Tumblin’ Dice combines two of my favorite things: dexterity games and lots of dice. It’s a little like shuffleboard, and a whole lot of fun. It’s been around for a decade, but it’s hard to find–now Eagle and Gryphon Games has a new edition on Kickstarter!
At a glance: Tumblin’ Dice is for 2 to 4 people, ages 13 and up, and takes about 30 minutes to play. It’s currently on Kickstarter for a pledge level of $59 (plus shipping). If you pledge within the first 72 hours of the campaign, you can get a small discount at $55. The age range is actually pretty flexible–I’d say as young as 7 or 8 is fine, as long as they’re not going to go crazy throwing the dice. And the player count could easily be increased by adding more dice; in fact, the first stretch goal will add four more sets of dice so you could go up to 8 players at once.
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- Wooden board (4 interlocking pieces)
- 7 Legs and 12 bumper pegs
- 16 six-sided dice in 4 colors
As mentioned above, a stretch goal could potentially add more dice; you can also purchase extra sets of dice as add-ons if you like.
I have not seen this new version in person, but I’ve seen an older model. The board itself has several tiers, starting with a “launch pad” at the highest point and then ending in three separate platforms at the bottom. There are some pegs spaced around the lower edges. The new Eagle-Gryphon board has a triangular shape extending out from the launch pad, but they don’t have a good photo showing the whole board from the top.
On the board itself there are areas marked–closest to the launch pad is a 0-point area (the older version had -1 instead), with a 1-point area farther out. The next platform is 2-points, the next 3-points, and then finally the three platforms are 4-points.
How to play
Each player gets four dice in their color, and take turns flicking dice off the launch pad onto the board. Dice in the “0” area do not score and are immediately removed and discarded. Each die scores for its face value multiplied by the zone it is in. So a die showing “3” that lands on the 2-point platform is worth 6 points. Of course, nothing is scored until all of the dice have been rolled, which means that you can knock other dice off the board before they get a chance to score.
You play four full rounds, and the highest score wins.
I can’t speak for Eagle-Gryphon’s board specifically, but I can say that Tumblin’ Dice is a really fun game. It’s really simple to teach and attracts a crowd. A friend of mine has a board and I’ve played a few times–sometimes he uses the regular six-sided dice, and sometimes for variety each player gets a set of RPG dice: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12.
Eagle-Gryphon also has some variant rules that will be included in its version, and there are some stretch goals to add some other variants that are only hinted at so far. It’s not a cheap game, but what you’re paying for is a nice wooden board, not just cardboard and paper. Eagle-Gryphon has a good track record for delivering its Kickstarter projects, and I’ve generally been impressed with the quality of their game components (although this is the first of their games to my knowledge that involves this type of woodworking).
If you like dexterity games, definitely check out the Tumblin’ Dice Kickstarter page. Older copies are hard to come by, and will most likely set you back more than the $59 pledge. The expected retail price after the Kickstarter campaign is $80.
Disclosure: I expect to receive a sample of Tumblin’ Dice from Eagle-Gryphon after production for review.