Shake Out! Review

Staking your claim in Shake Out!

Bring a dictionary when sitting down to play Shake Out!  Not because the dice game plays anything like Scrabble.  Instead, the dictionary will help in the search for that perfect word for trash talking your opponent.  It’ll happen quite often.

The dice game consists of piles of cards with the tops of each deck laying face up.  Those face up cards explain what sort of roll is needed, such as a straight or three of a kind, to lay a claim on the card.  Successfully stake a claim on a card and earn points. 

The trash talking comes into play because your opponents will actively try to block you from getting points.  If they roll a higher number, they can lay claim on a card that you had put stakes on previously.  Since it’s in everyone’s interest to stop their opponents from getting points while trying to get their own, this will happen a lot.

Louis-Nicolas Dozois, the creator of Shake Out!, seen here sporting a Bender phone cozy.The game itself is pretty easy to learn.  The game will be set up with everyone playing in no time.  Louis-Nicolas Dozois, the local native who created the game, explains that he wanted a game that was simple to learn yet had enough depth to have everyone coming back for more.

To see whether he was successful or not, I invited a few friends over to play the game.  Two of them are the type that love the more strategically minded games such as Settlers of Catan. The other, meanwhile, mainly loves more party oriented games like Taboo or Cranium.

Everyone picked up the rules quickly after the brief explanation. From there, everyone quickly began trying to one up each other. Everyone was smiling throughout the game.

When it was over, I asked whether they would come over if I specifically invited them to play the game.  The answer was an unequivocal yes.

In fact the only criticism that anyone could lay on this game was the design and packaging.  One thought that the cards themselves looked a little bland. I suppose that is a valid claim, though I’m not sure how much you can do with a picture of dice to make it visually appealing.

Meanwhile, everyone thought that the packaging was a bit excessive.  The game consists of a deck of cards and a pack of dice.  Yet, it comes it the standard board game package so it’s a noticeable bit of wasted material.  I checked into the options he had for packaging at his publisher’s website and found he didn’t have many options.  If he ever switches publishers, hopefully he’ll take that under consideration.

In the end, though, this game is a blast to play.  The rules can be picked up quickly yet the game isn’t mindless.  Everyone will have a fun time.  I can’t think of any higher praise than that.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a new word to express just how badly you’ve beaten your opponent, might I suggest “fustigate”?


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Reader Comments (3)

Great review of the game. I am of the same opinion as you when it comes to playing Shake Out. Definitely something for almost any crowd. Also, I will try to utilize the word Fustigate the next time I play the game against Louis (he may have designed the game but I can totally whip him!).

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

Thanks Charles! Use fustigate as much as you can! It seems like a great word for this situation.

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterRaffaele Furgiuele

What is good about board games is that they are not just for kids but for all the family members as well. Playing one of the board games will set excitement inside the house while waiting who's gonna be the winner.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplaymobil toys

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