Monday, June 13, 2016

Review - Can't Stop (1980) - Sid Sackson

Sid Sackson is a legend of board game design. The very long list of games he has designed includes Acquire, Executive Decision, I'm the Boss, and Sleuth, just to name a few!  Today, we are looking at Can't Stop, a game designed in 1980 that still holds the test of time.

We played on my 1980's Parker Brothers edition, but this game is still in print as we speak!

The Blurb

In this Sid Sackson classic, players must press their luck with dice and choose combinations tactically to close out three columns. The board has one column for each possible total of two six-sided dice, but the number of spaces in each column varies: the more probable a total, the more spaces in that column and the more rolls it takes to complete. On their turn, a player rolls four dice and arranges them in duos: 1 4 5 6 can become 1+4 and 5+6 for 5 & 11, 1+5 and 4+6 for 6 & 10, or 1+6 and 4+5 for 7 & 9. The player places or advances progress markers in the open column(s) associated with their chosen totals, then chooses whether to roll again or end their turn and replace the progress markers with markers of their color. A player can only advance three different columns in a turn and cannot advance a column which any player has closed out by reaching the end space; if a roll doesn’t result in any legal plays, the turn ends with that turn’s progress lost. A predecessor from 1974, The Great Races, exists as a paper-and-pencil game.

The Gist

Keep rollin', rollin', rollin...

The Play

When Tyler and I play can't stop, he generally just rolls like a crazy person and tries to get most of the game done on one roll. However that was not the case when I informed him we were playing for the blog. He stopped quite early on his first turn, and I had nothing.On his second turn, it became apparent I was in trouble, as he went on a big run and was able to move up pretty far. I got 6,7, and 8 as my numbers, and was psyched!  ...Until I busted in two rolls. (insert loser music from price is right).

As we moved onto round 4, I still had nothing on the board. Tyler busted and I rolled 6,7 & 8 again, and I was able to make up some ground!

 In the sixth and seventh rounds, I claimed 6's and 11's respectively!  One more to win and I get to put up a dad wins picture!  And that's right about the time Ty mounted the comeback.  In the ninth round, he grabbed 7's, and the next round he grabbed 5's. I moved up on 2's and rolled a 2 again! Just one away from winning! But I know my luck, and despite what the game says, I stop. Tyler is two away on the 8's anyways, and has not rolled one in forever, so I figured I had some wiggle room. 

In round eleven, his 3 numbers were 2,8 & 9. He had rolled one 8, and only needed one more and...He does not do it!  Oh wait, he rolled a 9, ugh. Ok, another roll and......he gets an 8 and wins.


The Good, the Bad and the Rating


"This game is my Yahtzee replacement. Super easy to teach, fun to play. Probably my favorite filler game."



"The game is okay. It's just a basic game and there is not much to it. I like to play it with 4 people."

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