Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dice Game Review - Sorry Express

For the second Express game review, I'm going to tell you about Sorry Express, and why you should only buy it if you can get it real cheap and you only want it for the pieces.

Of the Express games I've played, Sorry Express continues the tradition of being, well, sorry. I never did care much for the board game, even as a kid, though it did have a certain amount of strategy, mostly involving splitting the dice. OK, come to think of it, that was a pretty lame amount of strategy, and that's pretty much why I never really liked playing Sorry.

So I don't know why I had higher expectations for Sorry Express. I mean, I even like Monopoly, and was a little disappointed in Monopoly Express, but I don't like Sorry. Why I thought I would enjoy a dice game version of a boring board game that relies heavily on dice is still confusing me. I may have been on some pretty heavy medication, or just a little short on sleep.

Maybe I thought Sorry Express would be better because it's pretty much nothing at all like original Sorry. You have four pawns of each color, and they all start out on the launch pad board. Every player has a disc with four colored Home spots and a spinner that only reveals one at a time, and the object is to get four pawns of any color onto your board at the Home space. You do this by rolling dice and moving pawns from the center board to your spinner board. You have virtually no control over anything - you just roll three dice and they tell you what color pieces to put on your board.

Now, that's not entirely fair, but I'm not feeling charitable, because I played Sorry Express several times and still can't figure out how this damned game has a point to it. You do have Slide and Sorry sides on the dice, and these let you spin your board or an opponent's to a different color or steal pawns from the other guy's Home space. But they're still pretty much completely random, and it's not like there are varying levels of strategy here. If you've got four of one color on your board, and you roll a Slide, you win, period. And your opponent can only have one space exposed, so when you roll Sorry on the dice, you know damned well which pawns are leaving. I have more opportunities for decision-making when I sit on the toilet.

As if playing a game that's almost completely random isn't enough, Sorry Express adds the indignity of possibly ending on your second turn. Seriously, we had a game go this way - I rolled, my opponent rolled, I rolled again, and won. So on the one hand, I was irritated that I had even opened this game that could just arbitrarily end in less than two minutes, and on the other hand I was just damned glad it was over.

Now, I will say this for Sorry Express - like all the Express games, the packaging is awesome. I wasn't kidding about getting this one just for the pieces. The pawns are really pretty and you could peel the paper off the dice and use them for something else. And as with all the Express games, you get a really cool round plastic container that you could totally repurpose for something else. You could store miniatures in it, for instance, or Reese's Pieces, or just use the bowl to roll your dice. You could even throw out the lid and wear the bowl part like a retarded round hat. Or you could download some of the Express variant games that have been made out in fan-land, and keep the pieces in this incredibly versatile and useful round plastic box. Heck, you could just peel the label off the package and fill it with all the condoms you won't ever get to use because you play games made for children.

So that's two Express games down, and one to go. So far, I'm underwhelmed - the box is nice, but the games aren't that awesome. Monopoly Express is fun, but a little arbitrary, and Sorry Express has virtually no reason to exist. Join me Friday evening for the final Express review, and I'll let you know whether you should consider picking up a copy of Scrabble Express.


Wow, is this box nice
The pieces are neat, too

Can end in two turns
Two turns is still too long

If you think Sorry Express sounds fun, here's another completely random thing you might enjoy:


Dan Corban said...

You mention splitting the dice as a kid. Sorry doesn't have dice. ;) Besides, Sorry with the official "advanced" variant is actually pretty fun and tactical.

Jason Smith said...

First of all, Sorry sucked, no doubt about it. Second of all, that Random Encounter Picture made my day. I laughed so hard I can't see straight.

-Jason F. Smith said...

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