5Pax - Preview

5Pax – Preview

So many ways to roll and play in this set of fast dice games designed for everything from solitaire to larger groups.

Title Publisher Genre
5Pax Galliant Games Dice Game

In The Box

Remember when the video game industry was obsessed with mini games? Titles like Wario Ware and Flash games exploded, but have since tapered off.  The most obvious equivalent in board and card game circles is Solitaire. We all know that the humble 52-card deck can be recombined to play a huge number of games that have fascinated players for hundreds of years. Another thread that connects 5Pax to a grand gaming tradition is generations of people dicing in alleyways and street corners. Using dice as a portable game is well established, so the novelty here is creating a huge variety of game types built around simple and reusable components.

Enter 5Pax with its value proposition: Use a set of 16 standard (d6) dice along with some tokens and game boards to play 10 unique games. The preview prototype we checked out was special in the sense that it uses boards designed for 5Pax, forming the basic platform on which a larger game system could be built. The boards are made in a simple, colorful style that is easy enough to follow using the game manual and will appeal especially to young gamers. We came away with the impression that 5Pax will be especially nice for play with kids, who pretty consistently go crazy for dice-rolling mechanics in other games.

How It Plays

The most memorable of the 10 games were those with unique mechanics or playing styles. Bowling stands out for being a very physical game that has you setting up stacks of dice and tossing or sliding one die down the table in an attempt to topple your dice stacks. The rules are consistent with real-world bowling, something you’ll find across all the sporting games here that have real-world counterparts. Horse Racing is a traditional race game with the twist that you have two horses to move around the track. Rolling pairs or unique numbers dictates how you can move each horse and adds a nice element of strategy, not to mention the fact that you place tokens around the track to represent obstacles.

The Marbles game felt a lot like a real-world game of marbles and was a standout for the same reason that Bowling worked so well. Board and card games tend to get a bit cerebral, so it’s nice when we’re encouraged to throw things around the table and move our bodies. The counterpoint in 5Pax is the game Trapped, which reminded us a bit of that classic Magic Squares game where you mark off areas and try to claim more territory than your opponent. Trapped also had an interesting mechanic for placing crates (dice) and sliding them around the board to block or trap your opponent. The remaining boards include games inspired by sports (Football, Dodgeball, and Tennis), classic tabletop (Chess) and casino games (TwentyOne), and even a board drawn from classic RPG action called Save The Princess.

5Pax is funding now on Kickstarter and needs your help to become real. Read more details including in-depth previews on their page. Not only is there plenty of promise in the prototype we tried, but Galliant Games have plans to expand the list of available games with more boards over the next year.