When I was walking the show floor at the Origins Game Fair this past June, I happened across an interesting booth. Green felt, which always means cards or dice, lined the surface of one of the tables, and upon said green felt was a product called Square Shooters. The name struck me as a bit odd, but I checked it out. Turns out, it was a good idea for to have done so.
Square Shooters is a dice game. The faces of the dice, however, don’t have numbers or pips on them. They instead have all of the cards that one would find in a standard deck of playing cards. Ace of Spades all the way down to the Two of Clubs, plus two Jokers. What’s unique about this set of dice is that you can roll any Poker hand possible, as well as forming any of the needed hands for games like Rummy.
The standard game that comes with Square Shooters involves drawing a card, and then using no more than three rolls to attain whatever hands of cards is indicated. If you get the hand exactly, you get the full allotment of poker chips. If you get the right numbers or face cards, but not the right suit, then you get half the chips indicated. It’s a simple game to pick up and play.
What really got my mind whirring was the possibilities for tabletop RPGs. In a game like Deadlands: Reloaded, for example, initiative if handled using a deck of cards, as are some class abilities, such as Hucksters dealing for power points. It might be a neat experiment to see if Square Shooters would work for such an application. There would likely be less of a wide deviation in the “cards” that are dealt, as every time one face on the die is showing, there are five others that are not available. As well, with there only being nine dice, the odds of a Joker coming up seem far more likely than if you were dealing from a deck of cards. That said, dice are a more common item to find on a gaming table than cards, so maybe there’s something there.
The product itself is good quality, with well-made dice. The deluxe product, the one featured in the picture, comes with not just the dice, and the standard game, but also a throwing cup, and oddly, a deck of cards. I’m not entirely sure why a deck of cards on dice also comes with a standard deck of cards, but this one does.
The best part of the product is that the deluxe set is only around $18 on the company’s website. A set of dice by themselves is only $5. If you want more info, check it out.
Final Verdict: If you want an alternative to a regular deck of cards, or just a fund game to play while you’re waiting for your regular game to start, give Square Shooters a look. 5 out of 5 stars.