Farkle Frenzy Board Game Review and Rules

How to Play | Review | Final Verdict | Comments

How to Play Farkle Frenzy

Objective

To be the first player to score 10,000 points.

Setup

Set the bubble hub into the center of the play area. Each player takes one of the dice risers and adds it to bubble hub. Each player takes five of the dice of the same color as well as a score guide.

Playing the Game

The player who owns the game is the first player to roll the common die which is done by pressing down on the bubble in the center of the bubble hub. This job rotates to the next player in a clockwise manner in future rounds. The common die acts as a sixth dice for all of the players. If the common die shows a one or five it acts as another one or five for players to use. If it shows a X2 every players’ score is doubled for the current round. If the die shows “Wild” the player who rolled the die gets to pick the number it represents (1-6). They can choose the number after everyone has made their first roll but the wild will stay that number for the rest of the round.

Common Die in Farkle Frenzy

The common die for the current round is a wild. The player who rolled the common die gets to decide what number the wild die represents.

After the common die is rolled all of the players roll all five of their dice at the same time. All dice that are worth points are added to slots in each player’s riser. Players keep track of the points they have scored so far.

Scoring in Farkle Frenzy

This player has rolled four ones. They have scored 1,000 points so they can either bank the 1,000 points or risk them in order to score more points with their final two dice.

If a player has not yet scored points in the game, they must score at least 400 points in a round to be able to bank their points for a given round. After scoring at least 400 points in a round, a player can decide to quit at any time during future rounds.  If a player decides to stop they don’t roll their dice anymore this round but they get to bank the points they have accumulated in the round.

If a player chooses to continue rolling, they roll all of their dice not on their riser. All dice that score points (not using the numbers rolled on a previous roll(s) for combinations of three or more or straights) are added to a player’s riser and the associated points are added to their current score for the round.

Re-roll in Farkle Frenzy

In the player’s second roll they roll an additional one and a five. The one that was just rolled is not combined with the other two ones rolled in the previous roll for 300 points but is instead only worth 100 points. The five is worth an additional 50 points. At this point the player has earned 350 points in the current round.

If a player is unable to add at least one dice to their riser they are eliminated from the round because they rolled a “Farkle”. All of the points they earned that round are lost as well.

Rolling a Farkle in Farkle Frenzy

In their second roll, this player ended up rolling no dice that would score therefore the player rolled a Farkle. Their turn is over and the 200 points earned this round are lost.

Players can keep rolling their dice as long as each roll adds at least one dice to their riser.

A round ends when either all of the players decide to stop rolling, all players Farkle (are eliminated due to not adding dice to their riser), or one player fills their riser with all five of their dice.

When a player fills all five spots on their riser they have a choice to continue rolling or stopping for the round. All players that don’t have five dice on their riser, have to stop for the current round and score the points acquired during the round. The player(s) that filled all five of their riser spots can choose to risk the points that they earned by rolling all five dice again. They can continue rolling the dice and earning more points but they also risk losing all of the points they have earned this round if they end up rolling a Farkle. This player can choose to stop at any time.

Scoring All Dice Farkle Frenzy

The green player rolled their dice and were able to get a straight on their first roll. All of the other players need to stop rolling their dice. The green player has the option of re-rolling all of their dice in order to score more points or banking the 1,500 points they have already earned.

Scoring

Scoring is done after every single roll. Points are scored based on this chart:

  • Single Five Die: 50 Points
  • Singe One Die: 100 Points
  • Three One Dice: 300 Points
  • Three Two Dice: 200 Points
  • Three Three Dice: 300 Points
  • Three Four Dice: 400 Points
  • Three Five Dice: 500 Points
  • Three Six Dice: 600 Points
  • Four of a Number: 1,000 Points
  • Five of a Number: 2,000 Points
  • Six of a Number: 3,000 Points
  • Straight (1-6): 1,500 Points
  • Three Pair: 1,500 Points
  • Four of a Number and a Pair: 1,500 Points
  • Two Three of a Kinds: 2,500 Points

When calculating the points scored in a given round, players only score points with the dice that were rolled that turn. Dice that are already added to the riser are not used to calculate the score a player earned on a given roll. For example if a player put a five dice on the riser in one roll and then rolled two more fives on their next roll they would score 50 points for the five rolled first and 100 points for the two fives rolled later. The fives would not combine together to score 500 points for rolling three fives.

Winning the Game

If any player has 10,000 total points at the end of a round, they win the game. If two or more players earn reach 10,000 points after the same round, the player who has the most points wins the game.

