Knock Your Blocks Off from Gamewright Product Review

 

Manufacturer: Gamewright
Recommended Age: 8 years and up
Retail Price: $15.99
On the Web: www.gamewright.com
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Knock Your Blocks Off from Gamewright Product Review



Stack ‘em up … Knock ‘em down! First, race to build a structure by matching up the patterns on your blocks. Then use the battle die to knock off your opponent’s crown! Depending on your roll, you may get to attack with an avalanche of boulders, a wall-smashing ogre, or even a fire-breathing dragon! Rack up the most victory points and crown yourself king of the block.

Knock Your Blocks Off combines two seemingly disparate elements into one game. In a sense, you’re getting two games in one: a fast-paced visual puzzle and a fine-motor dexterity challenge.


What an interesting game…first build a structure as fast as you can then try to knock down your opponents…seems easy enough in theory…but in practice there is definitely some skill involved. With each initial roll kids have a chance to build a certain type of structure – some are easier and some are more difficult, but they must do this properly matching up ends of their dice. This is where the initial confusion is going to set in. This is a very visual concept and some kids may not cop to it right away, especially when trying to build as quickly as possible. The second step is now an attempt to knock the crown die off of the top of your opponent’s structure – which as long as the rules permitted them an attempt, was a fairly easy thing to do almost every time. So…to evaluate Ease of Use is tricky…it is a bit difficult to create the structures for some kids, but very easy for the kids to knock them down. We’ll play this one right down the middle with a 3 star rating.

How can a dice game not be durable you ask? Easy – when kids are attempting to hurl a die at each other’s dice structures in an attempt to scatter dice everywhere! If played on a table, dice are going to be flying on, off, under and behind the table and chairs. And you need all 7 dice each time to play the game. Our recommendation would be to play this game on the floor – it would be easier to track the dice that way.

The box has a really fun look and a cool design. The game itself does look like fun to play (for the record it is fun – but it also looks like fun so that is a plus)…racing to create structures looks fun, trying to knock the crown off definitely looks like fun. The one thing that didn’t look like fun was when some of our more sensitive kids did not take too kindly to others constantly knocking the crowns off of their structures. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – but this game has been shown to result in a tear or two being shed by some of our younger participants.

Due to the random nature of the roll of the dice, the game itself tends to play differently each round – meaning – you have to build with what you roll. We did see lots of kids trying to manipulate their dice to build the structure they had wanted, so you have to keep an eye out for that.

In a blind survey our team priced Knock Your Blocks Off between $12 and $14. With an actual retail price of just under $16 the gang wasn’t too far off. It seems that the issue here is that the game is pretty much all dice and some tokens. The packaging has the look and feel of a full on board game. We have to think if the packaging was made a little smaller to look more like a dice game and less like a board game, a few dollars might have been able to be knocked off of the price.

No question in this category, we have never, ever seen any game quite like this. It matches lots of components that don’t always go together – including speed, dexterity, concentration, some visual logic – along with coordination when it is time to destroy…er…knock the crown off of your opponent’s structure. Very unique!

This was such a tricky game for us to review. First off, we want to be sure to let everyone know – it is fun to play…as long as you have kids that understand how to properly build structures, and then don’t get too upset when their structure is knocked down. The game plays quickly and that is a plus. We felt it could have been priced a tad lower, but aren’t terribly disappointed with where Gamewright set the bar. Knock Your Blocks Off is definitely original – and would be a nice addition to your game collection.