I was quite thrilled to find this copy of Deblockle at thrift this week. I’ve seen it on the shelves of Barnes & Noble for quite some time. We included it in a Christmas gift guide a couple of years ago but didn’t have a copy in our own collection. This like-new copy was at our Goodwill for only $3.88!
Deblockle is an abstract game for two players. The goal is to be the first to get all four of their wooden dice off the board. You can remove a die when you get it to land on your opponent’s star square. Oh, AND you must also have the right symbol on the top.
Set up a game by rolling your opponent’s dice and putting them in the four spaces diagonal to their own star space. This determines which faces are up at the start of the game. On a turn a player will roll one die horizontally or vertically to an open space, triggering the actions of the now face-up symbol.
A cross symbol allows you to hop (move without turning or flipping) your die one more space horizontally or vertically. An “X” symbol acts in the same way, only you must hop diagonally. The diamond-shaped Slider symbol slides the die like a hop without turning or flipping it, but as far as it can go until it hits another block or the edge of the board.
The three circle Hoops symbol allows you to hop in any combination of three movements horizontally or vertically, including returning to a space you passed through. The Stop sign is just that – you stop there and don’t move any more. Lastly, the Star symbol can only be rolled face-up if it is next to your opponent’s star and you are moving it onto the star. No blocks may end on a star space unless it is rolled star-side up and then removed from the board.
It is possible to block your opponent so they cannot take a turn. This is called being Deblockle’d and allows the active player to take as many turns as they can until their opponent’s pieces are freed. A rule variation allows starting with different quantities of dice to accommodate dissimilar experience levels. You can also make the game harder by not allowing side-by-side blocks between opponents. The first person to get all their dice to the star square with the star side up, and thus off the board, wins Deblockle.
Ultimately, a game of Deblockle is a race to see who can figure out the most efficient path using the symbols on the dice. You do get in each other’s way, which adds to the complexity. However, once you know the patterns of the symbols, it isn’t hard to plan out several moves in advance. This makes replayability quite low. Still worth a few bucks at thrift! If you must have a new copy, grab one on Amazon!
Which game haven’t you taken the splurge on yet?