Gamaroo is a game where you have the classic roll a die and move your piece down a path. Some of the spaces have challenges on them, often questions. This is intended for the whole family, actually a specific family, as a Christmas present. You may want to make it, perhaps tweak it, and use it as a Christmas present.

For the formal rules, click here.

photos and lessons from a real game

Encourage players to block options for other players, not just race.

Do you want to see the secret questions and answers? This will spoil the game if you want to play it. To see the secret material, click here.


You can use four players, three players, or two teams of two (or three). You can understand the advantage of doing teams, but I think using four individuals is best. Each player has five glass pieces, or ten pieces for a team, of a particular colour to move from off the board to down the track and off the end of the track. The coloured parts of the track can only be traversed by the player with pieces that are that colour.

You move from one end of the track to the other. No two pieces on any team can be on the same position. If you land on a star circle or complete a challenge you roll again and move any one of your pieces.

The dice are four yes/no, or one/zero dice. You would roll between zero and four, but some numbers are more likely than others.

This has four branches: words, social, intellectual and trick or treat.


Instead of making a board for the game, just lay out the circles.

The game can really be played only once.

When you land on a position that has a challenge, you open an envelope, except for stars, sweets and dice duel.

The circles are positions, some of which have writing on them (e.g. "Trivia"). When the challenges have been done, i.e. when you run out of envelopes for a challenge, the circle is flipped over and becomes a vanilla position.



                3. Silly Riddle 4. Star 5. Word               10. Trivia 11. Star 12. Riddle        
        1. Daring Dice 2. Star 17. Star
        1. Daring Dice 2. Star 17. Star
        6. Find the Ring 7. Neighbour 8. ? 9. Star 13. Body 14. Fear 15. Death Dice / Dice Duel 16. Sweet


These were positioned randomly within their branch. You can position these challenges the way you want.

Neighbour is written as "Know Your Neighbour". Or just "Neighbour" if you want.




Get some envelopes for the secret questions and answers. You open the envelope to get to the question, and the answer is folded up in there. Maybe elastic bands to sort out the envelopes. Should challenges be numbered, to keep track of questions and answers? I say no. You don't have to use envelopes. I did not seal the envelopes.

What about the box? I might use a shoe box. Choosing a box is going to depend on the size of the book. I would separate some categories of components in clear plastic bags within the box.

I planned to make the instruction book entirely hand written and drawn, an old-fashioned handmade look. Clicking the print button might be preferable.

I assume you know what I mean by glass pieces.

I'm providing sweets in the box, maple fudge, Milkybar, Popeye cigarettes and Tunnocks bars. I'll quietly introduce two-bite cinnamon buns. People can consume whatever they want. The dad is going to want rum.
You could take a more minimalist approach with the sweets, using just a variety of small wrapped candies.
Sweets can be entirely external to the game, or they can be in the box. I plan to do a bit of both.

Make four yes/no dice by getting wood cubes from Michael's and make half the sides black by using a black Sharpie. You can try to makes popsicle stick dice, perhaps by gluing together two coloured popsicle sticks, but I say use the wood cubes.
Update: Instead of getting ink all over, get coloured star stickers from the dollar store or Walmart and put them on the cubes. They are not in a rush to peel off, so you don't have to reinforce the stickers.

You will need ordinary six-sided dice. These are used to stack unstable tall towers, so you will need a good number of them.
If you don't want to buy and store all these dice for a game played once, I can understand that, but you should have an activity in the Dice Duel position.
A single ordinary six-sided die is also used in Daring Dice and Death Dice.

I made the circles by using resume paper. I coloured them with pencil crayons. You can print out colour too, fine-tuning it to go with the pieces. Write the task ("Death Dice") with an ordinary pen, not a felt pen that goes through. The pen will show up better on some colours than others. Mark the star position with stars. I recommend putting on a little star sticker.
Write the tasks on the circles. I advise against using numbers. You can use images/symbols if you want, like skull, dice, wrapped candy. I wouldn't.
The circles will warp. In theory they could be blown away. Don't worry about either of these.
I store the circles in an Altoids tin.

If you write things out with a pen it will have a classic look, harkening back to when you were a kid. I wrote out the rules (ten pages including cover) and envelope stuff, partly because of printer problems. I recommend printing.

This could be made in a day, in a fascinating process.

What you could do is have more than one person work on it, to lighten the load and make it a fun social experience.
One person is responsible for procuring the various materials, including containers, all those dice. Do you need any office supplies?
One person is responsible for colour, including the circles, the glass pieces, stickers, and maybe one question and a title somewhere. Is that the colour that is needed?
One person is responsible for paper, a bunch of cutting, circles, folding, and envelope matters. Will the manual be stapled? Do you do the actual printing?
One peson does all that grunt writing. Will you use a printer for the questions? Does this person produce the manual? Is somebody tweaking the challenges?

What is game play like?

This should be fun for a family, players of different ages. It is a mix of different experiences.
The game is essentially a traffic jam, where you jump ahead, causing the players behind you to honk their horns in frustration.
The challenges are not as crucial to success as you would think. Players will focus on the star circles anyway.
Players who are behind have a good chance to catch up, leading to a dramatic race.
Dice Duel is dramatic.
The game will take a while. It kind of grinds on toward the end. On the plus side the teams will be close to even at the end.

A player who is behind can catch up because:

A player who is blocked will not be blocked after leading players move their pieces forward.
* A player with more pieces on the board has more, better movement options. *
Players can gang up on the player who is closest to winning.
You need an exact roll to get the last piece or two off the board.
Dice Duel would be directed against the leading player.


Can the game really only be played once?

The game can be played only once. Well, a lot of the challenges can be done again; they are not spoiled. The questions would be spoiled, but not all the questions would be used in a game. You may add new questions.
You could give Gamaroo to a different family.