Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 Game Review

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The Basics:

  • For ages 6 and up (publisher suggests 10+)
  • For 1 or 3 players
  • Variable game play length

Geek Skills:

  • Counting & Math
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Hand/Eye Coordination & Dexterity
  • Pattern/Color Matching
  • Reflex & Speed

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Show the world just how awesome you are with chopsticks

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek approved!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek mixed!

Overview

Experts from all over the world have come to demonstrate their skill. They have trained and dedicated their lives to master their art. Now these chopstick colossi face each other to prove they are the best of the best. Man and woman, adult and child will all have an opportunity to show the world they are a true champion as they compete to win the Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000!

Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000, designed by Greg Lam and published by Mayday Games, is comprised of 1 plastic bowl, 3 pairs of plastic chopsticks, 3 Target dishes, 1 Final Round game board, 25 Shape pieces (in the shapes of shrimp, tentacles, nigiri, onigiri, and sushi rolls in the colors purple, red, blue, yellow, and green), 25 Standard Disk tokens (that correspond with the Shapes and their different colors), 5 Wild Shape Disk tokens, 5 Wild Color Disk tokens, 4 Numbered Disk tokens, and 1 All Disk token. All the components are of excellent quality and very durable.

Note: The game’s rule book makes mention of a sand timer. A quick inspection of the game’s contents will reveal that a sand timer is not included. This is not an error. Rather, it’s a misprint in the rule book. Turns out that a sand timer was going to be included, but the idea (and component) was later rejected. The rule book was not updated in time for the printer, resulting in the no longer necessary game component being mentioned. Feel free to add a sand timer to your game if you like, as there is more than enough room in the box.

Challenge Set Up

To set up the game, first take the plastic bowl and place it in the middle of the playing area.

Second, place the 25 Shapes in the plastic bowl and stir them up using one of the chopsticks. Don’t use your fingers; that would be unsanitary.

Third, take the Disks and place them face-down next to the bowl. Shift them around a bit to keep players guessing what is what. Depending on the game mode being played some of the Disk tokens will not be used. So, I guess at this point, stop reading and jump to “Game Modes” and then come back here. Optionally, and what I would suggest you do, leave the Disk tokens in the game’s box top and have players blindly draw Disk tokens from it. This gives you more room on the table and reduces the amount of time necessary to set up the game.

Fourth, give each player a pair of chopsticks. Make sure they have a “left” and “right” chopstick before playing. KNOW YOUR CHOPSTICK, PEOPLE!

Fifth, give each player 1 Target dish which is placed in front of them. The players should feel free to move the Target dish as close or as far away from the plastic bowl as they like.

That’s it for game set up. Good luck….

Game Modes

Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 can be played 3 different ways. Each is summarized here. Regardless of which game mode is used, all players start the game with their chopsticks touching the table. Feel free to interpret that rule as you will.

Preliminary Game (for Two or Three Players)

This game mode is designed for 2 or 3 players and only uses the Standard Disk tokens. Game play is measured in rounds with the first player randomly flipping over (or drawing) a Standard Disk token which will reveal 1 Shape piece and color. The goal for all players is to grab as many Shape pieces that share the same shape or color from the plastic bowl and place them on their Target dish using only their chopsticks. Once a specified amount of time passes or all the pieces that match the Disk token are taken, all players count their collected pieces. The player with the most pieces wins and collects the Standard Disk token as a trophy.

All the collected pieces are returned to the plastic bowl, mixed together, and the player who won the last round flips over a next Standard Disk token. Game play continues as described above until one player has collected 10 Standard Disk tokens in a 3-player game or 15 Standard Disk tokens in a 2-player game. This player wins the game.

Championship Game (for Two Players)

This game mode is a slight variation of the Preliminary game mode and only available for 2 players. Using all the Disk tokens, one player flips over the Disk token to reveal a Shape and color. Players now race to collect the shape or a shape that shares the same color and place it on their Target dish. The first player to collect 15 Disk tokens wins the game.

Championship Game (for Three Players)

This game mode is almost identical to the 2-player Championship game mode except for a few additional rules. The player who wins the round collects the Disk token and sits out for the next round. The first round will include all 3 players. All subsequent rounds will only include 2. The player who is sitting out is responsible for flipping over the Disk tokens and keeping track of which player wins the round. When a player only needs 1 more Disk token to win the game, all 3 players again compete at the same time until one player collects 15 Disk tokens and wins the game.

