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Griddly Headz Baseball Game Review by Cindy West

Griddly Games, Inc.
633 - 5960 - No.6 Road,
Richmond, BC V6V 1Z1
Canada
604-249-5020
http://www.griddlygames.com

This has to be one of the most unique games I have ever played. And with the theme of baseball, it was sure to be a hit in our house! Describing it is actually very difficult as there are several components to the actual game and to the rules of the game. Never fear, though--learning how to play isn't difficult.

Let me start by telling you how cute the playing pieces are. Each player has his or her own little ball team with a pitcher, catcher, and three other players. Up to four people may play at once, so each "team" of game pieces is in a different color. Also included are brightly colored, chunky dice for each player, a uniform puzzle for each player, two little bats and balls for challenges, three decks of cards to be used upon landing on certain places on the board, and score cards to keep track of it all.

Rather than simply rolling dice and moving around the board as in most board games, you will find yourself trying to score ten runs while not losing pieces to your uniform and not having your entire team ejected from the game. There is definite strategy to the game, as you are always making choices about which character to move, what game square will most benefit you, or who to call on for challenges.

You will find yourself trying to bunt a little ball closer to home plate than your teammate, or rolling dice against an opponent for the highest score so you don't lose a piece of your uniform. One of your players might be sent back to the dugout, or he might be ejected from the game. Foul Ball cards and Umpire cards may help you or hurt you, while Home Run cards can get you out of a messy situation. Only your strategy and a little luck will keep all your players in the game.

The colorful game board and interesting game pieces will draw your children into the game, but the fast-paced excitement will keep them coming back for more. It is suggested for ages eight and older, which I feel is an appropriate age level. In order to really enjoy the game and keep up with the pace, children should at least be able to read on their own and be able to keep easy mental sums in their head.

I suppose I ought to mention that the game can be a little "gruff" at times. Some of characters represented on the cards are a bit rough around the edges, as you might find in any real-life baseball game. A few have missing teeth or snarling faces. The catcher doesn't follow the rules of the game like everyone else. Some of the challenges are actually called "fights." I didn't find anything "over the top" to object to, but this definitely isn't a sweet, frilly sort of game.

Both my son and daughter wanted me to be sure to give a great review because they consider it a "two thumbs up" board game. I have to agree. We've had fun every time we've played it.

Product review by: Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2008

If your family enjoys quirky and complex game play, Griddly Headz Baseball is the game for you. The game simulates true baseball, to a point, though part of the strategy involves dice challenges when an opponent lands on your square, bunt challenges, and the loss of pieces of uniform when wrong plays are made.

How to play: each player chooses four regular players (known as "Scrappy"), one pitcher ("Studdly Mann"), one catcher ("Mae") and two six-sided dice of their color. All the figures are placed in the "Dugout" of that player's color on the board. Players place one Scrappy on the corner of the board that contains their color. Three decks of cards (Home Run, Foul Ball, and Umpire) are shuffled and placed on the board, as well as some plastic bats and baseballs. Players are given a cardboard puzzle of a baseball player in their Locker Rooms (a somewhat secret drawer below their dugouts). The highest roller goes first.

Player one rolls both dice. If one or both dice total six, the player has the option of moving another player from the dugout onto the track. However, a player may only have three players moving on the track at any one point. Otherwise, the player moves his players clockwise according to the dice roll. They may use both dice for one figure or assign a die to two different figures (Mae can move both directions).

On a Foul Ball, Home Run, or Umpire card space, the player draws the top card and follows the instructions; unless the card has the picture of a baseball, in which case he may keep the card, using it when needed. Cards cause a variety of effects, such as making a player lose one of his uniform puzzle pieces, giving the player a "run," or causing a figure to be ejected from the game.

On a "Grand Slam" space, the player chooses an opponent. Both players roll a die as fast as they can. The first player to get a "1" receives one run. On a corner space of an opponent, the figure is sent back to his own dugout. On a "Spring Training" space, the figure is trapped in Spring Training camp until another figure is sent there, or until the space is passed by another figure of that player's team. Some spaces move the player forward or backward a number of spaces. On a "Bunt" space, the player challenges another in the game. Each takes a bat and ball. Placing the balls on designated spots on the board, each player attempts to hit his "ball" as close to the pitcher's mound as possible, with the player who gets closer receiving a run. Several spaces have "challenges." On these spaces, players challenge another player, each rolling a single die. The object is to win the best of 3 out of 5, or 4 out of 7, depending on the space. The loser removes a piece of their uniform, has a figure sent back to the dugout or is ejected from the game. If the figure lands on a space containing a figure from an opposing team, the two players "challenge" one another.

Each game piece scores and acts differently within the different rules of play. The game continues until one player gets ten runs, another player loses all twelve pieces of his uniform, or any four players of an individual player have been ejected from the game, at which time a winner would be called. Whew!

The board and game pieces are of a very high quality. Your young son will be awed by its shear size and color (suggested ages of play--10-110). The physicality of the game makes it fairly unique in a board game--quick dice rolls, bunting with miniature balls and bats--things little boys (and sometimes large daddies) enjoy. This is certainly a worthwhile addition to your family's game room, but you will need to make a significant investment up front until you can really understand the many rules. Unlike chess, which also requires acquiring a large amount of information before it may be played, Griddly Headz Baseball doesn't offer much strategy, just mostly a lot of good old fashioned luck.

Product Review by Tammy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2008

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