We were sent SPAM and Cup Noodles editions of YAHTZEE for review by The Op. These are the same classic game in a new packaging style. Each game comes with 5 six-sided die and a container to shake the die in. We are always up for any game that has a good food theme attached to it. This review will focus a lot on imagery since that is what makes the game differ from its original version.
YAHTZEE SPAM has die that are pink and really look like delicious SPAM cubes. Each side features imagery of a different SPAM dish — musubi, sushi roll, a kabob, a sandwich, spam fries, and a bowl of ramen with SPAM in it. We personally love to include SPAM in a variety of ways especially musubi and thought this was a clever way to incorporate the many ways SPAM can be eaten.
YAHTZEE Cup Noodles has die in the same style as the ramen container, with pictures of ingredients – beef, lime, carrots, shrimp, chicken, and corn. Each picture corresponds to a certain number and makes it easier to look at the picture than to count the pips on a regular die. It makes it even easier for kids to play. To be honest you can roll the die in the fun containers but we mostly enjoyed rolling the die in our hands because it is pretty loud in the containers. We like to keep the containers nearby just because they look cool.
In YAHTZEE there are 13 different ways to score points: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6’s are where you count the amount of each number. If I were to roll three 6’s and counted it towards my 6’s I’d have 18 points then I could not use that scoring condition again. The other ways you can score points would be using poker rules: three of a kind, pairs, small and large straights, etc. The most exciting roll to get is a YAHTZEE where all of your die are the same number worth 50 points and a bonus turn. You have three chances to roll as many die as you’d like to reroll each turn.
The game ends when players have completed their entire list of scoring conditions. The most points determine the winner. We started using the paper scoring pads that came with the game but found it far easier to use a YAHTZEE app. It streamlined the game immensely.
The game had good pacing once we started using the app, and the scoring felt fair and balanced between luck and strategy. We really enjoyed the game and the new food theme made it whimsical. The boxes do look fairly realistic particularly the ramen cup.
Language Barrier Playability: Easy since the game relies mostly on images/numbers. At least in Spanish the poker terms are the same as in English as well.
Replayability: Very replayable especially if you like poker type games or set games. Also rolling dice never gets old.
Artwork: That is the epitome of what makes these worth buying — yes, it is the classic game, but they did such a good job making the containers and die have a fun design. The only criticism we have of the artwork is that we were disappointed that neither the ramen cup or the SPAM had lids. The SPAM is also yellow rather than metallic but still the label is perfect.
Quality: Nice, sturdy pieces. The die have a good light heft to them. The containers are well made too.
Strategy: As much strategy as poker, which is a lot. However it’s still fairly light. You also only get one time to make each combination so it takes some careful decision making there.
Instruction Manual: The instruction manual was a little confusing and folded up. We learned more after we started playing.
Organization: The box itself looks very cool but isn’t ideal for repackaging. It has a few layers of cardboard and the die come in a plastic you rip open the first time you open the box. We carefully put it back together but it was a bit of a struggle. This one might be better left open on the shelf with the die stored in the ramen or SPAM containers.
Bonus pictures of some musubi and ramen we made awhile back: