete game of four rounds is 172 (also achieved in a 2 player game). You can even play solo and try to beat your own score, although the more players the more competitive it can become! Here's our current personal bests and house records:



Granted, this game doesn't come cheap! But I suspect that most people who buy it will easily get their money's worth over time. I look forward to getting many more hours of enjoyment of this product in years to come!



The big appeal is the fun factor - just look at some of these images, and there's a common thread in all of them: people of all ages having fun! That's what Tumblin Dice is all about!



What do others think?

Reasons why some gamers dislike Tumblin' Dice include the expensive cost, the bulky and heavy components, and the randomness of the dice. But even the critics concede that there's much that's attractive and addictive about the game, and that it does reward skill. The general consensus is that Tumblin' Dice is a very well-liked game, and here are some of the positive things that gamers have to say about it:
"GREAT party game. Enjoyed by casual, and hardcore gamers alike." - Ramon Raya
"This is addictive fun! WOW! This is as much fun as Crokinole ... this game has a ton of skill the more practice you get." - Nathan Feuerborn
"A very fun dexterity game. It has some luck which way the dice roll, but ... there is a lot of strategy on where and how to place your dice." - Randy Wilburn
"My favorite dexterity game." - Bart Brunscheen
"Great game, especially for non-gamers. Plays fast, looks cool - great fun for all ages." - Oliver Brettschneider
"Very fun. Big laughs. I LOVE this one." - Mike Summers
"I rated this game on pure fun alone. A must-buy in my book." - Phil DiCorpo
"This is a great gem of a dexterity game. Quick and addictive with some strategy." - Morgan Dontanville
"This is the most fun dexterity game I have ever played. Perfect party game." - Ryan McLelland
"I have yet to meet anyone who didn't enjoy this." - David Bohnenberger
"The game in my collection that is most likely to have players burst into spontaneous cheering." - Chris Okasaki
"This game, with the right people and ambience, is an absolute BLAST." - Grant (ulyssus)
"Shocked at how this game is almost magic with kids, non-gamers, and light-hearted gamers alike. Only the most fun-challenged person would not be instantly taken by this great-for-all-ages quick simple game." - John W
"Best in Breed: Dexterity" - Bruce Voge III
"Never get tired of this fun, easy game. Everybody loves it!" - Russell Ginns
"My favorite dexterity game. Beautiful components." - Xaykev




Recommendation

Is Tumblin-Dice for you? Maybe a better question to ask is: why wouldn't you get this great game? Given its almost universal appeal and high fun factor, if you can find a way to fit this into your budget, you're not likely to prove disappointed. As far as good social dexterity games go, this is up there with the best of them. Highly recommended.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

Subscribe to this list to be notified when new reviews are posted.
71 
 Thumb up
6.55
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Simpson
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review! I've had my eye on this for awhile and now I want it even more, thanks!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Plate of Shrimp.
badge
Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd be curious to try the new version, but the fact that the zero and the one are on the same platform means that there is more control to be had in an already chaotic game. Let's just say that for that sake I'm pleased to own the original.

Nice write-up.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Garry Rice
United States
Perkasie
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
...and if you want more chaos/fun, add up to 4 new sets of different colored dice. I've played with 8 players and it can be a blast with that many dice on the board (or being knocked off)!
6 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
That one not so much
badge
Ohh that tickles
mbmbmbmbmb
My favourite dexterity game by miles. I still have not found anyone who does not like it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carc >> BSG
United States
Topeka
Kansas
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Bought it. Very happy with it. Worth the money.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Malcolm
United Kingdom
Preston
Lancashire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnBandettini wrote:
My favourite dexterity game by miles. I still have not found anyone who does not like it.


->

someotherguy wrote:
What's not fun is when you consistently roll more accurately than your opponents but you lose because your dice came up 1's while theirs were all 5's and 6's. You would think the multipliers would fix the luck problem, but it doesn't. The guy who wins is just the one who got luckiest most of the time. Not worth the effort, and not even nearly in the league of Crokinole.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
That one not so much
badge
Ohh that tickles
mbmbmbmbmb
kowalskie wrote:
JohnBandettini wrote:
My favourite dexterity game by miles. I still have not found met anyone who does not like it.


->

someotherguy wrote:
What's not fun is when you consistently roll more accurately than your opponents but you lose because your dice came up 1's while theirs were all 5's and 6's. You would think the multipliers would fix the luck problem, but it doesn't. The guy who wins is just the one who got luckiest most of the time. Not worth the effort, and not even nearly in the league of Crokinole.


I have never met Dan, and I probably never will. (Fixed above, but I am sure you knew what I meant)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Plate of Shrimp.
badge
Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
mbmbmbmbmb
someotherguy wrote:
What's not fun is when you consistently roll more accurately than your opponents but you lose because your dice came up 1's while theirs were all 5's and 6's. You would think the multipliers would fix the luck problem, but it doesn't. The guy who wins is just the one who got luckiest most of the time. Not worth the effort, and not even nearly in the league of Crokinole.


Perhaps you should use an averaging die then.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
MilwaukeeTEG
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
garry_rice wrote:
...and if you want more chaos/fun, add up to 4 new sets of different colored dice. I've played with 8 players and it can be a blast with that many dice on the board (or being knocked off)!


Eight people, everyone throws in two bucks and give out prize money for first, second, third.

Busted this out on a poker night and noone played poker.

I'm burnt on it but it's such a great party game it's hard not to play when others play.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.