Originally created back in 1956, taking inspiration from even older games, Yahtzee is probably one of the most well known dice games of all time. The concept of trying to roll different dice combinations within three rolls is a game mechanic that has inspired many other dice games and has even lead to quite a few spinoff games throughout the years. While not a true sequel, Chute-5 owes a lot to Yahtzee. It was made by the “Yahtzee people” after all. I initially thought this was just a marketing ploy to capitalize on the Yahtzee brand to try and sell more copies of Chute-5. It turns out that it was a lot more accurate than I initially thought. Chute-5 takes a lot of inspiration from its predecessor Yahtzee, basically coping the entire game with only slight tweaks that barely change the game.
How to Play Chute-5
- Place the gameboard in the middle of the table and attach the dice tower to the center.
- Each player takes a scoreboard and covers up all of the point values with covers.
- Each player rolls one die. The player who rolls the highest number will start the game. Play will then proceed clockwise for the rest of the game.
Playing the Game
A player begins by dropping all five dice into the dice tower. The player is trying to roll one of the combinations on their scoreboard. The player can choose to keep any number of their dice by setting them, with the same number face up, in the dice compartment on the side of the gameboard. The player then drops all of the dice they are going to re-roll into the top of the dice tower. Before re-rolling the dice a second time the player can decide which dice they want to keep and which they want to re-roll. The player can choose to re-roll a dice that they saved from the first roll.
After the third roll the players have to decide which if any of the categories they are going to score for the round. A player can only score each section of their scoreboard once during the game and a player can’t score a section that has a zero marker on it. To mark one of the sections as being scored, the cover for the section is placed over the name of the section revealing how many points were earned.
If a player cannot complete any of the scoring zones that are still available, they must take a zero marker and place it on one of the scoring zones that they haven’t completed yet or already placed a zero marker on.
For the spaces on the top row of the scoreboards, players can score if they get three or more of the corresponding number. For example to score the fours section, the player has to roll at least three fours. If a player rolls three of these numbers they push the cover up far enough to reveal the lower number. If the player rolls four or more of a number they move the cover so both numbers are revealed.
If a player acquires 21 or more points from the aces through sixes sections, the player will score 10 bonus points.
To score the sections in the bottom row the players have to roll the following:
- Three of a Kind: Three or more dice of the same number.
- Four of a Kind: Four or more dice of the same number.
- Full House: The player has to roll three of one number and two of another number.
- Small Straight: The player has to roll four numbers in numerical order. For example the player can roll a 2, 3, 4, 5.
- Break: The total of all of the dice the player rolled is 20 or higher.
- Large Straight: The player has to roll five numbers in numerical order. For example the player can roll a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
- Chute-5: The player has to roll five of the same number.
End of Game
The game ends after each player has taken thirteen turns. The players total the points they scored. The player who scores the most points wins the game.
My Thoughts on Chute-5
While Chute-5 is technically not a spinoff of Yahtzee, it might as well have been one as the two games are practically identical. I would say that close to 90% of Chute-5 is exactly the same as Yahtzee. Chute-5’s gameplay is exactly the same as Yahtzee’s. Players get three rolls to try and roll different combinations with their five dice in order to score points. Honestly there are really only two noticeable differences between the two games.
The one difference in Chute-5 that actually impacts gameplay is that the scoring systems are slightly different. In both games you will score points for the same combinations: sets of each number (need at least three of the number in order to score any points in Chute-5), three of a kind, four of a kind, full house, small straight, large straight, and Yahtzee/Chute-5. Chance and break are basically the same except that break requires players to roll twenty or higher while chance has no lower limit. Otherwise Chute-5 includes a category where you can score bonus points if you score enough points from the individual numbers.
I really haven’t played either game nearly enough to definitively say which game’s scoring system is better. I will say that Chute-5’s scoring is more streamlined as there are set point values and the points scored from each category are less than what you score in Yahtzee. I would say the biggest difference between the two games is what sections they prioritize as some combinations in each game score more than their counterparts. Chute-5 seems to slightly favor the individual numbers over Yahtzee while reducing the points scored for the “bottom row” combinations. This excludes Chute-5/Yahtzee though as that is considerably more valuable in Chute-5 than it is in Yahtzee. I will say that I appreciated the scoreboards included with Chute-5 as they make it pretty easy to add up your score while also making it easy to tell which combinations you can still score.
