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Quickly, it is necessary to run and join the exodus! Throw the dice to place the best possible result on one of the numbered levels.
If your dice remain in place until your next turn, you will be able to advance your pawn.
But take care! A roll of X is dangerous! You can lose your turn and have to move back your pawn!
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Excape? Or Escape? No, it's not a typo, because the X factor is an important element of this game. In fact, this game was first published way back in 1998 by Amigo Spiele under the name Exxtra (yes, with an extra X). Canadian publisher Filosofia has done us a favour by getting this game into print for the English speaking market, now under the name of Excape, and with revised components.
So why should you check out Excape? Because it's a Reiner Knizia game. And it's a push-your-luck dice game. The classic of the "push-your-luck" genre is Can't Stop, which has a well established reputation, and Excape has been favourably compared with it. The theme of escaping is somewhat thin, but it does capture something of the press-your-luck element that is integral to the game-play. Will you be the first player to get to move your pawn 20 spaces to the X on the game-board?
Each player has two dice that they roll to form a two digit number, that they'll place on steps 0 through 5 on the game board ladder. If your dice are still on the ladder on your next turn, you move that amount of spaces forward on the board. But if someone else places their dice with a higher value on a lower rung, your dice get knocked off. Fortunately, you can re-roll your dice if you don't like your number ... but don't press your luck too far because rolling an X ends your turn immediately!
Excape has wide appeal. Press-your-luck games are the kinds of games that are very versatile, and can be enjoyed by both gamers and non-gamers alike, and this is a particularly good one. People of all ages and tastes like it because it is fun. It also compares favourably with other push-your-luck games like Can't Stop. One advantage is that it handles 3-6 players easily. It also looks attractive.
Put perhaps most importantly, Excape has simple and tense decisions with a high fun factor. The decisions are fun, and you'll find yourself cheering for other players to take down the current leader! And on your turn, what will you do: Do I place my dice on a lower rung, gaining less, making them less likely to get knocked off and get nothing? Or do I place them at the top rung for potential maximum movement and hope nobody rolls higher than me? Should I roll again and hope for a bigger number? Or will I roll an X and will I end up losing rather than gaining? As with most press-your-luck games, gameplay features lots of whooping and hollering, cries of excitement and groans of frustration. This game really promotes an atmosphere where everyone is loudly encouraging other players to risk big and take down the leader - and maybe lose big in the process! Isn't that fun! Every game collection should have a press-your-luck filler, and this one is particularly good - highly recommended!
This is a race game using dice. There are 21 squares to cover to win the race. Each player throws his dice in order to post a score. This is placed on a grid against a point value and indicates the number of squares you would move on your next turn if it is still on the grid. The board has been attractively produced by Amigo in the shape of an X.
Players have their own set of coloured dice, which are non-standard. Both have 1, 2 and 3, but one die has a 7, 4 and an X, while the other has a 6, 5 and an X. A player may throw his dice as many times as he wants, providing he does not get an X on either die -- an X counting as a failure. At any time a player may stop and post that score on the board. The top position is 5 movement points and a high score normally gets placed here; the bottom is 0 points. (On the first turn an X counts as a zero.). The dice are scored as a decimal score, so a 4 and 6 would be scored as 64. Let's say these are placed on the 4 movement space on the grid. A subsequent player throwing a 64 or higher can dislodge this score by placing on a movement place below the four. This also dislodges any other score of the same or less that is higher on the grid. Thus a player who throws a 76 has the option of going for the 5 spot if it is available, or sacrificing a near certain good move next turn by placing his marker on a low spot to get rid of all other players' pieces above his.
The other way of moving forward is to throw a double and then a player moves forward as many squares as the number of the double. Thus a double one moves 1 square forward, a double two, 2 squares etc.. The player may also continue to throw dice, since these are not very good scores to post on the grid. Each X thrown moves you back one square.
The game is quite good fun and a good one to finish the evening. It hots up as one player gets close to winning and it is then that the other players try hard to prevent the leader moving. This leads to more players getting closer to the winning position and more tension in the end game, but there is enough luck to make you feel that you are being outdone by the dice and enough judgement to allow a player who wins the feeling that it was all down to good play.