Kerfuffle

In the interest of full disclosure, this is Mr. Catfish.

My daughter and I have played Kerfuffle. It should be obvious when I tell you Dad is up 2 games to 1 that it was a hit. Kerfuffle is complicated enough that the 8+ age recommendation is appropriate, but simple enough that we were playing within 3 minutes of opening the box. It’s basically Scrabble with dice.

To start each turn, you draw a card that gives you special instructions for the turn. The cards could simply be funny like “snort like a pig” while you place each die, or they could cause you to lose your turn like “you can only play next to blue dice on your turn.”

Keeping the card’s special instructions in mind, you then roll a big die that tells you how many small dice to roll. After you’ve rolled that many small dice, you place them on the game board to make either straights or sets of like numbers. And, like Scrabble, if you place a die, it must work on both the horizontal line and vertical line.

Placing the dice challenges my daughter with logical problem solving. I watched her looking at different places to put her dice, thinking it over, weighing her options, and finally placing her dice wisely. There are other nuances to the game that require adult level thinking, like finishing a 1-6 straight means the spaces on both ends are now dead.

The goal of the game is to play all your dice. For the most part, it’s a game of chance; the big die roll tells you how many dice you can play. But I could see how two adults playing could look ahead and really play strategically against each other.

My 8 year old loved playing with dice and realizing she had options available to her. She enjoyed making those decisions.

Follow Sadie on Twitter at @OhioCatFish

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