(With the demise of Armchair Empire, a great videogame website that hosted my early board game reviews, much of my board game-related writings have disappeared from the Internet. I’m going to reprint them here at Nerdbloggers with some alterations and annotations based on how my impressions of the games have changed. This review, in a slightly different form, originally appeared August 13, 2005)
Easy Come, Easy Go from Out of the Box is a simple and fun dice game by Reiner Knizia that offers a lot of the appeal of Yahtzee with more player interaction and a more festive atmosphere. In the game, players race to be the first one to have three luxuries in their possession at the beginning of a turn. The game usually plays in around ten minutes, though it can drag if players are constantly stealing luxuries from other players.
The game’s components consist of nine heavy, thick luxury tiles with dice combinations printed on them, four six-sided dice marked zero through five, and a nice rolling cup. Everything is well made. I have little doubt that the components will hold up to hundreds of sessions. The art on the cards is amusing and attractive.
During the game, players roll four dice in hopes of rolling one of the combinations. After every roll, the player is forced to “lock” at least one of the dice in place. The round ends when all dice are locked whether or not the player has earned a luxury. If they do, they get a card and pass the dice; if not, the dice are simply passed to the next player. This continues until one player starts his or her turn with three of the luxury cards, at which point they win the game.
Some of the cards are easy to get (“Straight”, “Two pairs”), while others are more of a challenge. Since all of the cards on the table, whether or not they are already in the possession of another player are up for grabs, it makes a lot of sense to go for the harder cards early, as they are less likely to be stolen. This game play element makes for much more interaction than the group solitaire dice games like Yahtzee, but it also means the game can drag if players continuously manage to lift a card from an opponent right before he or she would win. The drawn-out end game has only happened to us once in about ten games though, so it shouldn’t be much of a deterrent. *
We already play a lot of dice games for light filler in our group (Liar’s Dice, Can’t Stop, mostly), so I wasn’t sure another light, fast dice game was needed. However, Easy Come, Easy Go went over very well with everyone I introduced it to while playtesting for this review, so I wouldn’t be surprise to see it hit the table at regular intervals over the course of the year. Regardless, the game is great for family game nights or any place gamers need a fast, fun game to pass the time.
- Danny Webb
(August 13, 2005)
*Follow up: I’ve played this game three times this year, so it is still being played nearly ten years after I wrote this review, but it doesn’t get to the table often because the ability to steal luxuries from other players caused the game to drag more than it initially seemed it would. This means the game actually plays smoothly with three or two people and not as well at the other numbers, which makes it a tad too specific to be worth throwing in the game night bag. I do have some buddies that love dice games, though, and that group pulls out Easy Come, Easy Go on occasions, and still really enjoy the game. At this point, I’d much rather play Qwixx for my light dice fix.