Designer: Dieter Nüßle
Artist: Franz Vohwinkel
And now, for some silly fun! Strike is indeed silly fun and it also teaches you not to judge a game but its cover.
This dexterity dice game can be taught in 30 seconds: Each player has a group of dice with all dice showing face values values from 1 to 5 and an “X” on one of its faces. On a player’s turn, you decide the number of dice you want to chuck into the arena, which happens to be the box bottom. In most instances, there are already a number of preexisting dice contributed by other players in the arena. Your goal – or hope – is that you get to collect more dice from the arena than the number of die/dice you throw into the pool. This is done by chucking the dice and matching up dice that show duplicate numbers. However, if any “Xs” are rolled, they are permanently set aside. In this way, the total pool of dice will shrink as the game progresses. The turn passes to the next player if you are able to pick up any matching dice. This goes on until there is one player left standing with dice and he or she will be the winner.
Now, you are free to throw any number of dice into the arena, and if there are no matches, you can continue to do so. That is probably one of the only decision you have to make. The point is also for you to have fun hitting the dice in the arena, thus flipping their sides so that they can form matching sides. Of course, this is all random and one can get really lucky or unlucky depending on whether the dice gods are smiling or smirking at you. Now if your turn comes around and the arena is empty, you are forced to throw all your dice into the arena and hope that you can claim some of it back.
There is no doubt that Strike is completely luck driven and has a small dexterity component. What makes the game fun are the comebacks which happens with regularity in Strike. In fact, even when down to a single die, you can still mount a comeback with a couple of favorable rolls. This is what makes the game fantastic and suitable for kids, parents and grandparents alike. It is really a crowd-pleaser with lots of hooting and hollering and the duration of the game makes it a perfect party game. In fact, it is rare we play only once and we usually go for several back to back games. I would put Strike in the same category as Ligretto Dice.
Now, you might be wondering why spend all this money to buy the game if all you need are a handful of dice and a box. In general, you would be right, but the arena is a little harder to recreate. Ravensburger wisely made the game box slightly deeper and placed a rubber/foamy mat at the bottom to prevent the dice from bouncing out of the box constantly. A wise move. However, dice can still leap out of the box occasionally and do so with just enough frequency that you get to laugh at other people’s misery. If you don’t craft the arena correctly, then this aspect of the game might be lost. I think dice bouncing out of bounds is a huge part of the game.
There are some strategies to consider when chucking dice, but really, who cares! Just throw the dice, get a few laughs and hope that you are the last diceslinger standing.
Initial impression: Good
8 years 2 months: Goes without saying, this one works.