Farkle Game Review

The Basics:

  • Ages 8 and up
  • For 2 or more players
  • About 30 minutes to play

Geek Skills:

  • Risk/Reward
  • Memorization
  • Math

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Moderate
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • None

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

Farkle is a “press your luck” game that requires the players to balance risk and reward, while keeping count of points obtained during their turn. Remembering what groupings of dice score higher is nice to know, but a simple cheat sheet will suffice.

The first player who obtains a score of 10,000 points or more causes the game to end, but they do not necessarily win by default. All players have one turn to attempt to score as many points as they can. In the end, the player with the highest score wins the game.

A player must score with every roll, taking at least one scoring die out each turn before re-rolling. This reduces the chances of scoring points every time the player chooses to roll during their turn. Failure to roll points is called a “Farkle”. A “Farkle” ends the player’s turn and all points rolled during that turn are lost.  Ouch.

A player need not push their luck to a point where scoring is all but impossible. Once the player has obtained a total score of 500 points (also referred to as the “minimum”), they can stop at any time during their turn and in future turns alike. However, pushing your luck gives the player a significant advantage if it pays off. If all six dice score during the player’s turn, the player may start rolling with all 6 again, keeping that turns accumulated score. Of courses, a “Farkle” would reduce all the points rolled thus far to zero.

Final Word

I like Farkle for two very important reasons when it comes to a family game.  First, it is fast to setup, play, and cleanup.  The game and players’ turns don’t take long and you find yourself really paying attention to the game, even when it isn’t your turn.  Second, the game never leaves a player behind. I have played a game where I was the only player not making even the minimum of 500 points to get on the scoring board, but ended up taking the lead after several rounds of great scoring.

From a parent’s perspective, this game teaches my boys the risk and reward style of play and requires them to add large numbers to keep track of their scores. I strongly suggest a parent be the score keeper and help the younger players keep track of their own score until such time they can do it themselves. I purchased the game after only playing once and it is now a family favorite while camping or as quick filler game.

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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