Review: Buttons – knobs, studs and all the others

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There is never enough . They come in different shapes, with different numbers of holes and in nearly unthinkable amount of colors. Many people are dedicated to their collecting. One puts them all threads and hangs them high, while the other one puts them on a flat surface.

And here perhaps began shape of a new board game Buttons, invented by . Finally, it all came out in under umbrella of company.

Box is a square, black and not exactly small. Rather, such a medium. On the cover we find, of course, buttons. And they are also hiding inside the box, although not seen at all at first. We have to work our way to them through rules, four double-sided boards and bag with sixty yellow wooden stars. Only then, we find another bag, that offers transparent buttons. But there are also noticable six dice and four order cards.

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Each player at the beginning of the game chooses one of the boards. They differ from each other in disposition of buttons. They also receive randomly one color knob card, that will decide, who will start. All other components are placed aside.

Players will alternate in the game, when everyone gets the dice and rolls them in his turn. At the beginning, first player has six of them. And by combinations of them, player always obtains one coordinate. To achieve it, he must always use white dice (there is only one) and then one black. But he can choose freely with these black ones. This is a place, where he can place a button.

But even other players can participate out of their turn. That’s because one black and one white dice are wearing gold polka dots. Their combination might be used even by other players, taking that coordinate and placing a button there, when their opponent rolls it.

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Laying of the buttons is not entirely free. Each frame can hold only one, but above all, they may not be directly adjacent to each other. The only thing close to a touch is allowed in a diagonal direction. As a result of these limitations, it may happen, that is unable to continue. That is why, in order to avoid the consequences, a participant may pass in advance, anytime he wants. This is because, if he rolls and is then unable to place the dice (all coordiantes are taken or blocked) and he does not get anything for himself and on top of that, he must set one dice aside, blocking it for other opponents.

The mandatory dice elimination occurs even when a player gives up his turn. Therefore, each round ends, when all players have either fallen or surrendered. Those who resigned voluntarily, now get on several stars on merits of their successful rolls. Their number depends on which sets of identical symbols are covered with buttons. Transparent tokens are then replaced with stars and game continues with another round. All players have the same goal – they are trying to create a series of five stars on its board. Whoever does it first is the winner. But there can also be someone quicker, who earns dozen of stars.

Buttons are very nice biphasic connection game. First of all, it does not look from first impression like, that you would be connecting pieces into lines in this game. Additionally, nobody in this endeavor is blocking anyone, because each player has his own game board.

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But all this requires proper placement of buttons across the entire plan first. And here come into play some limitations. Apart from the obvious and described in the rules, also stars themselves will be blocking your decisions. Each spot may be taken only once. Their number is increasing, so the players are blocking their positions and achieving necessary color sets is becoming harder and harder.

Each round, the player has to choose from several dice and combinations. Of course, this does not mean, that he could not have bad luck. But luck’s not the main instigator of success. The player simply has to choose the correct position and combine it into getting as many stars.

But it is not at all easy, because you have to make risks in each round. If neither of those combinations is appropriate or all dice roll the same number and position will be only one to choose from (occupied), then you have lost all your painstakingly built positions. The trick, therefore, is to finish on time and not to be too stingy. But it is easy to say, when you need to reach for a win.

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Just because risking only leads to another next step, gives it a true sense. Especially towards the end, paradoxically, players are most likely to keep rolling (although their chances are slimmer), because victory seems within reach. Ability to play during opponent’s turn is a double-edged sword. While it allows you access to placess, where you did not managed to get yet, you also at the same time reduce the number of vacancies, that can be used with dice in your own strength. This is then limiting your possible star gain.

Game is surprisingly effective not only in a maximum of four, but also in smaller number. That’s because the only contact between players is removing dice from round. In addition, each is playing to their own board and they do not mutually affect each other. Although it may look like an advantage, but this lack of conflict can be bad news for someone. And even though the game itself takes some twenty to thirty minutes according to courage of the participants.

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Buttons is a game, that we like very much. Risking forces you to play smart and the other way araound. Yet, you still retain some control over development outside your dice rolls. This entertainment is not just for older players, but also great for families. Buttons is really good fun, we love to recommend it, if you like taking chances.

DesignerBenjamin Schwer
ArtistAndrea Hofbeck
PublisherNoris Spiele
Year Published2015
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 2 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(4 voters)
Playing Time30
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages6 and up
(1 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(1 voters)
CategoryDice
MechanicDice Rolling, Push Your Luck, Set Collection
Primary NameButtons

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Buttons – knobs, studs and all the others
Final word
Buttons offers opportunity to relax by playing. It's such a visual as well as play therapy. You roll the dice and try to collect the right combination and get stars. Their number is not as important as position. Whoever builds five stars in a row is the winner. It even has a second end condition by collecting stars. The entire game is clever and very funny, and regardless of the number of participants. But you will not meet them much, because everyone is most of the time devoted solely to his board. Buttons succeeded on almost all fronts for us.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
smart risk-taking
entertaining even with smaller numbers
two levels of game
theme and processing
light entertainment
option to play in opponent's turn
Cons
lack of any contact between players
3.5
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