Wazabi Dice Game
Available at: Amazon.com
No. of players: 2 – 6
I’m fortunate to live near my local library. I visit every week and occasionally I check out the games. I’d taken out Timeline: Inventions a couple of weeks ago and when my extended family came over for dinner we had a great time. In fact my cousin left that evening declaring he would be buying it. So last week I looked once again in the game section of the library and sitting by itself on a low shelf was Wazabi, a family-friendly dice game. I checked the age requirement (8+) and number of players (2 to 6) and took it to the counter and borrowed it.
The Wazabi Dice Game
The object of this game is to try to get rid of as many dice as possible. Sounds like a simple enough premise, but it’s actually not. It came with a very small booklet of instructions (granted that may have been the library’s instruction booklet and not the original one for the game. In any case, being about 4 inches square, it was difficult to read and understand. It would have been helpful had there been some images or diagrams – something to give a better idea of how to play the game than what was in that small booklet.
The deck needs to be shuffled before play begins. One card has an explanation of what the other cards in the deck signify so that card should be removed and set aside for reference. Since it was just my daughter and myself playing this game, we each received 4 die to start and 4 cards. The remaining cards were placed in the center of the table to act as the draw pile. There were quite a few left over dice which we were not needed so we set them aside. The dice have small images on them representing different actions players must take during game play. We each took a turn rolling our four die to determine who would play first. The player with the most ‘W’s face up on their die would go first, and in our case it was my daughter who had 3 ‘W’s to my one.
The first player throws all 4 of his or her dice onto the table. The player can have several choices to play depending on what shows face up on their dice. On the top left corner of the cards there are from one to four ‘W”s, which will come into play on which card can be used from those in their hands. If three Ws are showing, then the player can play any cards that have 3 Ws or less. The cards each depict a character from the game and each character has different capabilities. Character 1 may say you can discard 2 dice, but character 2 may say to give die to your opponent. Another card may tell you to draw a card.
The dice may also have directives. If there is a small diagram with an arrow showing, then the player may give a die to her or his opponent. Once a card is played, it should be discarded. Play continues along this pattern. Players can have any number of cards in their hands if the card they play tells them to draw more.
If you are able to lose some dice by either discarding or giving them to your opponent, you will find game play getting more difficult since the fewer the die in a players possession, the fewer options there will be when the dice is rolled. For example, if you are holding 5 cards in your hand, and you roll 4 dice, you can choose what to do to your advantage with what is face up on the dice with to match with the cards you’re holding. But if you have just one die in your hand the have just one option to play a card.
The winner is the player who manages to get rid of all the dice, no matter how many cards he or she is holding. As mentioned, it’s not as easy as it sounds and players can go back and forth with numerous turns trying to get rid of their last dice. And therein lies the fun! There were several turns that I took with just one die to dispose of and I’d end up with two more on my opponent’s turn! Literally my luck was based on the throw of the dice. In the end,
it was my daughter who won the game. If it weren’t for reading through the instructions while playing it would have taken us less than the half hour it did to play the first round. The second round went smoother and we were quick to finish in about 15 minutes with another win for my daughter.
Should you try it?
Sure! The game I borrowed from the library is not the exact version as the image in my blog (couldn’t find that one), so I would double-check what is included in the game before you purchase. In my version, the card that depicts and describes all the other cards in the game, and thereby letting you know how to play a hand, was too small in that the images were hard to make out. So hopefully different versions of this game will have a larger instruction booklet and/or a better way of depicting the explanations of the playing cards.
It took us looking at the instructions, playing a hand, and taking a couple of turns to figure out how to Wazabi. Despite that initial slow going it was a pretty fun dice game and would probably be even more fun and prove more challenging with more than two players as was the case with my daughter and myself. I’d also recommend this game to take away for a cottage vacation. Easy enough to set up and clean up and it doesn’t take a lot of space.