I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a big fan of dice games. Therefore, when I saw Farkle Frenzy at the Patch booth at Toy Fair I was excited to get my hands on a copy! (It was mentioned in my 2011 Toy Fair article, part 2. See HERE) This time it wasn’t just because it’s a dice game that looks fun, but because it took away one of the things I dislike about classic Farkle – the waiting. You see, Farkle Frenzy is an all-play game, so you no longer have time to get the mail and grab a Coke before it’s your turn again and I really like that.
If you know how to play classic Farkle getting started playing Farkle Frenzy is going to be a snap. If you don’t know how to play classic Farkle, the instructions are at the beginning of the Farkle Frenzy instructions and it might be advantageous to walk through a round without using the tower before you get started because the game can get a little crazy!
As many of you know, Farkle is a game played with 6 dice and in Farkle Frenzy everyone shares the sixth die. So each player has 5 dice in their hands, a stairway with 5 spaces in front of them that leads up to the communal 6th die at the top of the pyramid. To start the round, one player pushes the bubble at the top down into the pyramid and it does this fun multi-pop action back up to the top. If die shows a 5, 1, 2x everyone starts rolling their dice right away. If the communal die shows a Wild, the player who “popped” the 6th die rolls once and picks which number (1-6) will be the wild and then everyone else starts.
Every die a player wants to keep is placed in a stairway step starting at the bottom and play is just like regular Farkle, like I can only keep three 6s if I roll them all at once. If I roll two 5s and the communal die is a 5 that’s 500 points! I’ll admit that there was a bit of confusion regarding when to use a communal 1, 5 or wild # – was it anytime during your rolls to get to the top of the stairway or on your first roll only? We decided you could use it once anytime on your way up to the top of the pyramid, but it can’t be used to save you from “Farkleing” (aka “going bust” because you didn’t roll a die you could keep).
The round ends when all players decide to stop and keep their points, when everyone Farkles, or when one player reaches the top of the pyramid and yells STOP! If a player makes it to the top and yells STOP! everyone must stop rolling and only the player with all of their dice nestled in the stairwell gets to decide if they want to take all of their dice and reroll them – which means they would get to use a communal 1, 5 or wild # again. When the round ends, all points are totaled up and the game is over when one player reaches 10,000 points.
Now, because I’m a fan of making a game fit your group we made a few changes along the way. We didn’t bother with yelling out STOP!, instead we allowed players to keep going if they could. We did make them jot down their score at the end of the each trip up the pyramid just because it was so easy to forget!
Overall the game was a blast (even though I lost A LOT). A couple people commented that they missed a 6th die when the communal die was a 2x – but they were getting double points so really, what’s to complain about?!
Farkle Frenzy Stats: