Review: Spiel – all the dice you need?

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When there is enough dice, you can do almost anything with them. Games and ideas are unlimited. This was also the concept, that wanted to support with his game called . He created it in . Later, ABACUS acquired the rights and released it in with a lower number of dice and at the same time with only five games compared to the original 57 variants (and 281 dice).

And there’s a big plastic base inside the box, which players place between themselves at the beginning of the game. Then it will be enough to break out the dice of three colors. But the beginning of the game depends on which variant you choose. There are five games every time and each one will play quite differently and some of them have even been created by different authors.

The basics of everything are colorful dice, with the help of which players will prepare building right from the beginning, which will make the game easy to remember. You will build a pyramid! But not some small one, but using all 120 dice, you will prepare a real building. But this is only true if you take it chronologically, because the first game is Raffzahn, which was created by Uwe Beul (do not confuse with Uwe Boll).

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As part of their turn, players alternate in rolling a white special dice, which each time determines one digit and the active player reads its value aloud. The opponents do not alternate, but from that moment on, everyone is trying to find free dice and capture them as quickly as possible. Only dice, that have their upper side free can be removed from the building. As a result of taking them out, no dice can move, although they can be any color. Players collect dice in their stack at the corner of the board, but the turn continues until its stopped by the active player. This means that he can not (or will not) continue to collect (search). The game ends, when at the beginning of turn, only the dice on the lowest floor are left on the plan.

This is a more or less perceptive game, in which it is about quick search, even faster fingers and luck to find free dice on your side of the pyramid. The game is simple and does not offer any intricate tactics. But that is true for the whole set of games, as the second one in the order called Abquetschen suggests.

This time everyone starts with dice in the bins, and only a few dice are in the center and form a mini-pyramid. Gradually turn after turn, on the basis of a roll of a dice, players attach their own building blocks and thus remove them from their reserve.The game ends when one of the players rolls a number higher, than there is dice left. The winner is the one who has at least remaining dice at the moment.

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This game trains mainly spatial imagination and again checks the luck of the players in rolling dice. The game is simple again, as we have emphasized in the first one. There remains focus on the spatial impression and surprise of the number of dice, that players encounter.

Third game is called Bunte Kuh (author Erika Wittig) and they are played again at the same time. Players stand in front of the space filled in the bottom row by yellow dice. And again each round starts with a roll, this time with three dice. From the moment they stop, all can try to solve a common puzzle. Simply count the number of dots on three cubes and try to find the fastest place (corner), where three neighboring sides make together the same sum. Players are first trying to get rid of their dice that they got in the beginning (ten). The fastest player becomes the winner.

The fourth game called Eintrichtern works much like it. Again, this is a triple roll of dice and their dots are counted again. This time, however, players do not see all the values on the yellow dice at a glance. Their sides are covered with red dice. Players will uncover them and hoping they will find under the red dice three sides of yellow cubes that show the same amount.

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At the beginning of the game, everything is purely about luck. But as the game progresses and with the exposed sides of the yellow dice, players can deduce, based on the already visible sides, which digits could be hidden under the red cube. The correct tip means the gain of the raised red dice. And it is in their collecting, that players compete and owner of five red dice wins.

This game is, in our opinion, the most original and the most interesting of all five offered. That’s because it’s really interesting and ingenious. The development is similar to other game, but the players do not need any pair. On the other hand, luck is a very important component here, twice – in the dice roll and then during the search.

The last game is called Cui bono. In it, the players from the finished pyramid at the beginning will gradually pull the dice out. But they do not want to keep them. Instead, it’s up to them to re-insert the dice back into a place that is adjacent to three dice of the same color (the cube inserted must be different) or it must be a position with three different colors. If a player does not find such a place, he must keep the dice with him and this will count as a penalty point at the end of the game. Finish happens, when one of the players gets eighth such penalty dice. Who has the least minus points becomes the winner.

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Spiel is a generic name for a game that has incredible possibilities. While there are only five games in the basic box, the original rules contain much more of them. They also require a significantly larger dice base without which you can not get around. Even so, some games are useable with this orange box and you can take a base for long-lasting entertainment.

Unfortunately, all of the games we’ve tried are quite simple. This corresponds to the age recommendation of the entire box set to six years. Games are therefore very random and do not give the player enough space to implement any tactics. Yet there are two really good games, which the authors places at the end of the rules.

Games have a solid range of opponents. Cubes disappear or increase rapidly and the game is interesting. A great advantage is game time, which is usually around fifteen minutes. Sometimes it may involve a slightly longer setup, if you have to put together the whole pyramid. But the game all seem to have an impression on players.

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Spiel is a totally random and relaxing game that targets mainly younger audience. It’s a shame that it does not uses full dice potential as well as the stock of games, because there are possibilities to engage even more demanding audiences. With Spiel you buy a game kit, that lets you start, but you certainly will not end with those five games in the rulebook.

DesignerReinhold Wittig
ArtistGuido Hoffmann, Reinhold Wittig
PublisherABACUSSPIELE, ABC Toys, Edition Perlhuhn (Göttinger Spiele), KOSMOS, Pyra-Tern
Year Published1980
# of Players2 - 6
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 5, 6 players
(3 voters)
Playing Time20
Mfg Suggested Ages6 and up
User Suggested Ages6 and up
(4 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(4 voters)
CategoryAbstract Strategy, Action / Dexterity, Dice, Game System
MechanicAuction/Bidding, Cooperative Game, Dice Rolling
FamilyGame: Spiel, Series: Edition Perlhuhn / Franckh-Kosmos
Primary NameSpiel
Alternate NamesLe Jeu, Das Spiel, Terning Pyramide

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Spiel – all the dice you need?
Final word
Spiel is rather a set of games with the same components. They are quite different from each other, so it's a nice set. Especially for younger players who appreciate fast gameplay and simplicity. Children will play with a bunch of dice and enjoy the games, whether it takes place in real time or in turns. The coincidence is here from the beginning to the end, but even so Spiel is a great fun especially for younger gamers. But it will offer even basis for tactical gaming and parents, but these games are not described in official rules.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
pile of dice
different games
can play more games than they are in the rules
imagination is allowed (= making own games)
game time
some really nice games
Cons
mainly coincidence
does not engage more demanding players
unbalanced game quality
3
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