Friday, March 3, 2017

Greedy Claw Crane Game (Twitch Factory)

We all remember going to places like Chuck E. Cheese and playing the arcade games. You wasted tons of quarters, got hundreds of tickets, and ended up trading them in for a giant novelty comb. Every now and then, you would really press your luck and play the crane game! If you're like me, you always came so close to winning, but ended up being crushed because the item ultimately dropped back into the pile of unwinnable prizes. David Sheppard took that experience and turned it into a board game called Greedy Claw Crane Game. is a game for 2-5 players, ages 8+. It takes about 30 minutes to play and will be on Kickstarter later this year.

1. Give each player a hidden objective card.
2. Grab four random toys, placing them in a stack. Do this three more times to make a 2 x 2 grid.
3. Create stacks of three toys, surrounding the 2 x 2 grid to make a 4 x 4 grid.
4. Finally, create single stacks of toys surrounding the 4 x 4 grid to make a 6 x 6 grid.
5. Pick a corner and roll one die. Move the pawn (the claw) up that many spaces on the grid. Roll another die, and move the pawn that many spaces right. Repeat this using all six dice to get the claw's starting location.
Game Play - Roll all six dice and use at least two each turn. Re-roll any unused dice, and repeat until you can't re-roll. This results in rolling dice one to three times on your turn. A die is spent as movement or grip. You can only move in straight lines and can't cross back over a space you have already been. If your grip meets or exceeds the value on a toy, you claim it. If you pick up a toy with wings on it, you can press your luck and try to win a second toy by re-rolling your movement dice and adhering to the standard rules. The game is played over a series of rounds until a certain $ value is reached by a player.

The game has elements/mechanics of other games I love. There's dice-chucking, press your luck, set-collection, and a little bit of programming. The game itself is easy to teach and learn. It also plays pretty quickly at 2-3 players, but can slow down at 4 and 5. The only really slow/fiddly part of the game is setting up the game and all the prize tokens in the grid. Even though, I was only provided a prototype of the game, the art comes through in capturing the theme. The toys are cute and quirky.The only thing I would change is the background on the tokens, as it can be a bit distracting/busy. That complaint aside, this is a game that would be fun for the whole family. I look forward to seeing how the game components improve and what variability is added as well.