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Botchee Deluxe (Preview)

October 19th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

A lot of the people I know love a good game of “Sudoku”…it’s a quote unquote “simple” numbers game that doesn’t in fact turn out to be quite as easy as they originally thought.  For those of you who have never played it, “Sudoku” is made up of a 9×9 grid composed of nine 3×3 regions.  Your objective is to fill the 3×3 regions with the numbers 1-9, while also making each row or column in the 9×9 grid only contain numbers 1-9.  “Botchee Deluxe” is a variation of that theme, though it offers players with alternative ways to play.  Before we go any further, I’d like to thank Gary Stout from Botchee Games for providing me with a press copy.  It’s important to note that while the components appear final, there’s still some question as to how the final rulebook will appear as well as whether or not the game will be sold in the US.  Since the game is still being developed in this light, I’ve opted to cover the game as a preview rather than a full-blown review.

Botchee Deluxe

Botchee Deluxe: 1-6 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 15 Minutes

My version of “Botchee Deluxe” came in a clear, plastic case that contained multiple dice and two different playing grids.  The 4×4 grid is designed for beginners while the larger one is designed for those comfortable with the rules of all of the game modes available.

There’s actually a few different ways to play Botchee.  To give you an idea as to what options will be made available to customers, I’ve outlined the hi-lites below.  Keep in mind that the below interpretation of the rules aren’t 100% final and may be subject to change.

There are 5 modes of play: Pattern, Region, Play for Points, Play for Speed, and Fewest Flips.  For the sake of this preview, let’s assume we’re using a 4×4 grid for all of the modes.

1) Pattern Mode:

Each player picks a unique number and then gets a pool of dice to use.  Then, on a player’s turn, they place a single die anywhere on the grid in an attempt to:

A) Get three in a row

B) Get four in a row

C) Create a box of four dice

The first person to accomplish any of the above objectives wins.

2) Region mode:

Each player gets a pool of dice to use.  On a player’s turn, they’ll place a 1, 2, 3, or 4 on any of the available grid spaces.  As in “Sudoku”, you can’t have the same number in a region (or a box of four numbers).  Players will be attempting to:

A) Complete any region

B) Optional Variant: Complete a particular, predetermined region

The first person to accomplish any of the above objectives wins.

3) Play for Points Mode:

Each player gets a pool of dice to use.  On a player’s turn, they’ll place a 1, 2, 3, or 4 on any of the available grid spaces.  Players can use a 5 as a wild card, but players earn no points when using it.

Alternatively, players can roll dice on their turn.

As in Sudoku, you can’t have the same number in a region (or a box of four numbers).  Players will be attempting to earn points by completing rows, columns, and regions.  The points are broken up as follows:

A) Rows & Columns: 5 Points

B) Region (2×2 Grid): 7 Points

Players continue taking turns & placing dice until the board fills up.  The person with the most points at the end of the match wins.

4) Speed Mode:

In this mode, each player will be timed as they attempt to complete a predetermined or randomized Sudoku puzzle.  There are some practice puzzles at the end of the manual as well as on the sites linked below.

The player with the fastest time, wins the game.

5) Fewest Flips:

Similar to speed mode, except that players will be trying to solve puzzles using the least amount of turns possible.  Placing or flipping a die counts as one move.

Match Play:

Instead of picking just one mode and playing for a winner, multiple games can be played.  The first player to win three games wins the match.

That, in a nutshell, is “Botchee Deluxe”.  The game is flexible enough to offer alternate ways to play, assuming that your group is comfortable with both Sudoku and the default modes of “Botchee Deluxe” in general.  There are a few different “official” Botchee sites, so I’d highly recommend checking out all of the below links before making a decision. Keep in mind that the US Patent is still pending (as of 10/19/13), so there may or may not be International fees involved should you invest in the game.  The game is currently priced at $14.99, though I have seen various offers and sales on these sites that reduce the normal price by five or ten bucks.

Botchee Deluxe

The dice are fairly small, but eye-catching.

Is “Botchee Deluxe” right for you?  That depends.  I got the impression that “Botchee Deluxe” is partially a puzzle game in addition to being a dice game.  Those who don’t enjoy thinking a little in the games they play may not take well to “Botchee Deluxe”.  There’s also the randomness factor involved in the games that involve rolling dice…some folks I know don’t like luck-based games, though it’s important to stress that “Botchee Deluxe” does feature games that are 100% strategy based.  I really liked the fact that an electronic version of 4×4 “Botchee” can be played for free on the sites I mentioned above and linked below.  It’ll give prospective customers a good taste of the game as a whole.  All in all, it’s worth checking out.

You can learn more about and purchase “Botchee Deluxe” by visiting the following websites:

http://botcheegames.com/

http://botcheecafe.org/

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