The Zorro Dice Game is a game by Brian Henk and Clayton Skancke, published by Pull the Pin Games. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players take on the role of heroes attempting to become the next Zorro. They will have to perform feats of heroic proportions if they hope to acquire the skills and equipment they need to defeat the Scoundrels and Villains that persecute the citizens of the town. In the end, the player that can show that they have what it takes, will be declared the winner and will become the next Zorro.
To begin, each player is given a colored pawn or hero token. The Scoundrels and Villains cards are placed to one side of the table in two rows with the Scoundrel card on top of the same colored Villain card. The Hero dice matching the card’s location is placed on top of each card. The Premium Equipment cards are shuffled together and placed face down in a deck below the Scoundrels and Villains. The Standard Equipment cards are shuffled together. The top 4 cards of this deck are placed face up in a row in the middle of the play area. The remaining Standard Equipment cards are placed in a face down deck beside this row. The Heroic Feats cards are shuffled together. One card from this deck is placed face up on top of each of the 4 Standard Equipment cards in the face up row. The remaining cards are placed in a face down deck beside this row. The first player is chosen and is given the 5 black Zorro dice. Play now begins.
The game is played over a series of turns. Each player, on their turn, will follow 3 steps; Travel, Attempt and Collect. The first step is the Travel step. For this step, the player will choose one of the face up Heroic Feat cards to try and accomplish. They will then place their Hero token on top of their chosen card. If there are 4 or more players, then they may choose another player to join them.
The next step is the Attempt step. For this step, the player will roll the 6 black Zorro dice and any Hero dice that they may have acquired previously, more on this in a bit. The player will be trying to match up the symbols from the dice to the card. After rolling, they may choose to save any dice that they wish and reroll. The player call roll the dice up to 3 times to accomplish the feat. When another player joins the active player, then the active player may use any of that player’s Equipment along with their own during their rolls. They are also granted a fourth and final roll, which they may add any Hero dice that they have collected. It should be noted that the player may also use Equipment cards they may have gained to meet the requirements of the Heroic Feat card. There are 2 types of Equipment cards; Common and Premium. A player may have up to 1 Premium Equipment and up to 3 Equipment total of both Premium and Common Equipment. Common Equipment cards will either provide a specific die symbol for free or will allow the player to reroll any Zorro dice that show a particular symbol. Premium Equipment are special and they provide abilities that other players will not be able to do, such as setting a die to a particular value before rolling or providing an extra roll. Once a player has completed their rolls, they will move to the next step.
The final step is the Collect step. In this step, the player checks to see if they have met the requirements of their chosen Heroic Feat card. If they have not met the requirements, then their turn is over and play passes to the next player. If the player did meet the requirements, then they will take the Heroic Feat card and place it face up in front of themself. If it matches a Heroic Feat that they already own, then they will take a die from the matching colored location and trigger either a Scoundrel or a Villain, more on this in just a bit. This permanently gives the player a Hero dice that matches that colored location. If the player acquires a third Heroic Feat from the same location, then they will permanently acquire a second Hero dice matching that location’s color. Next the player will take the Equipment card that was beneath the Heroic Feat that they just succeed in doing. If they do not wish to take this card, they may draw a different one from the deck. If another player was helping them, then they may choose to take the card or draw another one as well. If the card was not chosen, then it is discarded to the bottom of the Common Equipment deck. A new Heroic Feat and Common Equipment card is drawn to replace the ones taken, placing the Heroic Feat on top of the Equipment card. Hero Tokens are then returned to their owners and play passes to the next player in turn order, who is given the Zorro dice.
Earlier I mentioned how Scoundrels or Villains can be triggered. If the first Hero die for a location is acquired, the Scoundrel for that location will emerge causing the next player in turn order to immediately have to fight them. Fighting a Scoundrel is done the same way as attempting a Heroic Feat. However Scoundrels will have special abilties that will make them more difficult. If a player defeats the Scoundrel, they will gain a Premium Equipment card from the deck, instead of a Common one. If a player fails to beat the Scoundrel, nothing happens. Win or lose, each player in turn order will be given an opportunity to defeat the Scoundrel. Once each player has had an attempt, the Scoundrel card is returned to the box and play resumes, completing the player’s third step of a player’s turn.
If players collect both Hero Dice from a location, then the Villain matching that location emerges. A Villain will also emerge if the last Heroic Feat card has been drawn from the deck. In this case, the Villain matching that Heroic Feat’s location will emerge. Once the Villain emerges, the Final Battle will take place. In turn order, each player will get only 1 attempt to fight the Villain, starting with the player that triggered the Villain. Players will attempt to match symbols exactly the same way as fighting a Scoundrel, except they will not draw an Equipment card if they win. If a player is able to defeat the Villain, their Hero token is placed in the middle of the play area. If a player does not defeat the Villain, then their Hero token is knocked over to show they have been defeated. Once each player has fought the Villain, players check to see whose Hero tokens remain standing. If only 1 player defeated the Villain, then they win and become the next Zorro. If more than 1 player defeated the Villain, then those players will duel each other to see who wins. If no players defeated the Villain, then they will all duel to see who wins. To duel, each player will take a turn consisting of 3 rolls. They are allowed to use their Equipment and Hero dice as well, in an attempt to get as many sword results as possible. If a player ends up with less swords on their attempt than another player, then that player is eliminated. If there is a tie, players continue with another round. This continues until only 1 player remains. The player that remains is the winner and becomes the next Zorro.
