Calvin’s Commentaries: Lots of charm with this dice roller

There are games that when you see the box – even when you get it to the table – you don’t expect a great deal.

And then Bam! You have more fun than you expected, and the game earns a better spot on the game shelf than first imagined.

That was certainly the case with Spots.

Spots is a rather new release from designers Alex Hague, Jon Perry, and Justin Vickers from CMYK.

The game is a massive dice fest. All you do here is roll dice – sometimes a big handful of dice.

Now personally dice and I get along well like cats and dogs.

Oh yes that’s funnier after you realize the theme in Spots is Dalmatian dogs.

What you get as a player is a couple of cards with dogs on them — whimsical art by John Bond — and icons for various dice.

When you roll dice you are hoping to fill in the ‘spots’. Get them all you can score the card. Get six and you win.

Of course if you can’t place a dice your turn ends and you can lose dice already collected.

If you are thinking Yahtze or Farkle, you are on the right track. Spots is certainly in the same family – a ‘push-your-luck’ dice game.

Now here there are a group of general cards which influence what you do on a turn – rolling more dice etc. and these add some flavour, and there are a good stack full of options to keep things a little fresher.

You can also gather ‘bones’ cute wooden ones, you can then spend at some point to re-roll dice.

There is the merest modicum on strategy here – revolving around the idea of assessing the risk/reward of rolling dice ‘one more time’ so do not expect skill to win out here.

But, with the varying rule cards you select each time, and the bones you can use to re-roll, you will ‘feel’ you have a level of control you really don’t.

But in that lack of control in watching opponents get lucky, or better yet goes bust on pushing their rolls too far you will find yourself having a lot of fun.

And fun has to be at the heart of sitting down to board game.

Spots is easy learn, easy set up, fun for all. A definite pleasant surprise.

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