Friday, January 11, 2013

The Gaming Corner: Sorry!

Here is another classic game that I loved as a kid. The idea is simple: move your four pieces from the start space to the home space before any of the other players. The fun comes in when you have to apologize (say that you are Sorry!) for sending other player's pieces (and, if you're silly, your own) back to their start location.

Game in progress. Please ignore the glare, winter doesn't allow for the best of lighting. :-)

Set up is simple:
  • Open board.
  • Each player places their pawns on the start position.
  • The cards get shuffled and placed on the board to create a draw pile.
Play is almost as simple. On your turn, you do the following:
  • Draw a card, showing it to everyone.
  • Do what the card tells you to do.
  • Play continues to the next player.
There are a couple of special rules:
  • The only way to get a pawn out of the start space is with a 1 card, a 2 card, or a Sorry! card.
  • If you can move a piece, you have to, even if you don't want to.
  • If you can't follow the entire directions on a card, then you can't use it and your turn is over.
The cards:

Note: There are no sixes or nines.
I'm sure this was to prevent confusion.
Each card has its own special rules and if you cannot follow them, then the card is wasted along with your turn.
  • 1: This card allows you to move a single pawn 1 space -or- take a pawn from your start space and place it directly outside it.
  • 2: This card allows you to move a single pawn 2 spaces -or- take a pawn from your start space and place it directly outside it. You then get another turn.
  • 3, 5, 8, 12: These are the boring cards. You can move a single pawn forward a number of spaces equal to the number on the card.
  • 4: This card allows you to move a single pawn backwards 4 spaces.
  • 7: Move one pawn 7 spaces -or- move 2 pawns a number of spaces equal to 7
  • 10: Move one pawn 10 spaces -or- move one pawn backwards 1 space
  • 11: Move one pawn 11 spaces -or- trade the positions of one of your pawns and an opponent's pawn.
  • Sorry!: Take a pawn from your start position and 'bump' an opponent's pawn back to start, placing your pawn where it was.
Special spaces:

  • Slides: If you land on the first space of a slide space that does not match your color, you move your pawn all the way to the end of the slide, 'bumping' all other pawns on the slide back to their respective start spaces. Be careful - you can bump your own pieces this way.

  • Safe Zone: If your pawn in in the safe zone, it cannot be the target of a Sorry! card or an 11 card. You can move your own piece out of the safe zone with a 4 or a 10 card, though, so be careful!
  • Start: This is where your pawns start, and where they are returned if they are bumped. It's right next to your home and safe zones.
  • Home: This is were you want to get all your pawns. It is even more safe than the safe zone as once a pawn gets there, it cannot be removed. In the picture above green has won as all his pawns are home.
  • Occupied spaces: If your pawn ends its move on another pawn, that other pawn is 'bumped' back to its start. You cannot bump yourself in this way; you just lose your turn if the only possible move would do so.
Simple Joy!
This game is so simple and fun, it's crazy. The fun comes because for the whole game you feel like you are one card away from breaking away and being the closest to winning, while at the same time feel like you are one card away from your opponent's doing the same.

Grown up variation:
Instead of drawing a card at the beginning of your turn, you are dealt a hand of 5 cards at the beginning of the game and you must play a card from your hand each turn and then draw a new card to replace it. If you can't use any of your cards, you have to discard and redraw while loosing your turn. This way adds even more strategy and causes you to think harder. (Who knew that a kid's game would require so much thinking?)

If you have never played Sorry! I recommend that you find a copy on sale at your local retailer and give it a try right away. It is one of the best board games available!

-Gamer Jason

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