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Game: Breakscore (Bounty Promotions, Ltd.)
Submitted By: Robert Waters
Date: 12/20/2005 8:15:00 PM
Breakscore: The Strategic Game of Challenge, Chance and Skill, is a game out of New Zealand by designer Matt Taylor, licensed and published by Bounty Promotions, Ltd. (www.breakscore.com). It possesses elements reminiscent of Yahtzee, Greed, and Chutes and Ladders.
For two to four players, Breakscore asks each player to roll six dice. Each roll is then reviewed to see if the player has rolled any ?scoring? dice, which are 1?s and 5?s (called Stars), three-of-a-kind (Triples), or a straight (a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). The player then decides which of these scoring dice he will keep (or set aside). He must choose at least one or more scoring dice to set aside. At that point, he may choose to either ?sit? on the scoring dice and roll no more that turn, or roll the unscored dice again to keep trying to increase the number of scoring dice rolled. He may continue this process until he decides to ?sit? on the scoring dice, or until he fails to roll further scoring dice. If he fails to roll further scoring dice, it?s called a Zouch. If after several rolls, all the dice score, it?s called a Boomer. If a player is Zouched, his turn ends, all of his previously scored dice are negated, and he does not move his piece along the track. In addition, he must draw a Zouch card and apply the result of the card either immediately, during the next turn, or whenever circumstances in the game allow him to play the card.
A player who rolls a Boomer, may choose to ?sit? on the dice, score the result and move his piece along the track. Or, he may choose to draw a Boomer card, apply the result, then roll all of his dice again, adding any additional score dice to his previous score. He may continue to do this until he decides to ?sit? on the dice, or until he does not roll any further score dice. Again, if he fails to roll any further score dice, he loses his entire score and his turn is over? and he draws a Zouch card.
Once a player decides to ?sit? on a score, he adds up the values of those dice and moves his piece along the track. Play continues until a player has moved his piece into the ?endzone.? At that point, the other players have one more chance to try to enter the ?endzone? as well, move past the first player, and win. If not, the first player into the zone wins.
Sound complicated? It really isn?t once you play it a time or two. The object of the game is simply to roll dice to score points, then move your piece along the track and reach the end before your opponents.
Board elements along the track come into play as well. There are smiley faces and frowns, and things called ?Voids? and ?Zeds? and forwards and backwards arrows which function like the chute and ladders. All of these elements, if landed on, award the player either good things or bad things. And finally, if a player lands his piece on another player?s piece, the other player is ?zapped? and moved back a certain amount of spaces as specified in the rules.
The meat of the game revolves around the player?s decision to either ?sit? on his score dice or to keep rolling and run the risk of losing his entire score. As stated, if he fails to roll score dice with a roll, he loses his entire score and cannot move.
But wait! That is not necessarily the case. Failing to roll score dice is a Zouch, and a card is drawn. Of the forty Zouch cards available, thirty of them yield positive results for the player, five of them can be either good or bad, and the remaining five are bad. A positive Zouch card could be ?Advance 30 Points? or ?Great Game ? Have an Extra Turn,? while a negative one could be ?If you have not passed 150 return to the starting grid.? This negative one is certainly very bad, but by being one of only five cards is absolutely no deterrent to making the choice to keep rolling and run the risk of Zouching. And therein lies one of the problems that I have with the game: There are simply too many positive Zouch cards. In essence, a person is rewarded for failure: failing<