Pickomino is a ‘press your luck’ style dice game by Reiner Knizia. Players are birds taking turns trying to collect BBQ worms off the grill, the player with the most worms at the end of the game wins.
1x Rules booklet
16x Worm tiles numbered 21 – 36 (similar to dominos in size and shape)
8x Special 6 sided dice (standard pip sides for 1-5 with a worm replacing the 6)
Nice heavy tiles and wooden dice that just fit into the small square box (same size box as Pick Picnic). Very good quality game pieces, but the game’s price seem a bit high for what you get.
All 16 worm tiles are laid out in order on the table (“the grill”). During each player’s turn, they will need to roll a total of at least the lowest worm tile on the grill OR exactly the amount of the last worm collected by another player. The player’s start by rolling all 8 dice and freezing a different value each roll. All dice matching the selected value are moved aside and cannot be rolled again. Only the frozen dice count towards a players total for the turn (the value of each die is the number of pips or 5 points for the worm). In order to collect a worm, you must have at least 1 frozen die with a worm on it.
When a player collects a worm, he places it on his top of his stack face up so only the last collected worm is visible. All worms under the face-up top worm are considered safe. Players match the exact value of a player’s visible worm can take it from the player rather than selecting one from the grill.
It’s possible that a player will not be able to collect a worm during his turn. This can happen when any of the following occur:
1.) All the dice rolled are equal to values already frozen
2.) The total of all 8 frozen dice is not at least the amount of the lowest value worm on the grill
3.) The player failed to freeze a worm die
When the player cannot collect a worm, he must also lose his last collected worm (putting it back on the grill). Also, the highest value worm remaining on the grill is flipped face-down (and can no longer be collected by any player). If the player has no worms, no action is taken.
In most cases, just taking a worm when you can get one is the right move. The choices can occasionally be difficult (like to save the first worm or hope for more than one later). There can be subtle choices of what dice to freeze in order to maximize the odds to get another player’s worm, but it’s not reliable enough to go into a round saying I will try to keep a 3 early so I have a better chance of getting my opponents 23. For the most part, the best play is obvious (“I rolled 3 fives; I think I’ll freeze them”).
The “press your luck” choices don’t seem to happen often. You need to roll really well to have more than a die or 2 left after getting the minimum to collect a worm (and usually only have 1 or 2 values not yet frozen). I don’t see when going for the higher value is really worth the risk unless you have a bunch of dice and values left to freeze.
The game does have a high luck factor and at times can seem a bit too long for a simple dice game (especially with more than 3 players).
It is an enjoyable game if you are into dice games, but I was a bit disappointed with this purchase. I did get a few good plays in, but the game just didn’t impress me. I’d first recommend looking into any of the following before Pickomino:
Can’t Stop for 2-4 players (THE ‘press your luck’ dice game)
Un Krone Und Kragen –for 2 or 3 gamers (much more strategy, but also quite a bit more complex for non-gamers)
Cosmic Cows for 2 non-gamers (a bit better theme and a bit more flexibility in choices since the ‘press your luck’ feel isn’t really present in Pickomino anyway. Basically a Yahtzee clone where you are not really limited on what to take each roll).
If you really need a dice game for more than 4, I’d also check out Knights (IMO better than Pickomino if you like Yahtzee). I’ve also heard good things about Cloud 9, but have not yet tried it myself.
- Last edited Sat May 27, 2006 12:23 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat May 27, 2006 12:21 am