Designed by A J Porfirio and published by Van Ryder Games, Popcorn Dice is a super-light filler-length push-your-luck dice game where you're trying to maximise the number of popped kernels rolled using the 14 custom six-sided dice.
Three of the faces of each die show a raw kernel; there is one face showing a single popped kernel and one face shows two popped kernels; the sixth face shows a burnt popcorn. You score a point for each popped kernel rolled (so the double popped face counts for 2 points). Game play is super simple: roll all the dice, keep those that show popped kernels and reroll any unpopped kernels. You can keep rerolling those unpopped kernels but if you ever have four burnt kernels then your turn immediately ends and you score zero points. Player agency therefore is over whether or not to stick with your score or to reroll and risk busting. When you roll a burnt kernel, you can put it back in the carton to reroll it provided you sacrifice a double-popped kernel, and you can only do this in the turn you roll the burnt kernel; so that's another push-your-luck judgement call.
The winner is the first player to score 30 points once everyone has had the same number of turns. In practice that's likely to mean three or four turns for each player. The game packaging suggests it's for 2-6 players but if you decide to play with more than six, the only practical upper limit you'll hit is the time it will take for your turn to come around.
We love the plastic popcorn carton that doubles as a dice shaker. Our only gripe was that the game comes on a mounted card which you'll almost inevitably tear when you try to take the carton and dice out of the game's outer wrap.
Popcorn Dice isn't likely to win any awards for innovative game play. The push-your-luck dice rolling is very reminiscent of many other games; for example, Bang! The Dice Game (dV Giochi). However, the theme and packaging makes Popcorn Dice an ideal filler game to pair with a movie themed game like Blockbuster (Big Potato), Blockbuster Returns, Pitchstorm (Skybound), Roll Camera! (Keen Bean Studio) or Movie Empire (Stimulus).