Zonkers

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Not to be confused with a similarly titled game published by Waddingtons in the 1970s, this is a real-time speed game published by Gibsons. Players roll their five bright sherbet coloured dice and race to be the first to match and cover the dice images displayed on the cards. You can re-roll dice without limit, so this is really mostly a game of speedy reactions. At the end of each round (ie: as soon as one player has used all five of their dice), players score for the cards on which they have more dice than the other players.

The rules incorporate a number of minor variants and the recommendation is you play through all of them so that you are changing the ground rules from round to round. Switching from demanding that only the black dice on the cards are covered to covering only the white dice does shake the game up a bit and helps to keep players on their toes.

Despite or maybe because of its simplicity, Zonkers is fun because it is frenetic and anarchic. Older players accustomed to politely taking turns can expect to be soundly beaten!

Publishers Gibsons have done a good job with the components - mainly the big bag of six-sided dice - because these are vividly coloured and satisfyingly chunky. It all makes for a very workable filler or party game, and another one where even quite young children can compete with adults on at least even terms.

And the title? Why is it called Zonkers? That of course is what you have to shout out when you place your last dice. It's shouting 'Zonkers!' that brings the round to an end.


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