The first time I heard about Strike was a couple years ago at a convention. It seemed to be a late night game that required little to no brain power. It was described to me as “throwing dice into a bowl”. This is not inaccurate.
Ready for Battle
I could pretend that I was throwing fighters (dice) into an arena (plastic bowl with tiered edges). The theme of Strike goes out the window the first time the person you’re teaching says “so I just throw a die in the bowl?”. Strike is a super simple game that’s been around since 2012 and was recently republished by Ravensburger. The “arena” or bowl starts with a single die sitting all by itself. At the beginning of the game, players are given a number of dice to do battle with based on the player count.
On your turn, you must throw a single die into the bowl. If there are any matching die faces, you remove those matching dice and your turn is over. If there are no matches, then you can choose to throw another die into the arena. Each time you throw a die, you’re hoping to make a match and pull more dice out of the bowl than what you threw in.
If a die lands with the X face up, then that die is removed from the bowl and banished into a forgotten land that we refer to as “next to the box”. Players can choose to end their turn as long as they’ve tossed at least one die into the box. If the arena is empty at the start of a players turn, they must toss all their dice into the bowl and deal with the results of this big roll.
Eventually players will run out of dice as they press their luck trying to create matches. The winner is the last player who still has dice.
Press Your Luck “Game”
We purchased Strike at the end of 2020 because we knew that we’d be seeing my parents at Christmas. It had been months since we’d seen them due to COVID and we were looking for something that would be fun, silly and everyone in the family would enjoy.
I’ve documented on many occasions that my Dad just wants to throw dice and write something down. In his words, he “doesn’t want to think when he plays a game”. This causes some issue when you bring games with any level of strategy to family events. Over the years I’ve tested his tolerance for various card games, dexterity games and light weight board games. Let’s just say there has been a lot of fails along the way.
When we introduced him to Strike, we ended up playing almost every day for a week. At its core Strike is just a press-your-luck dice game where you have to weigh your odds every time you toss a die. There is the tiniest amount of strategy in deciding if you should stop throwing dice or not. You can also decide to aim and knock around other dice, hoping that they show matching faces.
Depending on who you’re talking to, Strike isn’t even really a game. I’ve heard people ask “what constitutes a game?” when talking about games like Strike and the card game The Mind.
Whether you see Strike as a game or an experience or just a box of luck, Strike is a lot of fun. Over the past 3 months, we’ve played this game so many times. Because Strike plays so quickly, people always ask to play two or three times back-to-back.
Rolling Again and Again
Strike is such an accessible game and it’s one of the few games that gets people jumping out of their seats as we play. When the player that’s leading is forced to throw all their dice into the arena, the whole table erupts because this means a huge shift in power. The kids have loved the wild swings. These are the moments that make Strike so memorable.
For the players who are a little more cautious, they can just roll one die. For the risk takers, they can ignore the odds as they roll die after die into the area. It can be shocking sometimes when a player is able to hold on with just 2 dice round after round to win the game.
Strike is fast, exciting and gets everyone involved. With so much reliance on luck, Strike isn’t going to scratch that strategic itch that most gamers are after. If you accept Strike for what it is, chances are that you’re going to have a great time.
Strike is available at your local game store, Target stores nationwide and online through Amazon today.
- Fast-paced and engaging for everyone playing
- So easy to teach and play with non-gamers
- Chucking and smashing dice is extremely satisfying
- An excellent game for kids
- Almost purely based on luck
- $20 price tag may seem high for dice and a tiered bowl (arena)