The Real Pickomino Family by Reiner Knizia
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Most games by Reiner Knizia are strongly based on risk and probability estimation. Most of the time when you play a card or reroll a die you can't be sure your move is the best one; you can only guess, based on probabilities. This uncertainity provides the most important tension that makes (many) of his games great or good. Quite often the "tool" for this is press your luck.
Press your luck combined with interaction between the players is the base of Pickomino. Knizia has quite a few press your luck games but the most well-known of them (and one of his best-selling games) is Pickomino which also has some other distinct features.

I'm trying to present the most Pickomino-like games here: games that share many aspects of Pickomino and I'd call them close relatives of each other. Obviously Knizia has a lot more press your luck games (like Medici, Ra), even press your luck dice games (Code Cracker, Einfach Genial: Das Würfelspiel etc.) that I didn't feel would fit this list. It's a bit hard to name the criteria to fit this list; I hope these will be more or less clear after you've read it.

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Dice Games Properly Explained [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Octo

1990

In his 1999 book Dice Games Properly Explained, Reiner Knizia lists 150 dice games with at least a dozen original games designed by him, inlcuding Octo, "first published in 1990" (the more interesting it took 15 years to mix the idea with the interactive yahtzee-ish mechanism of Easy Come, Easy Go below).

One player begins, then play progresses clockwise. A player rolls the 8 dice, chooses a number shown and sets aside one or more dice with this number (you don't have to set aside all the dice showing this number!). Following this you either conclude your turn or reroll. After each roll you must choose a different number and set aside at least one corresponding number. If all your dice show numbers that have been chosen before, your turn is over and you don't record the total. If you stop in time, you write your number on a notepad and players after you have to score higher than your number. If your total is lower or equal to that on the notepad you must keep rolling. If for one round no one can beat the result written on the notepad, the player who reached that number wins the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Easy Come, Easy Go [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:6008]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2004

Released a year before Pickomino, Easy Come, Easy go is a clear predecessor: it already has many of the basics of Pickomino but also shows the connection to Yahtzee and similar games (category dice games overall). This game is like taking the idea of Yahtzee but turning it into a competitive game instead of a multiplayer solitaire. And it's not only that one category can be fulfilled only by one player (there are some games like that in Knizia's 1999 book Dice Games Properly Explained) - these categories can be stolen from each other.
What do I mean?

In this game, players roll 4 dice (special dice: numbered 1-5 and 0), trying to match a combination on one of the nine Fabulous Prizes cards - categories - like four of a kind, two pairs, a straight, exactly 13, three of a kind with all odd/even numbers, etc. "If they match a card they take it, either from the center of the table or from another player's collection." So if you match a combination you can take it from the centre of the table OR from another player.
Rolling is done in a somewhat Yahtzee-like way but if you try to reroll, you always must choose at least one die to "freeze" then can re-roll the rest till they either win a prize or use up the dice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1083]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2005

Pickomino was released one year after Easy Come, Easy Go. It takes some further steps away from Yahtzee while the similarities to the game above are obvious. Instead of combinations, however, you are trying to match numbers (totals) on the tiles with your special dice (numbered 1-5 and a worm) here. As yo can claim lower tiles as well, a special rule had to be invented for stealing: players are stacking their tiles and you can steal their tiles only if you exactly match the number on their tile on the top of their stack.
Rolling is also done in a special way (taken from Octo, #1 from this list) : you always have to freeze at least one die - actually, all of the dice showing the same number. And you always have to choose a number that you haven't chosen yet - so if you roll only the numbers already visible in front of you, you lose your turn.
The game ends when all the tiles were claimed (or discarded - there is a special rule for discarding, well, turning the tiles with highest numbers face down).


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Heckmeck Junior [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:6572]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2010

Mostly the same (for younger players) as the game above, with a very different distribution of "numbers" (represented by images of wormburger ingredients) on the dice - instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, worm you have 1 (cheeese), 1 (ketchup), 1 (cucumber), 2 (half buns), worm, worm here (with one-digit numbers on the tiles). These different numbers actually change the probabilities quite much...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Heckmeck Barbecue [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:4418]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2010

The "board game" version of Pickomino is still mostly the same game with some more meat (and less elegance) to it. Instead of tiles you get worms here but only if you secure them for yourself (throwing the same result twice); otherwise others can take it from you. Instead of turning the highest tiles off, there are also snails introduced to the game for higher results.
But still, the main part of the game is just the same as Pickomino.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Sushizock im Gockelwok [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1696]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2008

The Pickomino chicken are back in an even more ridiculously themed dice game. Pickomino-style press your luck is mostly gone (you simply freeze at least one of your dice when rerolling; no rule for not choosing the same number twice) but you still collect tiles from the common pool and add them to your personal stacks. (Well, two of them as you have a negative and a positive stack as well, and in the end of the game you can score only for as many positive tiles (max) as the number of your negative tiles.)
Stealing is still possible and it's done more or less the Pickomino way: with three chopsticks of the same color rolled, you can take the topmost tile from your opponents' stack of the corresponding color; with four or five chopsticks you can name which tile from the stack you want.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Cheeky Monkey [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2144]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2007

A game that is not a dice game but still feels very close to Pickomino. You have the press your luck element without dice: you draw animal tiles and you can stop anytime you want or keep drawing until you have drawn two similar animals (in which case you lose the round and put all tiles back).
The other feature that is very similar to Pickomino is that your tiles are stacked and the top tiles can always be stolen from you.
You even have a special tile (like a special side of the dice), the monkey who lets you exchange it with another player's other animal.

