One of the perks of being a media attendee of GenCon is getting samples and trials of games. Of course, when we get these we should take a look at them and promote them on whatever media outlet we represent, so I hope everyone else that got a free copy of Square Shooters did this.
Square Shooters is basically a dice game where each face of the die represents a different card in a 54 card deck (two jokers). We’ve all seen poker dice before, but these guys are different. Not only do they come with cards that set up a poker-like game you can play quickly and easily, they also hold a fascinating design feature. The designer of these dice, Carmelyn Calvert of Illinois, figured out how to get 9 dice set up so you can roll any combination of poker hands. You can get every straight, straight flush, four of a kind, etc. on these dice. I doubt your basic poker dice can do that. As you can see from the picture, I’m showing a royal flush in spades. It’s possible to have rolled the 9 of spades and get a lower flush, and so on. You can roll virtually any poker hand with these dice.
The package includes the dice, a bag of chips that are used for scoring the basic games, a set of cards, and the booklet of games. The booklet includes 8 games but you are really only limited by your imagination. You can play a variation of rummy, and all sorts of poker. My only beef with the packaging and quality is that bag. It’s flimsy and cheap, and barely holds everything that comes in the packaging. I can’t imagine it will hold up to more than a handful of times being opened and closed before something breaks. The quality of the dice and cards is top notch though, and that’s what you are really paying for.
The company that puts out this game is also hosting a game design competition that runs from October 1st through the 25th of that month. You can enter at www.thatshowirolldice.com with your game design. Categories include: Family, Party, Poker/Casino, and Other. They are going to have a panel of judges and announce the winners by the middle of November. Grand prize will see $2,000 cash and their game design published. Each category winner will get $250. Sounds like a great opportunity for budding game designers out there.