Sunday, 3 July 2011

Dragon Diego Dart

Plays: 4Px1.

The Game

The game board is a slope, with a number of slots at the bottom of the slope, each marked with an icon. Three small red balls are positioned at the top of the slope. On your turn, you draw a tile and secretly look at the icon on that tile. You then roll the three balls one by one down the slope. Each ball that goes into the slot which matches the tile you have drawn scores you one point. After that every other player secretly and simultaneously guesses which icon your target is. They score one point for each correct guess.

Each slot at the bottom of the hill has an icon just above its opening, except for the two slots at the two extremes.

The premise of the game is that it is difficult to hit your target. If you hit some and miss some, it becomes a challenge for the others to guess. If you hit every time, it's easy to guess, because your opponents will just choose the slot where all the red balls are. You do have incentive to aim properly, and not intentionally mislead others, because getting all hits means 3 points for you.

The Play

When Chong Sean, Aaron, Chee Wee and I played, we tried to mislead one another by pretending to cheer when we missed and pretending to be disappointed when we hit. We also tried looking at some other icon when we aimed, which was tricky. The observers all watched the eyes of the active player closely. Overall we still tried our best to hit our target. Aaron did best at aiming, and won. We did have a number of occurrences of the guessers not guessing consistently, which means either the active player was a good actor, or the guessers were lousy.

Master marksman taking a shot.

These wooden dragon markers are score markers, using the edge of the game board (which is also the game box) as a score track.

Aaron (red) beat us soundly.

The Thoughts

This is a children's game, the important premise being that players cannot be too good at shooting. If they are, the game becomes a much less interesting game of simply trying to shoot well. The guessing part becomes meaningless. So if you get too good at shooting, I suggest handicapping yourself by shooting with your other hand, or with only your thumb (or any single finger), or even by blowing on the ball. Shooting with your foot maybe?

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