This brings up the other main difference between the two games, the components. While this is going to be different based on which version of Yahtzee you have but most versions only give you a dice cup, five dice, and scoresheets. Chute-5 includes quite a few more components. The most notable is the gameboard with the included dice tower. I would say the dice tower is one of the things I liked most about Chute-5 as it is designed like a Plinko/Pachinko board where you can see the dice bouncing back and forth before they ultimately leave the dice tower. The game also includes the scoreboards which are nothing special but they also prevent you from ever running out of scoresheets like Yahtzee. While I would say that the components of Chute-5 are considerably better than Yahtzee’s, they also require a significantly larger box. This makes the game a lot less portable than Yahtzee. It is debatable whether the additional components are worth the box taking up a lot more space and not being much of a travel game.
The slight tweaks to the scoring and the different components are pretty much the only differences between Chute-5 and Yahtzee. As most people have played Yahtzee or another similar game, you will probably have a strong opinion of Chute-5 without even having to play the game. If you like Yahtzee you should like Chute-5 as well. If you have never liked Yahtzee or other similar dice rolling games, Chute-5 is not going to change your mind. As I have never reviewed the original Yahtzee here on Geeky Hobbies, I want to quickly discuss a few thoughts about Chute-5’s gameplay which for the most part applies to Yahtzee as well.
Being a dice rolling game it should surprise no one that Chute-5 relies on a lot of luck. While you could theoretically have a dice rolling method that improves your odds in most dice rolling games, the dice tower removes any chance that a player could be more skilled at rolling the dice than another player. Therefore the only thing keeping Chute-5 from relying entirely on luck is strategy. The game has a little strategy but it is nowhere near enough to keep Chute-5 relying almost exclusively on luck. Basically the strategy comes from deciding which dice to keep and which to re-roll. For the most part this is pretty obvious. If you roll two or three dice that will work for one of the combinations, you likely want to keep those dice and roll the rest hoping to complete the combination or improve upon it. With the decision usually being pretty obvious it means that unless you make a poor decision, your strategy is not going to play a big role in deciding whether you are going to win or lose.
Luck plays an even bigger role in the game because all of the categories are not created equally. The Chute-5 space in particular is really valuable. While it is hard to roll five of the same number, if you are able to do it you will have a good chance at winning the game. This is due to the combination being worth at least twice as much as every other combination and more than three times as much as a lot of the combinations. You could be behind the entire game and rolling a Chute-5 immediately puts you back in the running. While it should be the most valuable combination in the game, I think it is a little too powerful in Chute-5.
Chute-5 is not overly long with most games taking around 30 minutes. Nonetheless I think it runs a little too long. For such a simple dice rolling game 30 minutes is too long in my opinion. At around the halfway point I felt ready for the game to end. This feeling gets even worse when it is clear that some players have little chance of winning. For these type of simple dice rolling games, they are usually better when they only last around 15-20 minutes.
At the end of the day Chute-5 is a pretty generic dice rolling game. There is nothing wrong with that but it also means that it is lacking in originality. If you have ever played a dice rolling game before you likely have already played something similar to Chute-5. If you like these type of games there is nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately for Chute-5 the dice rolling genre has improved quite a bit over the years. Chute-5 is a decent game but I don’t really ever see playing the game again as there are quite a few dice rolling games that are significantly better. Here are just a few dice rolling games that I have reviewed that are considerably better than Chute-5: Bang! The Dice Game, CV, Escape The Curse of the Temple, Steam Park, VivaJava The Coffee Game The Dice Game , and Winner’s Circle.
Should You Buy Chute-5?
At the end of the day Chute-5 is basically Yahtzee that has underwent a small makeover. The gameplay in Chute-5 is exactly the same as Yahtzee. There are basically only two things that differ between the two games. First the scoring between the two games is slightly different with Chute-5 kind of streamlining the process. The other difference is the components. I liked Chute-5’s dice tower and scoreboards but they adversely affect the game’s portability and make the box considerably larger. As far as Chute-5’s gameplay it is basically what you would expect out of a pretty generic dice rolling game. You can have some fun with the game but it relies heavily on luck.
Basically my recommendation for Chute-5 comes down to your opinion of Yahtzee and other similar dice rolling games. If you don’t really care for Yahtzee you won’t like Chute-5 either. If you like Yahtzee the decision of whether to purchase Chute-5 comes down to whether you want the slightly different scoring system and the higher quality components. If those two things interest you it may be worth picking up Chute-5 if you can find it for cheap.