ToysBulletin.com reviews two games from HABA.
With Halloween just around the corner, “Spookies” may be a perfect game for family play this fall. There is no need to be afraid, but “Spookies” is a “surprisingly” fun dice game that will “dare” you to take some “scary” risks in order to win the game. The rules immediately do a nice job of putting a very creative spin on this easy to play dice game.
The game is suggested for 2-5 fearless players, ages 8 years old and up. The object of the game is to collect as many Spookies chips as you can. Each Spookies chip is worth anywhere from 1 and 5 points but point values are not revealed until the end of the game. Once the final Spookies chip has been claimed- the game is over- the players flip over their Spookies chips, add them up and the player with the highest total is declared the winner.
Game play is very simple as players must guide 5 different characters up the scary corridors of a haunted house on the way to the attic. Kracko, Schnuffer, Hanja, Duffy and Poppy are all nervously awaiting their journey through the haunted house and you control their destiny.
There are 5 dice, including 1 special friend die. The friend die represents which character you will control during that specific turn. Players roll the friend die first and that character is used until the players decides to pass or end a turn. One side of the friend die displays a ? and this allows players to choose any character during their turn. Once the character is determined, players can choose how many of the remaining four dice to roll to advance the character in the house.
Why is the number of dice important? As it turns out, each floor of the haunted house is represented by a number. The player must roll dice such that the cumulative total of the dice is higher than the next floor number to advance the character to the next floor. There is a handy chart included that shows how many Spookie chips you would earn based on the number of dice you decide to roll. The fewer dice rolled will earn more Spookies coins, whereas more dice may get your character to advance, but less Spookies chips will be earned.
For instance- you roll the friend die and you get Kracko. If Kracko is in the garden and has yet to climb a floor- you must roll a 5 or higher to move him to the first floor. If you choose to roll 2 dice, and are successful- you would earn 2 Spookie Chips- but if you choose to roll 3 or 4 dice- you would actually not earn any chips since the probability you roll a 5 or higher is very high with 4 dice versus 2 dice.
Once you have advanced the character to the next floor- you can choose to end your turn and collect your coins or continue the turn trying to move up another floor. But, beware! In order to keep your Spookies coins- you must either voluntarily choose to walk away from the turn or roll the exact number of the floor the character is already on.
Of course, there must also be a penalty for a player who makes an unsuccessful dice role. If a player has collected chips from previous rounds and you roll a number less than the floor you are on- the character you are using must move to that lower floor. No chips are collected, plus the player must pay penalty chips based on how many floors down he fell. The penalty chips are placed on the floor landed on and can be collected by any player if they move a character to that level with only two dice being used. The game ends when the last Spooky is taken from the stockpile. Then count the Spookies held by each player to determine the winner.
The more we played, the more we enjoyed this clever nicely-themed dice game. The rules had some great twists so that strategy came into play throughout. “Spookies” retails for $24.99 and can be found at the HABA USA website.
If you are a fan of card games, where it is imperative to think fast and move fast, “Rox” is a game that will knock your sox off! The rules are simple and easy too making this a very addicting challenge for 2-4 players, ages 7 years old and up.
The object of “Rox” is to restore order to the natural flow of elements by creating a line of 6 element cards that are in the correct “natural” order. The game contents include 60 elements cards, 15 scoring cards and a magic eye (more about this later) to verify if a player’s natural flow is correct.
To get things started, all of the element cards are randomly placed face up in the center of the table. Next, the scoring cards are placed face down in a pile. A set of scoring cards is then chosen at random from the pile (one less than the number of players) and placed face up next to the pile. These are the points up for grabs.
On each of the element cards, there are 16 color symbols surrounding the perimeter of the card and a stone in the center with a symbol and corresponding color. The five symbols represented are fire, water, earth, air and magic (each a different color).
To begin the game, each player takes an element card from the center of the table and places it in front of them. The game is played simultaneously by all players. Every player must look at the different symbols on the perimeter of their card and determine which symbol appears the most times. As soon as the player makes his choice, he must quickly choose another element card and continue the process once again. This sounds easy at first, but there is a catch. The trick is that the next card chosen must have the exact stone in the center of the card that matches the center stone on his previous card. This requires a keen eye and quick hands.
For example, assume the player counts 5 air, 4 earth, 3 water, 2 fire and 2 magic. The player then grabs an element card with the air symbol on the center stone for his next card from those element cards remaining on the table, and play continues in a similar manner. Once a player has 6 cards in front of them and yells “ROX,” that player wins the round, or does he?
It is so easy to make a mistake when counting and choosing cards, the game rules require a verification process be used to make sure who won the round. In order to do this, the player who yelled “ROX” must flip over his first card, and take the magic eye to see which card should be the next card. This is easily done by putting the magic eye directly on the back of each element card, which will reveal the matching stone symbol of the next card. All 6 cards must be checked in this manner before a winner is declared for that round.
If all 6 cards are correct, the player will take the scoring card with the highest value that was turned up at the beginning of the game. The remaining players, with verified natural flows will also receive scoring cards, based on the length of their card flows.
After 5 rounds the player with the highest total points from their scoring cards wins the game of “Rox.”
“Rox” plays extremely fast and is a perfect family game that will make for some fast grabs and surefire fun. Look for “Rox” for just $7.49 at the HABA USA website.