Monday, October 19, 2009

Family Game Night - Yahtzee

Hasbro and Microsoft have teamed up to translate some classic board games to the Xbox Live Arcade. They've done seven games so far, and right now they're all on sale for half price. I decided to grab a few of them while the price was so low.

I played some Yahtzee while watching football this weekend, and I have to say that it's a pretty faithful translation of the game. These board games are pretty basic compared to normal releases, so it really falls to presentation and extra options to make or break the game.

You can play with up to four people, in either Local play or over Live. It's got everything you'd normally see in Yahtzee, right down to the little cup for shaking your dice. I like the convenience of the scoring, because you can see at a glance what your various options are and how they'll change your score.

There are also new modes available. I haven't tried them all, but one of them causes certain numbers to be wild while you're rolling, and another has you playing just the lower half of the sheet and trying to fill it without ever missing an entry. I'm not sure any of the variants would be as fun as the actual game, but at least they'll change up your usual strategies.

Plus I don't know how I'd ever have scored this Achievement without wild dice:

High Roller - 15 points
Roll three Yahtzees in on game. What's crazy is that this Achievement is worth less points than most of the others, including easy ones like having a chance total over 24.

I can't really say whether Family Game Night is a good substitute for actual board games. It's cheaper (if you already own a 360 obviously) and takes up less space. But you don't get the tactile sense of throwing the dice or sitting around a table together. You'll have to decide for yourself if the experience is sufficiently similar.


  1. I enjoy video games as much as the next person...wait, retract that - SG Gamer is usually the next person around me and I definitely don't enjoy video games as much as him...anyhoo...

    I congratulate Microsoft for bringing ever more games to the Live experience but if you can easily avoid eye contact then Family Game Night might not be the right title.

    Now, is it the "A" button that will shake that cup? Yahtzee!!!!

  2. Actually, you can use the left stick to jiggle and shake the dice cup. Now that's interactivity!