Final Challenge Round (for 1 Player or More)

This game mode is meant for 1 or more players and is a great way to hone your chopstick skills. Place the Final Round game board in front of the player, replacing the Target dish. Place the 5 Wild Shape Disk tokens, face-up, in the grooves found on one side of the Final Round game board. Fill the other grooves with the 5 Wild Color Disk tokens. The end result will be a grid.

The player now attempts to fill the grid by finding and placing the correct colored shape and pieces as quickly as possible. Each square will line up with a Wild Shape and a Wild Color Disk token. Someone should time the player to see how long it takes them to completely fill the grid with the correct Shape piece and color. When the player is done, the next player in turn order sequence now has their turn. The player with the best time wins the final challenge. If playing solo, try to beat your best time.

Game Variants

The rules to the game are fairly slim, leaving a great deal of the actual game play to interpretation. However, the game itself is not difficult to grasp, nor is the game’s intent. A number of additional rules are provided that apply to all game modes, but may be ignored by your gaming groups if you like.

Flying Pieces

In the heat of the moment, players will fumble pieces as they quickly attempt to deliver them to their Target plate or be sent flying from the plastic bowl as players attempts to find something specific. Rather than picking up the piece from the table (or floor), quickly return it to the plastic bowl where it can once again by claimed by all the players. Depending on the game mode, flying pieces being knocked off of Target dishes could eliminate the piece from play.

Full Contact Chopsticks

Sparring with another opponent’s chopsticks in the plastic bowl is allowed if the players are going after the same piece, but everyone needs to stop short of stick fighting or making stabbing gestures. At no time should a player’s chopsticks ever come in contact with an opponent’s body. It’s perfectly legal to use the chopsticks to move the plastic bowl and the player’s (not the opponent’s) Target plate around.

A Glutton with No Punishment

If a player places a Shape piece on their Target plate that is not shown on the flipped over Disk token, they are not penalized. They simply have a piece that is worth nothing at the moment. This means a player can collect as many pieces as they want, like a frenzied tourist at an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet, without penalty. It’s also worth mentioning that any Shape pieces accidentally knocked onto a player’s Target plate are considered legally placed.

House Rules

Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 leaves a lot of room for House Rules and customization. Here are some of our favorites.

Welcome Back, Sand Timer

It’s too bad that the sand timer was removed from the game, because it actually comes in handy. We used it to keep our games short and brutally frantic. When playing solo, the sand timer is a must and it can be included in just about any other game mode, too. If you have an extra sand timer, try using it.

A Table for Four

Unfortunately, Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 only comes with enough chopsticks for 3 players. This didn’t work well for us when we played in groups and couples. The solution is simple: just add another pair of chopsticks and 1 Target plate. I wouldn’t suggest any more than 4 players due to the size of the plastic bowl.

Training Wheels

Using chopsticks for the first time can be difficult. Fortunately, there are “practice” chopsticks to be had. Essentially, it’s two sticks permanently attached to a base that holds the sticks in place while the user pinches them. Pretty slick and just what some of the younger Child Geeks (and Parent Geeks) needed to play. Practice chopsticks can be found online or you can make your own. Consider purchasing a few of these and adding them into your game to ensure that everyone at your gaming table can play.

To learn more about Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000, visit the game’s web page.

Final Word

The amount of love the Child Geeks had for this game was directly proportional to the amount of skill they had with their chopsticks. If the Child Geek knew how to use the chopsticks, they enjoyed the game, found it challenging, and laughed as much as they shouted in frustration. Which is to say, they had a good time. According to one of these Child Geek, “This game is hard but so funny! It’s like we are fighting for food!” If the Child Geek did not know how to use chopsticks and more or less learned how to use them right before the game was started, the game was a terrible disappointment. According to one of these Child Geeks, “This is the dumbest game ever! I hate it! Let’s play something else. Something we can all play.” It all came down to ability. Even the fastest and most skilled Child Geek could not compete if they didn’t know how to properly hold and use chopsticks. We did let Child Geeks hold the chopsticks in any way they pleased, but never once allowed them to touch the Shape pieces with their hands. It quickly became obvious that the game’s greatest weakness was a player’s ability to use the very game components it provided. For those Child Geeks who could use chopsticks, Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 was a great success. For those who could not, the game was hated beyond measure.