Oh, and there are even some big tiles/cards that you can win from the common pool, but you win these only in the end of the game (no real difference to winning it during game and constantly stealing it from each other) - these are awarded for having the majority in given animal types.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Cards4You [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2010

Hamstern is a very Cheeky Monkey-like game included in this small box children's games compendium of 4 games to be played with 37 cards (35 cards in 5 suits numbered 1 to 7 and two Jokers - wild cards). In this game, suits don't matter so there are 5 cards of each value (which is actually a bit closer to the results dicew would provide). There are only small differences to the small kids' variant of Cheeky Monkey: card distribution, the lack of possibility to re-arrange the cards collected (which is, if you like, also closer to Pickomino) and the possibility of stealing both from the top of other players' deck or the middle - the top of the discard deck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Simply Ingenious [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:15147]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2008

Released a year after Cheeky Monkey, this game just barely belongs to this list but uses the same basic idea as Cheeky Monkey: drawing tiles until you stop - or draw a tile that is the same color(symbol) that you've already drawn in this round (in which case you lose this turn).
This time, stealing from others is not possible but you are taking similar-colored tiles (score points in given colors) from the middle of the table (where the tiles of players' lost rounds go).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Catch the Mice [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:13441]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2009

And a simple kids' variant which is, I think, the missing link between Cheeky Monkey-like games (see the above 3 entries) and dice roller Pickomino variants.
You roll your special dice (2 dice with 5 colors and one wild side) like in Pickomino (you can reroll but should not roll the same colors again) and take mice of the given color from the pool - and if you roll the same color on both dice, you can steal mice from your opponents. Points are scored for captured mice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Sudoku: Das Würfelspiel [Average Rating:4.62 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2006

It would seem this game does not belong to this list. But actually it either fits or is very close.
Instead of tiles you have rows, columns and 3x1 blocks here. When you place your dice (there are 4 of them) you have to place all of them in the same rown, column or block (on the corresponding number printed on the board). Knowing the sudoku rules it also means you can't place the same number twice. It's once again the Pickomino push your luck principle at work here, with the help that you can place one or more dice (different numbers) after the same roll. But if you reroll, you still have to place other numbers than before, of course.

Although there is no stealing here, there is lots of blocking as players place markers on the numbers where they put their dice in a successful turn.

Also you get a reward for completing a column, row or block on your turn: you can discard a chip for each of these (and the game ends when you have discarded all your chips - in other words, when a given score is achieved). This reward part is actually a bit closer to the way Code Cracker works (see below) which also shows the relation between all these games.

image by Dougadamsau
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Previously, a few other games were also featured, more as a footnote, in this list. Now I made a separate geeklist for another batch of dice games, where you have to roll certain symbols (and not simply amounts or free combinations) to take specific tiles. Yes, the above Sudoku Würfelspiel also belongs to that list but I leave it here as well, because it features the Pickomino-like idea that you can freeze only dice that are different from the previously rolled ones.

Go to the other list to see what it has to offer!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Gold Nuggets [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:12425]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
+1 (2nd)

2003


Add a brand new title that has seemingly (evidently) evolved from the games above (and from games in the other list) but doesn't really fit the list. The most important reason: it's not a category game. You just go for scoring the most (gemstones) with your rolls.
But it works like a reverse Pickomino with some features from Code Knacker from the other list (if using up all the dice, it's your turn again) and Sushizock im Gockelwok (3 lassoes work like 3 chopsticks - they let you steal from the other players).
By "Reverse pickomino" I mean... while you are still freezing at least one die after each reroll like in any of the games above, you fail not when you haven't rolled any dice different from the already rolled ones but if you have only rolled numbers that are different from the already rolled ones (and there are no numbers featured three times). Gold and lassoes (two special sides this time) can be always frozen; while the Gold nugget side is worth only 1 (vs. Pickomino where the special die is worth 5) and the lassoes can be used only for stealing (only when you have 3 of them).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Zombie Mania! [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:13712]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay, this one puts a negative sign to the recipe as you are not collecting but getting rid of stuff (here: zombies) and not stealing from the other players but giving them (still the zombies), but that does not really change the mechanism elements. The main ingredients are still here: push your luck dice rolling and freezing dice until you can - in a way that maybe resembles Gold Nuggets the most.

Roll the same kinds of zombie faces and possilby multipliers to select the zombies to do actions with; roll tombstones to get rid of the zombies and roll houses to send the zombies to other players' houses. And you need two of each symbol to be used. And if you don't roll worms zombies your turn is over without any action taking place.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.