A Game Review: Double Shutter – An Old Favorite Becomes a New Winner

ToysBulletin.com takes a look at a dice and strategy game from Blue Orange Games.


It is said that “Double Shutter” actually has roots back to the 12th century, when sailors and fishermen may have played a far simpler version.  Many readers may know of a game called “Shut the Box,” which features 9 movable levers, each numbered from one to nine.  The idea was to roll two dice and then flip the levers that equaled the total shown on the combined dice.  Play continues with players attempting to pull down all of the levers.

“Double Shutter” from Blue Orange Games has made things a bit more challenging than the original “Shut the Box” game.  Now players are faced with not just one row of movable tiles (levers), but a second row as well.  The second row is also numbered from one to nine, providing a total of 18 tiles that can be closed.


Blue Orange Games, a leader in quality design and game packaging, does not disappoint with “Double Shutter.”  The game arrives in a metal tin, which also serves as the game board.  Inside the tin are two rows of tiles attached to metal rods, plus a soft felt surface for rolling the two large dice, which are included.


The basics of the game are quite simple; players take turns rolling the dice and closing (shutting) the numbered tiles, keeping in mind that tiles from the second row can only be shut if the tile directly in front of it (in the first row) has already been closed.  For example, if a player was to roll a 2 and a 3 for total of 5, he could choose to close the 1 and 4 tiles, the 2 and 3 tiles, or just the 5 tile alone.  If tiles are available in the second row, the possibilities may increase.  Dice rolls continue for that same player until he can no longer shut any tile, or he has shut them all.  


Scoring is easy, as the remaining tiles are totaled, and the lowest score is declared the winner.  Tiles left open in the first row count double if not closed, so there is some important strategy in choosing the tiles on each dice roll.  Of course, if all of the tiles are closed (called Shutting the Super Box), there is also a bonus point awarded, but this is very difficult to accomplish.

This was a perfect family game, so we approached a nearby family of four who had actually asked to be one of our focus groups.  They had made it clear that they wanted to play some sort of family game that combined luck and strategy.  We thought of them immediately when we opened “Double Shutter.”

They met us enthusiastically at the door when we arrived at their house, and because setup and rules were easy, they were playing “Double Shutter” within just a few minutes.  The family consisted of the two parents, an 11-year-old son and a 10-year-old brother.  We got in 7 games, over a two-hour period, and there was plenty of hooting and hollering, especially when one of the two boys won a round.  No one succeeded in shutting all of the tiles during the night of play, but they did not seem to mind.


Before leaving, we asked each of the family members to describe their game experience.  Everyone was impressed with the speed of the game, the easy to use game board and even the large oversized dice.  The boys thought it “made them think” and “made it fun to use some simple math skills.”  The parents nodded their heads with approval, but then looked very serious when they asked, “how much does this game cost?”  When we replied $19.99, their serious looks turned to smiles, as I really think they were planning on getting their own copy of “Double Shutter” very soon.


“Double Shutter” can be purchased at Amazon.com.
— RJ Cullen

Posted in Board Games

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