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EASY COME, EASY GO

Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Out of the Box Games, 2-4 players, ages 8 to adult, 20-30 minutes; $14.95)

 

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a kid discovering card games, I played a lot of something called Steal the Old Man’s Bundle. This was a variant of Casino where players not only collected matching cards to make sets, they were able to swipe the cards other players collected if they could match the top card of another player’s stack (or bundle). This simple concept provided hours of fun. Now, Reiner Knizia has done something similar but this time, with dice, in Easy Come, Easy Go from Out of the Box Games.

The small box of Easy Come, Easy Go holds 9 “prize cards”, a large dice cup, four special six-sided dice and a rules folder. All players roll the dice and high roller begins.easycomeeasygo

The 9 prize cards are spread out for all to see. Each of these cards displays a condition for winning it. One card may require a combined dice roll of 17 or more to be claimed. Another might require a roll resulting in four dice of the same number. Still another requires a “straight”, each numbered dice rolled in an unbroken sequence. And so on. Each of the six-sided dice in the game carry numbers from 0 to 5. The four dice are rolled and the result checked against the prize cards. Match a prize condition and you claim that card. But, of course, your dice roll may not match. In this case, you may elect to re-roll.

When rolling a second time, the active player must “freeze” at least one of his rolled dice, locking in the number rolled, before rolling again. If a second roll doesn’t achieve a prize condition, another roll may be tried but, again, at least one die must be frozen. If successful, that player takes the matching prize card and his turn ends. If unsuccessful, his turns ends as well with play going to the next player on his left. The twist here is that prizes claimed by other players are NOT safe. ANY prize card may be claimed if the dice rolls match!

The first player to win – and HOLD – three prize cards until the start of his NEXT turn wins the game!

Although stated for 2-4 players, the sweet spot seems to be three and the reason is simple. Since claimed prizes are not safe, play with four players makes it too easy for a player on the verge of victory to lose at least one of his prizes before his next turn comes around. This can make the game drag. With three, the timing seems about right.

No one will or should confuse this game with Knizia’s meatier creations. This game can fill the niche for younger gamers as well as be a “filler” to start off a gaming session or to bring a fun-filled game night to a close. Easy Come, Easy Go is a very light diversion that shines at that other end of the gaming rainbow. – – – – – – – – Herb Levy

 

 

 


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