Alakazam

Alakazam! banner.
Release Date: 
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
AttachmentSize
PDF icon alakazam_cards.pdf28.23 KB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (experienced): 

by Jonathan Leistiko

Object

Swap dice with a common pool and other players to get combinations that match high-scoring goal cards. Claim those goal cards before other players do to score points. End the game with the most points.

You Need

  • One set of six identically colored six-sided dice, plus one more set of six six-sided dice (in a unique identical color) per player. A five-player game uses six sets of six six-sided dice (36 dice total), evenly distributed among the following colors: Red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white.
  • An Alakazam! deck
  • Pencil and paper to track score.

Setting Up

Let each player claim a homogenously-colored pool of six dice. Place six homogenous dice in the center of the table. These are “neutral” dice. Return any unused dice to the box, out of play. (Example: Ari, Beth, Calen, and Dana are about to play. Ari claims the red dice, Beth claims the blue dice, Calen claims the green dice, and Dana claims the black dice. The white dice go to the middle of the table and the yellow dice go back in the box.)

Shuffle the cards. Deal two cards per player face-up to the middle of the table.
Have each player pass two dice to their left and right. For example: Your dice are blue, the player to your left has black, and the player to your right has yellow. When the passing of dice is complete, you should have two black, two blue, and two yellow dice.

Roll the neutral dice that are in the center of the table. Keep them in the center, in easy reach. Once everyone has had a chance to look at the goals and the neutral dice, play can start.

Play

General Rules

  • Once a die has been rolled, it can not be re-rolled except during set up, at the start of a round, or if explicitly permitted as part of a trade.
  • If a die is bumped off of its face, it must be re-set on its proper face. If it can not be re-set on its proper face, keep it on the face it landed on, stop play, and (as a group) remove a die from the die pool of player who bumped the die. Return that die to play at the start of the next round.

 

Starting a Round
At the start of a round all players roll their dice, then trading starts.
Once you roll your dice at the start of the round, you may only use one hand. Whatever hand you start with, you must use for the entire round.
During trading, you may do any of the following:

  • Take a die from the center of the table and put it in your pool of dice, then move a die from your pool of dice to the center of the table.
  • Take a card from the center of the table.
  • Return a card to the center of the table.

 

You may also negotiate trades with other players.

  • You may not trade cards directly to other players. Don’t try to include a card trade as part of a deal by placing it in the center and letting your trading partner take it. Other players may try to interfere by stealing the card and that’ll just get messy and lead to arguments. Trading cards with other players goes against the design intent of the game and makes king-making much easier to engage in. Don’t do it.
  • When you’re trading with another player, place your die on the table within easy reach of your trading partner. Dice that are on the table as part of a trade can only be touched by the people involved in the trade. You may not “steal” dice that are part of a trade.
  • You may make unequal trades, such as trading a two and a blue die for a six.
  • You may make re-rolling one or more traded dice a part of the trade. (Example: I’ll trade you a red six and two more red dice in return for any two dice that I can re-roll.) n.b.: You may only re- roll a die during trading if the person who traded you that die explicitly said that you could re-roll it.

 

“Bonus” Cards
Most of the goal cards require you to meet a certain goal. Three of the goal cards are only worth points. These cards are Bonus cards, and they’re bright red. If you have a Bonus card, the only thing you’re allowed to do is return cards to the center of the table. You can not move dice to the center or trade with other players when you have a bonus card.
A round ends when all players agree that the last player has optimized his or her dice pool and card selection.
At the end of a round, compare the dice in your pool to your goal cards. Score points for every goal card you completed (and your Bonus card, if you have one), and lose points for every goal card you did not complete.

Ending the Game and Winning

If any player has more than 30 points at the end of a round, the game ends. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
If the game has not ended, tally your scores, go through set up again, and start a new round.

Variants

  • Deal the goal cards to the middle of the table, face down. When you take a card, keep it face- down. When you return a card, return it face-down.
  • Keep the three goal cards face-up. When one is taken, the player who takes it has to replace it with a new face-up card.
  • Play three rounds. The player with the most points at the end of three rounds wins the game.

The Cards:

Design note: The cards have to have a penalty if you don’t match them, this prevents a player from taking them just to prevent someone else from having them. Note also – if they have a penalty, you can let players take goals, then try to fill them – you don’t have to restrict them to only touching cards if they have cards.

  • Bonus: Score 5 points.
  • Bonus: Score 3 points.
  • Bonus: Score 2 points.
  • # Goal: Straight: Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice; 3, 5, 8 * C Goal: Flush: Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice; 2, 3, 5
  • C Goal: Candy Cane – Three of one color, three of another color; 4
  • # Goal: Double Triple – Three of one number, Three of another number; 5
    — Can six of a kind take this? Yes.
  • # Goal: 29 and up – Sum of 29 or greater; 5
  • # Goal: 13 and under – Sum of 13 or less; 5
  • # Goal: Ones/Sixes – Score x for four identical dice, y for five identical dice, and z for six identical dice; 3, 5, 8
  • # Goal: Twos/Fives – Score x for four identical dice, y for five identical dice, and z for six identical dice; 3, 5, 8
  • # Goal: Threes/Fours – Score x for four identical dice, y for five identical dice, and z for six identical dice; 3, 5, 8
  • #/C Goal: Full house: Four of one die (color or #), two of another (color or #); 4
  • #/C Goal: I Got Nuttin’: If your dice can not score any other claimed goal, score z; 10
  • C Goal: Tri-Color: Two each of three different colors (ex: 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 blue); 4
  • C Goal: Rainbow: Score x for four different colors, y for five different colors, and z for six different colors; 3, 5, 8
  • C Goal: Pyramid: Score z if you have three of one color, two of another color, and one of one more color; 4
  • C Goal: Yours & Theirs: If you only have neutral dice, and one other color that was not your starting color, score z; 5

 

Extra Notes:

Scoring Schemes
1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10 1! 3! 6! 10! 15! 21
1! 2! 3! 5! 8! 13! 21

Un-used Cards

  • Bonus: Score two points for every goal the player on your left has.
  • Bonus: Score two points for every goal the player on your right has.
  • Bonus: Score 2 points for every goal card you score (other than this one).
  • Goal: Ones – Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice
  • Goal: Twos – Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice
  • Goal: Threes – Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice
  • Goal: Fours – Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice
  • Goal: Fives – Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice
  • Goal: Sixes – Score x for four dice, y for five dice, and z for six dice

 

Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Minimum Age: 
13
Game Type/Context: 
Price: 
$0(USD)