- Designer: Dieter Nuessle
- Publisher: Ravensburger
- Players: 2-5
- Age: 8+
- Time: 15-20 minutes
- Played twice with review copy provided by Ravensburger, I have also played dozens of times on previous editions (Strike, Impact: Battle of Elements)
In this classic dice battle game, players strive to be the last one standing – that is, the last player to have any dice left. Inside the box, you will find a plastic oval arena with a foam floor mat which allows the dice to really bounce around inside the arena. Depending on the number of players, each player gets a starting allotment of dice (6 in a 4p game, 7 in a 3p game). To start the game, a die is rolled and placed in the arena – it must have a number showing, it cannot have an “X”.
On a player’s turn, you usually roll a single die into the arena. You can roll it as softly or as hard as you like. You are allowed to strike other dice already in the arena. Be careful though – if any dice pop out of the box, they are discarded from the game! Any dice that are “X” side up are also removed from the game. Next, if there are any matching dice, they are all removed and placed into the pool of the active player.
If you made at least one match, your turn is over. If there are no matches, you can choose to end your turn or you can press your luck and roll an additional die into the arena, following the same protocol as above. You can press your luck as long as you still have dice to roll. Remember, if you run out of dice, you’re out of the game!
In the event that there are no dice in the arena at the start of your turn, instead of rolling a single die, you MUST ROLL ALL YOUR DICE. Yup, you heard me (since I was shouting at you). The rules for matching stay the same – and of course, if you don’t make a match on your roll, you’ve just eliminated yourself.
Play continues around the box until there is only one player left – that player is the victor!
My thoughts on the game
Strike is a game that has been around for awhile, and it is having a nice resurgence now due to a couple of different versions in the past few years. In addition to this straight remake, there is also a Harry Potter themed version as well as a smaller version called Impact: Battle of Elements. In any event, regardless of the theming around it – the game and the fun remain the same.
Nearly every game that I have played results in cheers, groans, laughter, and the occasional die-in-the-eye. I honestly don’t know if there is a huge amount of strategy to the game. There seem to be two main decision points. While rolling – deciding whether or not you’re going to try to hit the other dice already in the arena. And, if you fail to make a match, whether you decide to keep going and roll another die into the arena. Some people get all worked up about trying to leave the arena empty – in order to force the next person into rolling all their dice (which almost always results is a net loss of dice for that next player) – but I usually just worry about my own die situation, and let the other things just work themselves out.
But despite the simplicity, the game is completely engaging and engrossing. Everytime it is proposed in our group, everyone is eager to play it, and that is the sign of a great game. We tend to take it as a one-off palate cleanser in between games – we just pull it out, have ten minutes of fun, and then it’s time for the next game. Other folks make it a more involved thing, playing a set of games, with each player getting to be the start player once, and calculating points based on relative finish in the games. In any event, it’s always been well received here.
This is one of those classic games that will always have a home in my game collection. The rules are simple, and really nearly anyone who is able to roll a die can participate in the game and have a blast. This one appears to be going into the mass market channel, and it should do well there. This would be a strong recommendation for the upcoming holiday season.
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Thoughts from other Opinionated Gamers
Mark Jackson: My family loves Impact: Battle of Elements (though not the elements part of the game)… but finally having played with the larger sloped Strike arena, I think it needs it instead.
Jeff Allers: I only have Impact: Battle of Elements, and I’ve also only played the basic game (without element actions). It’s a great game to play with anyone, and my version is also compact enough to bring anywhere. In fact, when I went to the cinema to see Avengers: End Game in Berlin with my sons and their friend, I brought the game with me to play while we waited for the film to start. Good thing, because I accidentally reserved tickets for a showing that was an hour later than we had planned. So we had a blast killing time before the movie, knocking dice all over the lobby. Highly recommended.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it! Dale Y, John P, Mark Jackson, Jeff Allers
- I like it.
- Not for me…