Formerly with Milton Bradley but now part of the Hasbro games stable, Yahtzee is a game with origins tracing back through time, although it can be more definitively traced to 1956, when it was first filed for as a trademark. But now it can be traced to the games section of the Xbox Live marketplace, where it’s available for 800 Microsoft points as a part of the Hasbro Family Game Night package.
First thing’s first though, you’ll need to download Hasbro Family Game Night, roughly around 230mb, in order for Yahtzee to work, as it isn’t a standalone title and is accessed via the Hasbro download. Should have been an easier way for this to be handled, as it even generated confusion amongst NZG staff on how we got in to the game with the actual Yahtzee file size being rather miniscule.
Once you’ve navigated that however, you’re treated with a faithful rendition of the “poker-dice” classic. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience the game, your objective is to fill a pre-determined list of dice combinations in order to obtain the highest possible score.
While luck obviously plays a large part there is also a large amount of strategy required to tackle the game, as you have 3 rolls to obtain the various combos, and can hold any of the dice so that it isn’t rolled on the following turn, allowing you to build up formations of any kind.
Gameplay is akin to how the real thing is, except this time you need less brain power as the Xbox 360 will add up scores and totals for you. Clever wee thing isn’t it? A nifty feature is that you can manipulate the cup which the dice are held in and shake it to your heart’s desire, not that it mathematically proves more fruitful but it will amuse those who have played the real thing, as they or someone they know will have pleaded with the dice to be ‘lucky’ and given them a good shaking.
There are a few game modes apart from the original but they all have very strong ties back to the original, as the core values are the same. It is for this reason that the 800MS point price-tag is a bit hefty when you look at the total package that Yahtzee has to offer. Extremely
The game is presented as well as it probably could have been, with the graphical detail being acceptable, and a Mr. Potato Head nicely rendered as he cheers you on beside the game board. The various sound effects are authentic enough, as the dice rolling around the cup and board sound just like the real thing; however you may want your own music as it gets repetitive after time.
If you’ve played the real thing, you’ve all but played Hasbro Family Game Night’s version. Aside from a few differing modes and an online portion it is an extremely authentic replication of the game many of us have played at some point in our lives.