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 use it as a Christmas present.
 
 

For the formal rules, click here.

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.


 
 

There are three to four players, but you should use four players. Each player has six glass pieces 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 that specific player.

If you complete a challenge you roll again and move any one of your pieces.

You move from one end of the track to the other. No two pieces on any team can be on the same position. If a player moves Piece A on to the position where Piece B is, Piece B is kicked off the board and has to get on the track again at the beginning.

The dice are four yes/no dice. You can think of them as stick dice. You would roll between zero and four, but some numbers are more likely than others. As for physical implementation, I'm thinking of providing both popsicle sticks and the cubes.

This has four branches: words, social, intellectual and trick or treat. Different branches are appropriate for different people.
 
 


 

I plan to put two labels on the box. One says "GAMAROO", while the the other is this image give or take. No wrapping is planned.


 
 

As for position, I plan to assign these randomly within their branches.

FYI a lot of the structure was copied from The Royal Game of Ur, which is thousands of years old. It works.

Safe spaces/forts are borrowed from traditional games. Fort might be the better word because the coloured positions are safe anyway. I picture them being marked with an X or a star. If you land there no other pieces can land there, and also you can roll the dice again.

The game can really be played only once.

When you land on a position that has a challenge, you open an envelope.

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.
 
 
 

Something to watch out for: Will there be too much capturing, leading to more frustration than progress?
I don't think so. This is because of the coloured lead up positions.

The game will start off with players hopping across challenges like frogs on lily pads. Then the challenges will start to run out. Hmm..

You can make a board for the game, but you could just lay out the circles instead. It is assumed you are not using a board.
 


 
 
 
 

It is best if we play the game at Christmas time (covid) with me in charge. I would have to push people, which would make me the pushy person. Four people would have to be corraled, doing what I want to do. Dealing with this family is like dealing with an unstable atom. At least one person is going to leave for some reason, maybe frustration, and it will fall apart. I could leave the game with them, for them to figure out, and they might ignore it like they sort of did with my Box of Rocks gift. Should I leave the sweets, or take them home with me?

Teams might be a good idea, two colours, four players taking turns but acting as two teams. People could use each other's strengths and absorb each other's losses, and there would be cameraderie.
Maybe nine pieces per team. It could disturb various challenges. I'm quickly warming to the team approach.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


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


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Components


 

Don't forget that this game will be played once.

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.

I'm going with using loose circles, with no board. The circles will be made from .. the plan is coloured construction paper. Write the task on the circles. I advise against using numbers. You can use images/symbols if you want, like skull, dice, wrapped candy.

What about the box? A white shipping box would have a clean look. A Christmas box would be strong and pretty. I might use a shoe box. Choosing a box is going to depend on the size of the book (assuming we're not using a board). 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-bit cinnamon buns. People can consume whatever they want. The dad is going to want rum.

Last but not least there are the dice. You could use four popsicle sticks or four cubes. My plan is to use both. A popsicle stick could be painted on one side. You could glue two painted sticks together. This is neat, but can land standing on its edge. You can somehow or other get colours on a cube, either a wood cube or a die. I would use scotch tape to put paper on a die, with circles coloured by felt pen.

You will need ordinary six-sided dice. These are used to stack unstable tall towers, so you will need a good number of them.

You could delegate the dice to someone else "You figure out all this dice business".