During the summer of 2011 I took the church youth group to Huntsville, AL. One of the days we were volunteering in the evening and staying at a downtown church, so we walked around downtown Huntsville. One of the stores there is Harrison Bros. Hardware Store, the oldest operating Hardware Store in Alabama. For the most part the majority of what they sell is touristy/kitschy stuff. So of course we had to spend FOREVER in there, and of course I had to get something for my toddler son. I got him an Alabama engraved sock monkey, but then I realized my wife would probably complain that I did not get anything for her. I looked around and did not find much, and then saw this game. My wife still has a soft spot for simple dice games, so I thought it was worth a try. So was this a good gift or a total flop?
Yamslam has a lot of similarities to Yahtzee. Like Yahtzee, on a players turn they get up three rolls to try and meet a certain combination. In this game players are rolling for 2 of a kind, three of a kind, small straight, full house, flush, four of a kind, and large straight. The flush is added to the Yahtzee formula because some numbers are black and and some are red on the five dice that players roll. There are four chips for each of these different combinations and when a player scores one of them, they take the chip. Once all of the chips are gone, that particular type of roll can not be scored anymore. Obviously the easier to roll combinations are worth less points and the harder to roll combinations are worth more points. There are bonus points that can be earned from doing things like collecting all seven different type of chips or collecting all four chips of one type. The game ends when the last chip is taken.
The Game We Played
To keep the two player game from getting dreadfully boring as we fail to roll the right combination to get the final chip, we play with a variant rule we came up with. If one player goes three turns in a row without collecting any chips then the game immediately ends. I rolled really well this game and I rolled several four of a kinds. In fact, I managed to collect all of the four of a kind chips. I also managed to roll a "Yamslam". This means that I rolled five of the same number. A Yamslam allows a player to take the chip of their choice and then take an extra turn. The game ended when I collected the last chip, which happened to be a three of a kind chip. When the scores got added up it turned out be a bit of a blow out. I won 550 to 290.
My Rating: 2 (do not like)
My Thoughts: This game is much better than Yahtzee, because it is a competition for limited resources. However, without any theme or further purpose is is really just rolling dice over and over.
Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: It is better than Yahtzee. It is fun, it is quick, and I really just like dice games.
Combined Rating: 6
So it turns out that I do know my wife fairly well, because her thoughts on this game are what I thought they would be. Even though I do not care much for the game, it is mercifully quick (at least with our variant rule). It does not take up much space and has a low trade value anyway, so it is a game we will be keeping.