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As my two little geeks battle over the bowl, I can’t stop laughing and feeling a little hungry

The majority of Parent Geeks knew how to use chopsticks well enough to play the game. It was again clear that a player’s dexterous skill with the chopsticks determined their level of enjoyment and frustration. But the Parent Geeks understood this and embraced it. More importantly, they didn’t take the game seriously or themselves. According to one Parent Geek, “This game is hilarious! I had no idea I sucked so bad at using chopsticks. Can I use a spoon?” No, you may not, but to the Parent Geek’s great benefit, there are no rules to suggest how the chopsticks should be held. Some very creative methods were used by the Parent Geeks which allowed even the most clumsy of chopstick holders to hold their own when it came time to play the game. One Parent Geek said, “This is a really funny game, but I can see how people who cannot use chopsticks are going to miss out.” Certainly, but all the Parent Geeks knew that proper use of chopsticks was a skill that could be easily taught. Only time and practice would allow the player to master it. After reaching this wise conclusion, the Parent Geeks voted to approve Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000.

The Gamer Geeks couldn’t stop laughing, swearing, elbowing each other, and quoting lines from various kung fu films. They had a blast and marveled at how something as simple as taking wooden food meeples from a bowl could be so entertaining. According to one Gamer Geek, “I’ll never look at my sushi rolls in the same way again.” The Gamer Geeks really liked how simple the game was to play, but how ridiculously difficult it was at times to play due to the player’s opponents. One Gamer Geek said, “This game is pretty simple until you throw in another player. That’s when you start to duel your opponent in the bowl with your chopsticks to get that one shrimp you need to win.” The game was as much fun for the spectators as it was for the players. A chuckling Gamer Geek watching 3 players bent over the plastic bowl said, “This is ridiculously funny to watch. I feel like I should place a bet or something.” The majority of Gamer Geeks approved Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000, but all the Gamer Geeks acknowledge that the game had one fatal flaw that would keep it off some gaming tables. One Gamer Geek put it perfectly when he said, “The game’s biggest hurdle will be the chopsticks. If players don’t know how to use them, they can’t play the game.” Very true.

The biggest issue all our players had with this game was lacking the necessary skill to play it well. Western culture seldom uses chopsticks except for those rare occasions when the situation invites us to. Westerners more frequently reach for the fork and spoon when dinning and have thus mastered the subtle art of slurping soup and stabbing peas. This left many of our players fumbling with their chopsticks instead of racing for Shape pieces. At least at first.

And believe it or not, there were 2 Parent Geeks who had not even heard of chopsticks.

The chopstick skill curve isn’t much of a problem if everyone is pretty clumsy. These games were found to be very entertaining because one player’s frustration was equally shared by another. The games failed miserably when one of the players knew how to use chopsticks and the other player’s didn’t. A skilled chopstick player versus a non-skilled chopstick player is like setting up a boxing match between a 5-year-old and a 300 pound gorilla.

As such, I have a very difficult time recommend this game to other players. Most Action/Dexterity games require some semblance of physical skill and dexterous prowess that always divides the players. Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 is no exception, but using chopsticks is such a specific set of fine motor skills, it’s difficult for players to improve unless they use chopsticks a great deal.

To be fair, the game does not suggest “how” players should use the chopsticks and many of our younger Child Geeks took advantage of this fact by using the practice chopsticks. Nor does the game include instructions on the proper way to use chopsticks, which is something anyone can find nowadays with a quick search on the interweb. In the end, it’s up to the player to determine how best to retrieve the Shape pieces form the plastic bowl using the chopsticks, which is part of the game’s challenge and fun.

Personally, I enjoyed the game. It’s silly fun and had me quietly thanking my mother for teaching me how to use chopsticks so many, many years ago. This is a challenging game, one that requires speed, cunning, and skill in equal measure. It’s a hunt and a race all at once that makes you sit up, lean forward, and grit your teeth as you fight for the last shrimp or impossible to grasp a tentacle piece. That’s pretty entertaining in a different kind of way which is why I enjoyed the game so much.

If you enjoy silly Action/Dexterity games that will challenge and make you feel like you have the most incompetent hands in the world, do sit down and play this game. I suggest you brush up on your chopstick skills before you talk smack.

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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2 Responses to Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 Game Review

  1. Kh says:

    This would be a great gift to Will, who uses chopsticks when no one else does :}

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