This game has some really nice pieces. The game comes with a handful of brightly colored custom engraved dice. The iconography on each one matches the icons on the different cards. The dice are actually quite nice. However it should be noted that they are a bit smaller than your normal dice. In fact, these are about 12 mm in size which is smaller than I’ve seen in other games. While bigger dice would have been nicer, these still look nice and get the job done. The hero tokens are a set of brightly colored pawns like you’d find in an old board game from years ago. This is one piece that I’m a bit disappointed with. Some miniatures, standees or even just some colored meeples would have been better than this. Hopefully, this will be something that is improved before hitting retail. Finally there are the cards, these are the absolute best looking parts of the whole game. There aren’t a lot of them, but what is included with the game looks great. The different Heroic Feats show Zorro performing some kind of heroic action that looks like a scene from an animated movie. The Equipment cards look ready to be used on the different Scoundrels and Villains that are just waiting to be taken down. Speaking of the bad guys, each Scoundrel card consists of a bunch of nasty looking ruffians just begging for Zorro to give them what for. The Villain cards are all unique and showcase a truly despicable individual, set to terrorize the village. Needless to say, I’m very excited about how amazing the artwork is for this game. One last thing that I feel I need to touch on is the gimmicky box. You pull the plastic shelf hanger at the top of the box and it the box comes out of the sleeve with a huge “BOOM” logo on the magnetic lid. While I get the idea behind the gimmick, I’m not a big fan of box sleeves. That said, I’m not impressed. I mean it’s cute and silly but I’d rather just be able to open the box without all the pizzazz. In any event, I do find that the few negatives are completely overshadowed by the good pieces of this game. As it is, it’s still a great looking game.
8 out of 10
The rulebook is quite small and is a double fold sheet of paper that has 6 pages of information. There are pictures on every page, although they’re rather small. It’s especially hard to see just how the Scoundrels and Villains are set up in the example. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except the rules say to set these up as shown. Thankfully after a bit of squinting and straining my eyes, I figured it out. I think some bigger pictures would have been a lot more helpful. Hopefully this will get fixed before the game hits retail. There’s not really a lot to the rules, which are quite easy to read through and understand. Everything is pretty much explained so that you’ll know what to do on your turn and when playing the game. Nothing really difficult there. I will say that the rules lacked any kind of examples of gameplay, which I normally find annoying. However, with the rules being as simple as they are, there’s not any real need for examples. If I could add one thing to this rulebook that I think is missing, that would be some dedicated solo rules. It seems to me that this game is just screaming for solo rules. As it is, the rules did an adequate job of conveying the needed information in a short and concise way. For this reason, I’m happy.
7 out of 10
If you’ve ever played Yahtzee before, then the dice rolling mechanic of this game will seem quite similar. That’s because it’s basically the same thing. Roll some dice, try to get the symbols that you need, rinse and repeat. That’s not to say that I don’t like the mechanic. I’m actually quite fond of the Yahtzee mechanic in games like King of Tokyo, Elder Sign and Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks, all of which I highly recommend. So then what makes this game different than any of the others. Well for starters, there are the Scoundrels and Villains, which only come out once a player has 2 or 3 Heroic Feats that match a location’s color. Once a player gets those 2 or 3 feats, they also gain a Hero dice that they can then use on future turns. The game also has equipment cards that can help a player to gain the needed icons to perform a specific feat or beat a particular bad guy. Finally, this game has one of the best ways to break a tie that I’ve ever seen, players get to duel each other. Each player that defeated the villain gets to roll the dice and add the swords from any equipment that they have to try and beat the other players. That’s actually quite simple and brilliant at the same time. Needless to say, I rather like this game. It scratches my dice rolling itch and my need to whomp on the bad guys. I will say, as I stated earlier in the rulebook section, this game needs solo rules. Everything is there for this game to be played solo, it just needs an official update to make it happen. With solo rules, it would definitely bump up my appreciation for the game. As it is, this is a fun game that’s quick and easy to play. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to play and is one that can be played with the entire family. I love a good family friendly game that’s fast. Fans of Yahtzee or other dice rolling games like King of Tokyo, Elder Sign or Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks, should enjoy this one as well. This is a simple and fun little game that I recommend. It definitely checks off plenty of boxes for me.
8 out of 10
The Zorro Dice Game is a fast and fun dice rolling game where players can try and become the next Zorro. It’s a really fast and easy game to play. Most game sessions last around 15 minutes or so. The dice are a bit small and the pawns should be replaced with some meeples or standees. However, these miniscule issues are overshadowed by the brilliant artwork on the cards, which I absolutely love. The rules are well written and easy to learn, but the pictures are a bit too small to adequately help you set up the game. I also think some solo rules would be a very welcome addition. The game itself is a lot of fun. It’s easy to pick up and play and it scratches my dice rolling itch quite nicely. This is one that I think fans of the Yahtzee mechanic found in games like King of Tokyo, Elder Sign or Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks should really enjoy. My main hope is that the few issues that are simple fixes are dealt with prior to release. As it is, this is a game that I recommend. Zorro would be proud.
8 out of 10
For more information about this great game, please check out Pull the Pin Games at their site.
You can also check out the Kickstarter campaign for the game and back your copy today! Just click the link below.