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Subject: Yahtzee with more luck and more fun - really. rss

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Royce Hix
United States
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Tripoley Dice is a game based off of Tripoley which I have never played. But basically, all you need to know is it's a fast-moving alternative to Yahtzee, in the regard that it's the type of game you could easily get your family to play. Why write a review though for such an unrepresented game?

Well heck, I don't know. Why not?

d10-1 Setup

Setting up this game is quite easy. Similar to Yahtzee, but better, because there are 9 dice here, and 9 beats 5, right?

Aside from dice, you need the scoring pad and a writing utensil. Then you're off and on your way!

d10-2 Rules

Basically, this game is a series of three mini-games which are all luck based. Below is the scoring sheet as a quick reference to what combinations are worth what points in each game.

At first is Hearts, which is actually a very awkward rendition of the Hearts that I know. Especially odd is that a Joker doesn't count as a wild - the only use it serves is to give you an extra roll if you get a Joker on your third roll.

Then you move on to Poker, which feels pretty solid. Two rolls to get your best poker hand possible, and Jokers count as wilds.

After an exciting round of Poker, you'll move on to the exotic Michigan Rummy. Well, it'd be more exotic if it was more than an utter luck-fest. You get just a few rolls to try and get consecutive numbers (say you roll 3, 4, and 5 over the duration of your turn, the next person needs consecutive numbers starting with 6). For each of these that you get, you are granted points.

At the end of the game, points from each mini-game are added up and a winner is decided. Pretty easy to teach and learn, especially when someone has the pad in front of them and can see all available combinations. You'll be a pro after your first play!

d10-3 Gameplay

No wonder you'll be a pro after your first play - it's a total luck-fest! In Hearts, you get a measly three throws (well, maybe one or two more if you're lucky enough to land one of the 2 jokers of 54 available die faces total) to hit a number of preset combinations that really have no strategy involved. Either you hit one or you don't, pick all the dice up, and try again. The only real choice to be made, is to keep an 8, 9, or 10 to try and make a run.

Michigan Rummy is even worse. Zero decision making at all. Did you hit the next consecutive number(s)? No? Roll again. You did manage to hit one or two? Awesome! Keep them, and roll again. Over and over until finally each one has been hit. Better yet, is depending on how good or bad people did in Hearts & Poker, you may be wasting your time even bothering with Michigan Rummy! (since each hit is only worth 5 points, so you'll be lucky to get more than 30 points here)

Poker has the most meaningful strategy, where you can keep certain mixes of dice for higher point combinations. However, since it lasts only two rolls and Jokers do not allow you to continue rolling, the minor amount of strategy you can use is very mitigated.

Why then, do I think this game is more fun than Yahtzee? Also, why do I compare it to Yahtzee and not any other dice games? I guess it's the gross amount of luck and even the score pad reeks of Yahtzee-ness, they are both easily taught and learned, and are quick to setup and put away. I think the fun comes because there's a lot more excitement to be had here than in Yahtzee. Whenever I play Yahtzee, it feels like a slow brooding game, where admittedly there are more options than in Tripoley Dice, they feel very dull. You often take a zero or two because you can't land anything, and if your luck is truly sour, you may be frustrated and irritated by the game, reluctant to play again. With Tripoley Dice, however, you would have a hard time getting a zero in any of the three minigames. They move along very quickly, and even though you really have no control over your fate, it's fun to roll around some dice and see what happens. Everyone has a good chance to win, and even if your luck isn't great, it's over so quickly that you can play again. (Or put it away in hopes to pull out a different game!)

While I do like Yahtzee in small doses, I definitely would prefer this game. There are less choices to be made, and more luck is involved, but there's also more fun, and it's a faster-paced fun that really outdoes Yahtzee - the closest competitor that I've played. If you end up playing a fair amount of games with non-gamers, or especially with family members, I would suggest picking this up if you can find it for a few dollars.

d10-4 Pros/Cons

1 Fast-paced game so even if you're losing, it's over quickly
2 Easily setup and taught to any new players
3 Playable by just about anyone, making for a solid family game

1 There are very few decisions for you to make throughout the game
2 Depending on the point swings, by the time you get to the Michigan Rummy minigame, the game may already be decided
3 The rules with Jokers are a bit senseless - in one game they extend your turn, but in another they count as wilds
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