Z-Man Games Edition
List Price: $49.99
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(Worth 3,999 Funagain Points!)
from 16 customer reviews
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Warning! Warning! The central computer has failed. The robots are unable to reach their destination on their own. Help them by planning their trajectory as efficiently as possible. Optimize your moves and ricochets to arrive at your goal. Remember: robots are obstacles too; and they can easily be moved. Can you find the shortest trajectory before the other players? The classic returns! This new edition of Ricochet Robots contains every released board in one box.
- 8 two-sided boards
- 1 centerpiece
- 5 robots
- 5 Start space markers
- 17 Target chips
- 1 sand timer
- 1 rulebook
Average Rating: 4.2 in 16 reviews
There are only a handful of games that I've played more than 20 times. This is one of them. It is, at its base, a puzzle-solving game, so if you don't like games like SET, then you won't enjoy it. Everyone sits around a board and tries to find a solution all at the same time. We played for a year without using what we now call 'the communist rule' which was conveniently never taught to me. What it is is this; in case two people name the same number of moves for the solution in the alloted time, then the person with the least number of points gets the new point. Whoever is behind has the advantage! This means even very weak players can hold their own against a stronger player. Great game, even with that rule included.
Games are often characterized by their mechanism of play, such as bidding games, tile-laying games, or the dreadful and always-to-be-avoided dice-rolling games. But Ricochet Robot is completely unique and, for this reason alone, is well worth adding to any game collection.
Absolutely any number can play, the only limiting factor being the amount of space around the board. Furthermore, players can come and go during the course of the game without disrupting the flow at all, making it perfect at a large gathering. But it's also a very good game and, I would argue, more interactive then has been described.
I do agree with many of the other reviews. This one can be taxing on the brain (is that necessarily a bad thing?) and there are definitely those who love it (my gaming group) and those who don't. But given the unique game play and the affordable price, isn't it worth finding out which camp you're in? I'm certainly in the first. Great game. Highly recommend.
Tired of losing to your parents? If so, this is a must have! My parents have never won a game of Ricochet Robot. Fortunately, they still play with me because it's so addictive.
The first few games might be a little frustrating, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be playing it over and over and....
Toby, age 13
Here's another game we have introduced to our lunch break board games session that has been very well received!
We like it because:
- Many people can play, and with very large crowds (eg. more than 10), you can play in teams!
- Everybody is involved at the same time--trying to be the first to discover the least moves.
- It's hilarious when just to beat the first person and the timer, others would bid a lower number of moves and then find that they cannot meet the target when their turn comes! We added a rule variation and give 'FAKE' points to all those who bid lower moves and can't achieve them, penalizing the biggest 'FAKE' at the end of the game in some small token way (eg. clean up the lunch time meeting room mess!)
- It also teaches my kid to look at things in different ways!
When I first played this game, I thought it was ok, and wasn't very good at it. But after playing it again I liked it much better and rapidly improved.
The game won't appeal to all gamers; it's a thinker's puzzle, not a boardgame like many are used to. It's frustrating playing with a great player because they will always win. But it's easy to handicap.
It's not uncommon to hear people remark that they are mentally exhausted after playing a session of this game. The game is an incredibly simple 'puzzle' game that often requires intense amounts of concentration while you mentally plan the interrelated movements of 4 robots on the game board. To make matters more stressful, you are trying to do this more quickly than all the other players.
After someone announces the number of moves they believe is the shortest path to reach the goal, everyone else has one minute to find a shorter path. This is where the game becomes the most stressful, and often the most challenging. Many times you will find yourself totally stunned when someone announces a path length that is half the length of what you were convinced was the best possible solution. The game constantly challenges your mental flexibility and your ability to consider new ways of looking at a problem - all while working under a time limit.
Another interesting aspect of the game is how after the winner of the round demonstrates the shortest path, everyone else is eager to see other players demonstrate their alternative solutions - sometimes to show off their inherent elegance, or their extreme complexity. (I was particularly proud of one losing solution I found which involved over 30 moves.)
Since the game board is made of 4 double-sided sections - each with a different layout - and each round's solution depends on the location of the 4 robots, the game has a high replay value. It is highly unlikely you'll ever see the same problem twice.
The board components are fairly nice - heavy cardboard for the board and counters representing the goals, and plexiglass for the 4 robots and the board connector. My only complaint is that the board connector doesn't do a very good job of securing the 4 board pieces together. This is a minor issue since the majority of the game you are just staring at the board and are not touching it.
The ability to play this game with any number of people is a definite plus. The pace is a bit faster with more players, since the more people you add, the more likely someone in the group will find a solution - and it is often a good strategy to announce as fast as possible that you found a solution, forcing everyone else to scramble to find one in the remaining one minute.
Overall, I found this a great mind-bending game. It's definitely not a game for all occasions or for all tastes, but if you like visual puzzles and planning moves in your head, you should like this game.
The object of Ricochet Robot is to get Robot A to Point B in the fewest possible moves. The robots can move in straight lines, but they have no brakes. They can only stop and change direction when they hit an obstacle: either a wall or another robot. You can move as many robots as you want, but you must count their movements as well. You start by randomly drawing a destination chip. This tells the players which of the four robots must go to which destination. As soon as this chip is revealed you can hear the blood rush to everyone's heads. Everyone tries to find a suitable route that gets a specific robot to a specific destination. As soon as someone finds a possible solution they yell out the number of moves they think it will take. Then the timer is flipped, and everyone has until the time runs out to come up with a (hopefully shorter) solution. The person who claimed the lowest number gets first crack at it. If they succeed, they keep the chip (1 point) and a new chip is drawn. If they fail, the person who claimed the next lowest number gets a chance, and so on.
