2 Chits, 5 Giggles
How has it taken us this long to review JamSumo? Or 'Flicky Dice Golf Smash' as it was once so eloquently described to me. This game is a masterpiece. Over here at For Chits & Giggles we have fallen in love with JamSumo. I'm here to tell you why.
If ever there was a perfect example of the phrase 'It’s what's inside that counts' then this is it. The game comes in a simple brown box with only a small sticker teasing you about its contents. It doesn't look much at all, and you wouldn't know it was even a game if you didn't stop to have a closer look. Lifting the lid you reveal a gorgeous carved wooden playing board, a bag full of coloured dice and a four page rule book. That's it! It's all you need for one of the most fun filled games you'll ever play.
There are two rounds to JamSumo; the Jam and then the Sumo. In the Jam round, players set their six matching dice to the four pip side (these will count as negative points at the round’s end) and in turn, place their dice on the corners of the board and flick them into the middle attempting to get them down the hole in the centre. If you should get it down the hole, that counts as zero points. Woohoo! There is something very, very satisfying about flicking your dice and getting it straight down there. It's the 'hole in one' buzz. Once a player gets all their dice down the hole then the round ends. They score zero and everyone else gets minus points equal to all their remaining dices pips on show. Ouch.
Now bring on the Sumo round! In this part, players now set their six dice to the three pip side. These will count as positive points at the end of the round. Players then, after setting all their dice down in their chosen corners, flick them into other players dice, smashing them off the board so that their dice won't score. Again. it's very satisfying smashing half of a players dice off the board while your dice ends with six pips face up. Big score! After one player has lost all their dice, everyone then counts their surviving dice pips as a positive score and totals up, adding their positive score to their negative score from the Jam round. The player with the highest score overall is the winner though in my experience, their score won't be that much as most of their dice have been flicked into the hallway.
It's genius in its simplicity. The balance between the Jam and the Sumo rounds is incredible. There is just so much fun to be had here and I've spent many minutes on the hunt for dice that had been given an overpowered flick from the board. We eventually started to use the box lid as a protective shield and to catch dice that would've ended up flying out a window. (N.B: Keep the windows closed while playing)
This game certainly captures the real fun of gaming. Gavin Birnbaum has achieved something wonderful with JamSumo. It is great to see a game designer bring a game to life themselves (listen to more about Gavin in our interview with him here). We can't wait to play games from Cubiko.
Review by David Murcutt