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GAME
OF
THE
MONTH

 

 

AUGUST 2008
PICKOMINO
(as seen in the Border Mail 01/08/08)

  Play Time: 20 - 30 Minutes
Number of Players: 2 - 7
Difficulty: Low
Price: $45
Ages: 6 to Adult
Rating: 1/2

In this new era of board games, it is true that a game can be compared to the movie industry. Some games are like a Batman block buster, with more wow factor than a 'disappearing pencil trick'. Others are more Art House and then there are games like Pickomino that are just light, easy and a lot of fun.

Pickomino comes in a very small unassuming box and it basically plays like an 'Anti-Yahtzee' of sorts. Thankfully it is 10 times smarter than Yahtzee, this is Yahtzee with brains (choice)!

 
     
 

The basic premise is that you are chickens trying to find worms in the chook pen. Whoever ends the games with the most worms wins. Realistically of course you are a human being rolling some dice but hey I didn't write the screenplay.

The game components feature a series of Bakelite tiles (think Mah-jongg) that are shaped much like those used in Rummikub. Each tile contains a number from 21-36 and each tile also features a number of worms (1-4). These are set up in numerical order in a single line.


     

On a player's turn they are attempting to win a tile by rolling the 8 wooden dice and setting aside values that will add up to equal a total on one of the worm tiles. The dice feature the numbers 1-5 and the '6' is replaced by a picture of a worm. The trick to Pickomino is that on any given roll the active player must select one of the numbers rolled (or worm) and take all of that value rolled on that turn. If they choose to roll again they can no longer take a value they have already set aside. This lends Pickomino that 'anti-Yahtzee' feel I mentioned earlier.

The catch is that a player cannot stop rolling until they have earned a total of at least 21 (the lowest valued tile). Likewise, a player's set aside dice are worth nothing unless they have set aside at least 1 worm.

 
     
 

Should a player choose to roll again and not manage to roll a tile total they bust and their turn is over. This lends Pickomino a real 'push-your-luck' feel and makes the game addictive and humorous as you get to laugh at friends and loved ones who go too far! What tips Pickomino over the edge is that you can steal tiles from other players by rolling the total of the latest tile they collected. Brilliant!

Like any good light comedy film, Pickomino doesn't take itself too seriously. It can be played in 20-30 minutes with ease and this is more about fun than hard core competition. For this reason it is a great family title and can be played with children as little as 6. I'll be seeing you in the hen house.

     


GAME REVIEW BY NEIL THOMSON

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© 2008 Mind Games Albury - Mind Games Canberra