You either love it or you hate it. This game/puzzle does not incite modest opinions. It can accomodate any number of players, and observers will often chime in and start playing mid-game. A great game.
I brought this game to a party of, mostly, gamers. You know as well as I do, that means generally intelligent people. Unfortunately, two of the smarter ones got almost every point. The rest were still into the game, trying to get the robot where it needed to go as quickly as possible, but the real competition was between those two.
Still, everyone enjoyed it a lot, though they did complain of headaches afterward.
Wow. What a game. Or is it? Maybe it's a puzzle. Maybe it's a brainteaser. Maybe it's a little bit of each.
But I know this much--it's a lot of fun. We play this to stretch our brains out before going on to other games, as it really puts your mental agility to the test. I do think calling it a competitive puzzle may be the closest simple way to categorize this challenging game.
PROS: very high replayability, little luck, plays very quickly, very challenging, solid and well made components, clear rules.
CONS: not much interactivity (other than 'bidding' and bragging), quite mentality engaging--may be too cerebral for casual or young gamers.
So what keeps it from getting a 5th star? Its puzzle-oriented style keeps it from getting called out more often by some in my gaming circle--they're intimidated by the game!
Ever spend the first 15 minutes of a new game feeling like a moron because you just don't 'get it'? With Ricochet Robot, the initial struggle isn't because the rules are difficult (they're not)--it's because you have to look at things in a very different way. In fact, there are almost no rules, they're so simple.
I stared at the board while people around me proved they are much smarter than I am--then felt like a flippin' genius when I finally figured out a set of moves before anyone else did. Then like Einstein when it happened twice in a row. The point is that for people who like to sit and carefully plot strategy, this game will force them to think too quickly (and hence they may not like the time-pressure element). But if you're good with spatial relationships and want to challenge others in a totally luck-free environment, this is a fun game that can be played very quickly and ended at any time.
The first time I played the game, I just stared at the board while other people shouted out numbers. Finally I got to where I could see them and play along. This is a great game if you want to work on your spatial thinking skills.
It is a great game in that any number can play, and the rule that the person with the fewest number of chips gets to show the move helps keep the scores close together.
The best use of this game is to have on a table as people show up. Since you can end at any time, it can also be played when you only have a little bit of time.
'I love this game!' (trademark NBA). Well, I like this 'game' a lot. It is actually more of a 'dare someone you can solve a puzzle faster than others' type thing. Ricochet Robot is a definite must for anyone who likes spacial puzzles, with a gaming system that won't run out of challenging puzzles to play. The only reason it's not 5 stars is that this game/puzzle is not for everyone. Your head could hurt from playing it =).
Set up the robots randomly.. each robot moves but cannot stop until they hit a wall or other object..then they turn at a right angle. All players (and watchers who don't know they're players yet!) imagine how many moves to get to a certain position on the board.. when they know the number they say it.. then the timer is set and the rest of the players (and observers) say how many *they* think it will take..the smallest number gets to try first.. it's basically that simple.
Some of the "puzzles" are harder than others and the person with the least tiles goes first..so it's pretty easy for non-puzzle people to jump in from time to time..fun for everyone!
If you are just plain frustrated by puzzles..this is not for you... otherwise.. definitely a must have for most game collections.
First, please go to the riograndegames.com and read the rules for this odd little game. The rules for this game will do a much better job than I of explaining the mechanics of this game.
Thanks, now on to the game review...
Raise my review to 3 1/2 stars.
Ricochet Robot is a frantic, frustrating, exhilarating free-for-all emotional roller coaster. Some rounds provide easy solutions, requiring you to make four, three or even just two moves to get the specified robot to its required location. Other rounds require the movement of multiple robots to set up "blocks" to get the specified robot to where it belongs. For these rounds, the low bid will be in the mid to high teens. These two extremes require completely different thought processes. The easy solutions require speed. Get that bid out and get it out fast! The more elaborate solutions require a keen sense of spatial reasoning. Speed is still required, but for the more complicated solutions speed takes a back seat to actually getting the solution figured out.
This game isnt for everyone. I know people who just hate this game. However, I also know a good number of other people who like it quite a bit. I dont know of any other game like it. If I had to pick a game with a similar feel Id say Falling. Yep, Falling. To be sure, Ricochet Robot requires much more thought than Falling, but I think they both have a frantic atmosphere and leave you feeling a little flushed once the game is over.
One recommendation: have something fluffy to play after a game or two of Ricochet Robot, because you will need to mentally decompress a little. :)
It's often enjoyable to work a puzzle with your morning cup of coffee. Crosswords, Jumbles, and Cryptoquotes are big business in the daily newspaper industry, but none of these mental exercises makes for much of a multi-player boardgame.
And the same is true of Ricochet Robot. If the robot setup and ultimate goal were presented in newsprint to help wake up your brain, it'd be lots of fun. But putting the same concept onto a board and having the players stand around performing silent mental gymnastics until someone's light bulb turns on is quite another. The puzzles (which are random and therefore always different) are certainly challenging, but having all your guests stand around working really hard to solve a puzzle isn't necessarily such a fine example of sociability.
Puzzle? Boardgame? Party Game? Perhaps all three? Anyway, flex your mental muscles in this off-the-wall farce! Four colorful robots inhabit a large grid, composed of four squares that can be assembled in 96 ways. The goal is to get a robot of a given color onto a specified spot in the grid. Robots, once moved, must continue to move in a straight line until they hit a wall or one of their fellow robots. They may then veer off at a right angle; this counts as another move. Although designed for competing players to see who can achieve the goal in the fewest moves, Ricochet Robots is perfectly enjoyable as a solitaire puzzle. The paths to your goal are usually tortuous and maze-like.