We’ve played some big board games before – games with a ton of components that sprawl across every inch of a large table. But we’ve never played a game with such huge dice!
While a game with only 16 dice may not sound like much, the size of these dice draws attention. Each chunky die is a 1 ¼ inch cube and has nice brightly colored pips. The game also comes with a game board to hold the dice in a 4x4 grid for play.
But do the high quality components deliver a high quality game?
How to play Dotzee
Dotzee is very simple to play.
The objective of Dotzee is to score the most points throughout the game by creating rows of:
* 4 of a Kind – the 4 die in the row have the same number of pips on top
* Two Pair – the 4 die in the row have 2 sets of dice showing matching numbers
* Small Straight – consecutively numbered dice are in the row (they don’t have to be laid out in order – see example)
* Flush – the 4 die in the row have the same color showing
Players create such scoring rows by rolling one of the giant die and placing it strategically in the 4x4 grid. If they place it such that a row contains one of those scoring patterns, then they earn a point. If they place the die such that more than one of those scoring patterns is created, then they’ll get more points – 1 point for each pattern.
Also, the scoring combinations can occur horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
To begin the game, the 16 giant dice are placed on the board with their blank side up. On a player’s turn, they remove one of the die from the edge of the board and roll it. The player then places the die, as rolled, back in the grid in 1 of 3 positions. They can place it in the spot the removed it from or in either the end of a row or column and push the other dice (in that row or column) into the open spot.
Then they look at all rows and columns (and diagonals) to see if they’ve created 1 or more of the scoring patterns. They then score that many points and play moves on to the next person.
The first person to score 10 points wins!
Can the whole family enjoy Dotzee?
With these giant dice, we’re sure that everyone in the family will want to play this dice game. We also don’t doubt that the youngsters in the family won’t be too strategic about where they place their die, but they’ll love the dice. Chances are that they’ll mostly try to score the Flush option – since matching colors is a great way to get little tikes into games.
The older kids and adults however will undoubtedly seek out ways to score multiple points on their turns.
And they’ll quickly find that they aren’t left to the whims of a lucky die roll to score well.
Because scoring well also requires choosing wisely which die to remove for rolling. Taking a good look at the grid and noting where opportunity lies before removing a die is very helpful.
By choosing well, players can mitigate the chance that comes with rolling dice.
That’s the part of Dotzee we think is pretty cool.
It’s such a simple and quick game that we can’t really call it a brain burner. Nor is it a heavy, strategic game. But you can get some fun brain exercise in over the few minutes of game play.
Why is it called Dotzee?
We have no idea.
When we first heard the name, we of course thought of Yahtzee. It's sounds the same. But as you can see from reading about how it plays, it sure doesn't play like Yahtzee.
The only guess we have is that it involves dice and scoring involves 4 of a Kind and Small Straight with those dice. But there isn't any "Roll dice, set some aside, roll again, set some aside, roll a third and final time, score" type play.
We know a ton of games that do use that Yahtzee play mechanic, but this isn't one of them. So your guess is as good as ours.
How does Dotzee score on the “Let’s Play Again” game meter?
Dotzee scores well on our “let’s play again” game meter. Because games are short, it’s easy to play multiple times back-to-back for some family fun.
It’s a great game to have on hand for a short family activity after dinner for example. Everyone can join in and play as long as they’d like.
Dotzee could also make a great office desk display. I once had a co-worker that had a marble puzzle on his office desk. No only did it look nice, but it was a good conversation piece and a way to take a mental break now and again. I can see Dotzee in that same setting.
The giant dice and nice grid holder would make a great desk display item. It would look great, start conversations, and provide a quick mental challenge between co-workers.
Thanks Maranda Enterprises for a fun family dice game.
(And for the biggest dice we now have!)