While I’m a huge fan of abstract games, it is no secret that my wife loves any game that includes rolling dice. The fourth game in Eagle-Gryphon Games‘ E•G•G Series, Krakatoa, moves away from the previous three card game and fits solidly into the dice category.
Advertised as supporting up to four players, Krakatoa is best enjoyed head-to-head by just two opponents. Included in the box are nine custom 10-sided dice, reference cards and a score pad. While it may appear minimalist, the unique rules make this game different than any other dice game in our collection.
The nine dice come in three different shades – black, gray and white. These represent lava, ash and steam, respectively. The faces on all dice are the same, with one colored pip represented. Over the course of six rounds you are trying to roll and create sets of colors according to the included reference card.
Krakatoa requires each player to roll dice, holding them in a certain manner. You’ll never roll more than three at a time, picking up an entire set (lava, ash or steam) and holding them between your thumb and first three fingers. Then with the flick of your wrist you release them towards any of the other dice already on the table. You must move at least one stationary die no less than 1/2″ or cause it to change its face. Failing to do so nets you a ‘scratch’ and a zero score for the throw.
Once rolled, you score all nine dice and add it to your running total. Over the course of a round you will be asked to roll a specific set of dice, remembering to always hit at least one other die when you do. Points are awarded based upon specific color results (per dice set) and can also award bonuses!
For instance, when a throw result only contains two colors, you create a “Rumble”. Depending on the number of “Volcanoes” in that roll, you’ll receive a bonus multiplier of 2x or 4x for your next turn. Similarly, if your total score ends in a particular pair of digits (either a multiple of 20 or a number in which the last two digits are the same – 11, 22, 33, etc.), you activate a quake and also receive the same 2x or 4x bonus.
Managing to roll three “Volcanoes” in one turn causes an “Eruption”. This also gives you a 2x or 4x bonus, but not just for the next roll. It carries over for your next two turns! Similar to a standard game of bowling, if you earn any of these bonuses in the last round, you’ll get extra turns to cash in on the multiples. Once six rounds have been completed, the person with the highest score is the winner!
Krakatoa filled an interesting niche for us due to the unique rolling requirements. Most of our games have standard dice pips and are numbered accordingly. Because this game uses completely custom dice with colored pips, we’ll have to be extra-cautious not to lose one because finding replacement dice would be nearly impossible. But I wouldn’t let that stop you from picking up a copy for yourself for under $15 on Amazon. A great value for a game using custom components.
Watch for the next entry in the E•G•G Series in a couple of weeks! In the meantime, see what else Eagle-Gryphon Games is up to this summer by following them on Twitter and Facebook. Gen Con is just around the corner and we bet they’ll have at least one new title in hot demand!
Do you prefer dice or card games?