Review

Ever since there have been dice there have been dice rolling games. A lot of people like dice games because they are quick and easy to play. Games like Yahtzee have become many people’s favorite board game. Personally I don’t hate or love dice games since I find most dice games to be pretty average and similar to one another. Farkle is one of the many dice games in existence which was released back in 1982. Due to Farkle’s success, Patch Products decided to expand the Farkle line and created Farkle Frenzy in 2011. This spin-off games are really hit or miss with most of them not being very good. Unfortunately Farkle Frenzy is one of the bad spin-off games.

For the most part Farkle Frenzy plays like a lot of other dice rolling games. Basically you roll the dice looking for different combinations of dice in order to score points. The game allows you to continue rolling your dice in order to score more points as long as you set aside at least one of your dice each time you roll the dice. Farkle Frenzy plays a lot like Yahtzee. While the scoring is different, if you have ever played one of these type of dice rolling games before you pretty much know what to expect with Farkle Frenzy.

If Farkle Frenzy played like these other games it would be an average game. It would rely heavily on luck but it would still be somewhat fun as you try to get a combination of dice that scores you a lot of points. The game would be far from original but it would do a decent job of having its’ own spin on the formula. Unfortunately the game decides to mess with the formula which makes it a worse game in my opinion.

The one rule that ruins Farkle Frenzy in my opinion is the idea that you can’t combine the dice stored from previous rolls. Each time you roll the dice you can only score with the dice that you rolled. This is a terrible idea in my opinion for a couple reasons.

First it makes it really hard to score points in the game. Basically the first roll of a round is the only roll you have a chance at scoring one of the higher scoring combinations. Unless you are only able to bank one or maybe two dice on your first roll, it is pretty much impossible to score with anything other than a five or one after the first roll. It is really hard to roll three or more of the same number in any one roll. This means that for most rolls you will just be scoring points based on the fives and ones that you end up rolling.

Other than making it hard to score points, this rule pretty much takes all of the potential strategy out of the game. Using this rule the only strategy/decision in the entire game is deciding whether you want to press your luck. You have no choice on which dice you can bank and since you can’t influence what you end up rolling (unless you are an expert dice roller) you pretty much just need to get lucky with your rolls. Since you have no idea what you are going to roll you have to guess whether to roll again or bank the points already earned in a round.

This rule makes the game worse because if you would score based on what dice you had at the end of a round there would be some strategy in the game. If you could use all of the dice rolled you would be able to get some of the better combinations in the game. You could decide which dice to keep based on the probabilities of being able to get one of the different combinations. Players could choose to keep dice that might not score points or very few points but might allow them to get one of the more valuable combinations. Players could also play it safe by taking less points and banking their points without having to take a risk.

The only reason I can think of why the designers decided to implement the rule where you can’t combine dice from different rolls is to differentiate Farkle Frenzy from other dice rolling games. This rule is one of the few things that is different about Farkle Frenzy. This rule just makes the game worse though. I like when games try to do something new but making a change just to make a change is not doing the game a favor. While it wouldn’t have been original, I would have liked the game more if it didn’t include this rule. As a matter of fact I played a couple of rounds ignoring this rule and I enjoyed the game quite a bit more. It was still a very average roll and move game but it was still better then what Farkle Frenzy ended up as.

The game’s components are not bad. I liked the game’s popper. It works strangely but it does a good job randomizing the common die. The risers are somewhat hard to get off the game base but are otherwise pretty sturdy. The dice are pretty much what you would expect from six sided dice. Since the game comes with four sets of five dice if you end up purchasing the game and don’t care for it you can always take the 20 dice and use them for another game.

Final Verdict

Farkle Frenzy is the perfect example of a game where one rule can turn what would have been an average dice game into a pretty bad game. Farkle Frenzy still wouldn’t have been a great game since it lacks originality, but it would have been more fun if you could combine dice from multiple rolls since it would have added some strategy to the game. With this rule in place though the game relies almost entirely on luck and it is too hard to score points in the game. The only decision you can even make in the game is whether you want to take risks or if you want to play it safe. This makes Farkle Frenzy a pretty boring game.

Unless you love dice games I would not recommend Farkle Frenzy since it fails to do anything not seen in many other dice games. If you love dice games though and can find Farkle Frenzy for cheap it may be worth picking up.

If you would like to purchase Farkle Frenzy you can purchase it on Amazon here.

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    • Once the player who has rolled the wild die chooses what number it will be, all of the players use it as an additional die of the chosen number. For example if the player chose to have the wild die be a one, all of the players have another one to use when scoring points.

      I hope this helps.

      Eric