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Katie Harris
United States
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How to play:

The winner is the player who gets the most points from his pawns arriving at the finish space. Each player has four pawns. The game does not end until all pawns have either reached the finish space, or gotten caught by trap spaces. Each player receives the total number of points scored by each of his pawns. Trapped pawns score nothing. Pawns that reach the finish score points according to how many others have reached it already. The later a pawn reaches the finish, the more points it receives.

Movement is by die roll, and a player may only move one pawn the full count (except that exact count is not needed to reach the finsih). The pawns are flat and may become stacked on top of each other. In this case, only the top pawn in a stack may move.

Some of the spaces on the board are traps that a pawn may fall into. This pawn can no longer move, but becomes part of the board. Other pawns may now land on the same space without becoming trapped.

Other spaces send a pawn that lands there immediately ahead or back. The pawn moves in the direction indicated the specified number of spaces. If it would land on a space that is already occupied, it continues to the next unoccupied space.

Two spaces on the board, located roughly one-third and two-thirds of the way to the finish, will send a pawn directly to the finish. Remember that this is not always advantageous, as pawns score more points for arriving later.


Admittedly, Dorada does not win any pretty game contests, but it is a good, solid game. Although it appears to be a simple roll-and-move game like most of us grew up on, it has enough additional challenges to deserve respect. It would be a nice game to transition young kids from their first games into games that would be more interesting for the adults playing with them. It is also good for adults to play when they are looking for a light, fast game.

It is a very straight-forward game that is easy to learn, but that leaves you wanting to try again. Sometimes one player's pawns will finish many turns before or after his opponents', but this does not necessarily indicate success or failure. A player must balance how slowly to move each pawn along the board, attempting to score higher points, with making sure it reaches the finish at all. Leaving a pawn stacked on top of an opponent's pawn gives your opponent less choices, but deciding to leave it there also restricts your own choices. The more of a player's pawns have already reached the finish, the more likely his other pawns are to get stuck in traps, as he may have no alternative.

Although this game relies heavily on luck of the die, there are still important decisions to be made. There is more to think about than first meets the eye, but not so much that it bogs the game down. Each game plays very quickly, so you can play several in a short time. This isn't likely to be anyone's to-die-for game, but I think a catchy theme and attractive board could have done alot for its popularity.
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