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Disney Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Merry Madness

Updated: Apr 19

This game from The Op could take the cake as the most unwieldy game title of the year but don't let the clumsy name put you off. This is a real-time dice chucker where the 3-5 players are each scrambling to rid their boards of the Nightmare Before Christmas toys ahead of the other players.

Players each have three custom six-sided dice. One die shows the type of toy (there are five different types, with a sixth die face offering you free choice). A number die (1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3) shows how many of the toys you can move, and a third die shows whether you shift them to the board of the player to your left, the player to your right or to the central board that represents 'Sandy Claws Christmas bag'. This direction die has two each of the Left and Right symbols, one 'Sandy's bag' and one icon indicating you have free choice over where to move your toys.

There are no turns. You just roll your dice, follow what the dice indicate, then rinse and repeat as quickly as you can. The quicker you chuck your dice and act on the result, the quicker you get to roll again. You don't wait for others to complete their actions: this is very much a speed game.

And if you are getting a sense of déja vu in our account of Merry Madness, it's probably because you've read our Board's Eye View review of Harry Potter: Mischief in Diagon Alley (The Op). In that review we commented that the theme was rather thin, in that the game could just as easily have drawn on another IP (intellectual property). Merry Madness proves the point - it's not quite identical but it's almost the same game but with The Nightmare Before Christmas theme in place of Harry Potter. That's not to detract from either version: if you like frenetic real-time free-for-all speed games then you'll enjoy either one. You probably won't need or want both, however, so choose the theme and artwork that most takes your fancy. Merry Madness, of course, is the seasonal choice.

The short rules for Merry Madness make this an easy game for children to pick up and play, yet The Op haven't skimped on rules options: the rules sheet offers alternative play options, including a set collection variant where you are amassing toys from other players rather than trying to get rid of them. This variant is a set collection game where you score for each complete set of five different toys that you collect.

It's worth mentioning that the 'toys' in Merry Madness are fashioned from extra-thick card - thoughtfully designed to stand up to the manhandling that's inevitable in any game that involves high-speed grabbing and chucking components. Enjoy!

#MerryMadness #NightmareBeforeChristmas #TimBurton #realtime #speedgame #TheNightmareBeforeChristmas #TheOp #dicerolling #childrensgame #familygame

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