Shizzle, a new "press your luck" dice game from Patch Products, presents a compelling sequence-building mechanic in a unique package. The six special dice each have six unique sides, featuring not just six numbers but six colors. The object is to create as long a "line" of dice as possible, starting from a die of a given color and number and building from there. A die can match a previous die on either color or number. Score is kept via round yellow 1-point chips and square orange 5-point chips, so it's easy to see how everyone's doing (important because there's a way to take away six points from another player... more on that in a minute.)
The "Twist and Tumble" dice cup is a nifty gimmick that handles the age-old problem of runaway dice. In my house, we've tried using game box lids as impromptu dice trays, but someone invariably throws the dice at the center of the box lid, causing them to bounce off like it's a trampoline, and go flying across the room or under the couch. The Shizzle dice cup holds the game components when not in use, and works with a simple twisting motion, dropping the dice onto your table.
It's helpful to explain to new players the four different possible die roll outcomes, as follows:
Fizzle. A line of two dice is a Fizzle. You take two points and your turn ends.
Flicker. A line of three, four or five dice. You can take points equal to the number of dice in the line and stop rolling, or keep rolling and hope for more. If you Choke, your turn ends and you get no points for that turn (see below.) This is the strategic part of the game.
Shizzle. A lucky roll (or series of rolls), in which all six dice are in a line. You get six points, OR you can cause another player to LOSE six points, OR you can press your luck and keep rolling.
Choke. A roll in which none of the dice lined up for you - you get zero points, even if you'd lined up some dice already on the current turn.
Shizzle is a game that can generate some serious excitement when people decide to press their luck. When the player before me was very close to winning, I knew I had to roll a shizzle (an unlikely roll) and take six of her points in order to stop her. When I did so, there was much shouting and cheering (and a little groaning). However, since I made the defensive move of taking six points from her,(rather than take six points myself and leave her with a few more points than me) a third player was able to come from behind and win!
My one criticism of Shizzle is this: although the dice are fine quality, my players found some of the colors to be a little too close to one another. The red and orange, and the blue and green are a bit too similar, perhaps because pips (dice dots) are relatively small. Color-blind players might especially have an issue with this. In a later edition, I would recommend changing to six solid symbols - or, perhaps the numbers could be bold-font numerals instead of dice pips. This is a minor gripe though, as Shizzle has the fun feel of push-your-luck dice games like Farkel. It will get your friends and family cheering!