It recently came to my attention that Charles ‘Chip’ Beauvais was someone who’s fairly local to me. He’s the guy who’s designed Chroma Cubes, which is currently being Kickstarterted by 5th Street Games. I got a chance to demo the game (again) but this time with my entire family as we had a 4 player showdown. As is typical when I game with my family, I came in dead last with a whopping 19 points and three very messy looking dragons. My oldest took the whole thing with 60-some-odd points. Chip’s a nice guy but that’s beside the point. He also designed a pretty fantastic game, which you should all check out. My review is reprinted below along with links to the Kickstarter project.
Chroma Cubes is a real departure from the types of games I normally play. Yes, it involves fistfulls of dice which I thoroughly enjoy. It also involves crayons, coloring, a 30 second timer and lots of shouting and hands thrown in the air. At least that’s how we played it. It’s the newest offering from 5th Street Games, is designed by Charles Beauvais, for 2-4 players, takes about 30 minutes and is good for ages 6+. My 8 year old kicked my sorry ass like she was a crayon wielding wolverine defending her wolverinelings.
I did play a preview version of the game that does not have the final components. I should also note that 5th Street Games sent it off to me so I could review it.
The game is really simple. First, you grab six differently colored d6, each with two different colors (donated by color and a special symbol for each) on each face. Also, select a coloring sheet of the same type for each player. Next, match up one color from each die face to a color on your sheet. If you’re trying to use the yellow on your die, you’d match it up to a portion on your sheet with one Y in it. Some coloring portions require up to four dice (YYYY in the case of yellow) to fill in.
The first person to use all their dice to color portions flips a 30 second timer and everyone else has to match and color by the time the timer runs out. Any dice not used are set aside and can’t be used this round again. All players then roll all their remaining dice and repeat until someone runs out and that round is over. All the dice come back into play and a new round begins.
Each coloring sheet is divided into several different sections. The first person to color in one section gets the high score for that section (anyone finishing it on that round also gets that score) The next person gets the next highest score and so on. Scores for each section are listed on each sheet. When the page is colored in completely by the first person, everyone ends that round, adds up their scores and a winner is declared.
It’s not secret that I enjoy 5th Street Games’ offerings. They make games I can play with my whole family. Games that don’t drive me crazy with simplicity but are engaging for all ages. This game though, this is different. In this game you get to color, as in color-by-numbers coloring book style. But you do it with furious, frantic abandon as you struggle to be the first to complete you masterpiece. I suppose you could play this game at a sedate pace with younger kids but my 8 year old dove into it like she was going to get out of a months worth of chores if she won, forcing me to keep up. When I played with adults, well that involved a bit of hand waving, some struggling over crayons and at least one round of cursing out the color yellow. It was a fantastic time, really much more than I thought I’d get out of a game that plays in 30 minutes and involves coloring.
There’s a $25 buy in (with free shipping to the US, CA, EU and UK) and relative to Kickstarter, fairly inexpensive shipping to the rest of the world.
Some high points of the game:
- There were a bunch of grown-ass adults competitively coloring.
- It works amazingly well with my kids – again, coloring.
- Such a simple, fun concept turns into a really amazing, fast game!
Prepare to break some crayons!