Author: Reiner Knizia


Awards: none



G@mebox author Doug Adams writes about the game:

Pull on your chicken suit and line up at the great worm barbeque!

Two to seven players take turns rolling eight special 6-sided dice, in an attempt to claim worm tiles off the barbeque grill. Whoever can claim the most worm symbols wins the game.

Chunky tiles, similar to Mah-Jong tiles, represent the worms. They reminded me of the tiles that came with the now rare Quandary, another Knizia game. Each worm tile contains two pieces of information - a number of worm symbols (one to four), and a sum required from the dice to claim that tile (21 to 36). At the beginning of the game, they are lined up on the playing surface to form the "worm barbeque".

Each die contains the usual dice pips one to five. The sixth die face shows a cute red worm, which is also worth five. On their turn, players roll all eight dice, and then decide what die results to "freeze". Freezing a result means all dice showing that result must be set aside. The remaining dice are re-rolled, and again a result is frozen, however it can't be a result already frozen previously.

The object is to freeze the dice and build your frozen total up until you're able to claim a worm. Worms can come from either the barbeque (any tile up to and equalling your total), or from another player (if you hit that exact total). The catch is, in order to claim a tile; you must have frozen at least one worm symbol result. No worm on the dice, no worms on the plate!

Once claimed, your worm tiles form a stack. The only worm tile vulnerable to the beaks of the other players is the most recent worm tile claimed - the top tile in your stack.

As the worms begin to disappear, it becomes very possible to "crap out". This occurs when you either fail to reach a total that will claim a worm tile, or when you only roll results you've already frozen. If this occurs, the highest tile on the barbeque is turned face down (out of the game) and the offending player must return a worm tile of their own to the barbeque.

The game ends when there are no visible worm tiles left on the barbeque. The highest number of worm symbols taken wins the game.

The game is very simple to pick up and play, but there are some nice subtle touches. How to target the leader is interesting. Roger, for example, is leading the game and showing the "28" tile on his stack. A roll containing two 4's will give you the 8 required to hit Roger's 28 exactly, so perhaps freeze the 4's now? But that will leave you with only 6 dice to make up the remaining 20, and I still haven't rolled a worm symbol. Okay, it's not rocket science, but it does give you a tingle of pleasure having to make a genuine decision.

This is a classy little filler that plays in about 20 minutes. The game is very easy to learn, thanks to the colour German/English rulebook. It's listed as a two to seven player game, but I think that five is the upper limit here. There isn't a lot to do between turns, except encourage the other players into error (or to freeze results that protect your top worm tile!).

Thoroughly recommended, especially if you enjoy dice games!

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany