Originally created back in 1929, Sorry! is one of only a few board games that have been in production for close to 90 years. Sorry! might not get the acclaim of games like Monopoly but it is still a pretty popular board game. This has lead to several spinoff games being created over the years. Generally spinoff games are not very good as they usually only slightly tweak the original game. Things are different with Sorry! Sliders though as the game takes Sorry! and turns it into a shuffleboard style game. It would be hard to find another spinoff game that differs so drastically from the original game. Sorry! Sliders may have little to do with the original Sorry! but that is a good thing since it is significantly better than the original game.
How to Play Sorry! Sliders
- Choose which of the four games you are going to play and find the corresponding target board.
- Each player chooses a color and takes the track, scoring board and pawns matching that color.
- Each player attaches their track onto the target board. If you are playing with less than four players, attach a blocker rail on the edges of the target board that a track is not attached to.
- Each player places their four smaller pawns on the start spot of their score board.
- The first player is either the youngest player or the player who says “Sorry” the most.
Playing the Game
Players will take turns rolling/shooting one of their pawns. When rolling a pawn a player has to release the pawn before it crosses the foul line. If a player holds onto the pawn after it crosses the foul line, the pawn is removed from the board and cannot be rolled again until the next round.
Players keep taking turns rolling one pawn until all of the pawns have been rolled. Pawns stay on the board and can be hit by other pawns except in the following situations:
- If a pawn stops on a player’s track or between their track and the target board, it remains there and can be hit by other pawns.
- If a pawn stops on another player’s track, it is removed from the board for the rest of the round.
- If a pawn stops in one of the corners or rolls off the board entirely, it is removed from the board for the rest of the round. The player that controls that pawn also has to move their pawn that is furthest on their scoring track back to the start space. Pawns that are on the home space are safe from being sent back.
After all of the players have rolled all four of their pawns, the game moves onto the scoring phase.
Players will score points based on where their pawns landed on the target board. If a pawn is only in one scoring zone, that pawn will score the corresponding number of points. If a pawn is in two different scoring zones, it is worth the higher value. Any pawn that is hanging off your track onto the target board is worth one point.
A player will be able to move each of their small pawns the number of points earned by each of their pawns on the target board. For example if a player scored 1, 2, 3, and 4 points; they will move one scoring pawn one space, one two spaces, one three spaces, and one four spaces. No scoring pawns may use the points earned by more than one of the pawns.
A pawn can only enter the home space by exact count. If the whole score can’t be used, the pawn is not moved at all.
If none of the players have gotten all of their scoring pawns home, another round is played. All of the large pawns are removed from the board. The player to the left of the player who started the last round will start the next round.
Winning the Game
The first player to get all four of their scoring pawns home wins the game. If two or more players get all of their pawns home in the same round, the player closest to the player who started the round wins.
Unique Rules for the Different Games
Game One: Race For Home
Use the blue target board. Game one uses the rules already laid out.
Game Two: Instant Home
Use the yellow target board. Game two uses all of the rules already laid out. The yellow board has a hole in the center. If a pawn falls into the center hole, it is removed from the board. The player who owns the pawn gets to move one of their scoring pawns to the home space. If the pawn is leaning into the hole but has not fully fallen in, it stays there and is worth four points.
Game Three: Instant Sorry!
Use the green target board. Game three uses all of the rules already laid out. The green board has a hole in the center of the board. If a pawn falls into the center hole, the pawn is removed from the board. The player who controls the pawn has to send their scoring pawn that is the furthest along the track (not home) back to start. If the pawn is not fully in the center hole it is treated like it is still on the innermost ring. The innermost ring is worth 4, 5 or 6 points and the player gets to choose which value they want it to be.
Game Four: Danger Dots
Use the red target board. In addition to the rules above, game four introduces danger dots. If at any point during a round (after the pawns have stopped moving) a pawn touches a danger dot, it is immediately removed from the board and is not shot again in the round.
My Thoughts on Sorry! Sliders
When you look at Sorry! Sliders you have to question why the designer decided to use the Sorry! brand. The two games share so little in common after all. Outside of using the same style of pawns and the idea of the home track, the two games have nothing in common. The original game is a game where you draw cards and move your pieces around the board hoping to get all of your pieces home before the other players. Meanwhile Sorry! Sliders is basically a tabletop version of shuffleboard. It is hard not to believe that the Sorry! theme was attached to the game in order to feed off the popularity of the original game.
Usually I would see making a spinoff game just to cash in on the original game as a bad idea since it leads to bad games or games that are basically clones of the original game. In the case of Sorry! Sliders though it is not a problem because Sorry! Sliders is clearly superior to the original game. The game may have little to do with the original game and I don’t have a problem with that. The only areas where the Sorry! theme impacts the game is cosmetically and in the scoring which actually is one of the best parts of the game. The designer took advantage of the theme without it bogging down the rest of the gameplay.
I don’t why exactly but I have always enjoyed shuffleboard/curling style board games. There is just something enjoyable about shooting discs and trying to score as many points as possible. Sorry! Sliders is far from a complex game but there is just something compelling about the gameplay. I had a lot of fun playing Sorry! Sliders. It is one of those games that you have to play several times before putting away for another day. If you like these type of dexterity games I can’t imagine you not also liking Sorry! Sliders. We have actually looked at several of these type of games on Geeky Hobbies (Caveman Curling, Rebound, Rebound Ramp It Up) and I would say that Sorry! Sliders is the best shuffleboard style game that I have played.
With Sorry! Sliders basically being shuffleboard, the game is pretty straightforward. Players take turns rolling their pawns trying to score points on the target board. Early in the game players are trying to score the most points that they can while in later rounds they are aiming for the points that they need in order to get their scoring pawns home. I honestly don’t see it taking more than a couple minutes to teach the game to any new player. The game has an age recommendation of 6+. The only reason I could see not recommending the game to younger children is that they might not understand the game’s strategy and the game does include some smaller pieces.
On top of being simple, Sorry! Sliders is also really short. Most games can be finished within five to ten minutes. This makes Sorry! Sliders a great filler game as you can quickly play a game if you don’t have a lot of time. Good luck only playing one game though. You will likely be compelled to play several games due to how quick and enjoyable they are. You can easily play all four unique games within 20-30 minutes if you so desire.
While I like that the games are short, I actually think Sorry! Sliders might have gone too far in making the games so short. We recently played four games and all of the games ended within three rounds. The problem is that with games being so short, there really isn’t a lot of time for strategy in the game. Sorry! Sliders was never going to be a highly strategic game but I could have seen the game having more strategy if each game had more rounds. While it would have been off brand, I honestly think Sorry! Sliders would have been better if each player had to get eight scoring pawns home. This would have lengthened the game allowing a little more time for strategy.
Sorry! Sliders is far from a highly strategic game but there is more strategy in the game than I was expecting. Generally I would have considered the Sorry! theme to be a gimmick but the designer actually came up with a clever way to utilize it to add some strategy to the game. The scoring aspect of the game involves trying to get all of your pawns home. Normally this wouldn’t be that big of deal as the outcome would still come down to who scored the most points. The game throws a curveball though by forcing pawns to enter home by exact count. If you score too many points with one of your pawns, it might prevent you from using that number. This mechanic forces players to aim for certain areas of the board later in rounds in order to move their pawns home. This actually leads to a decent amount of decision making as players have to decide where they are going to aim their pieces.
Due to this mechanic, doing well in the early rounds is really important for your success in the game. In the first round you really need to try and score points with all of your pawns. This is important because if you score with all four pawns you will get to move all four of your scoring pegs. If you don’t score with one of them, one of your scoring pawns will be left at the start. Moving all four of your scoring pawns increases the odds that you will be able to get at least one of your pawns home in the second round. The faster you can get pawns home, the more flexibility you get later in the game. Once you get a pawn home you will have a free pawn which gives you more opportunities to target a specific number. As most games will end within three rounds, doing well in the first two rounds gives you a good chance of being in the lead heading into the third round.
The other area where mechanics from the original Sorry! add some strategy are in games two and three. In games two and three players either get to immediately bring a pawn home or send a pawn back to start if one of their pawns fall into the center hole. I actually think this is a clever way of adding the “Sorry” mechanic from the original game. In game two you are obviously going to want to aim for the center. In game three you may be a little more hesitant to shoot pawns towards the center of the board because having to send one of your pawns back to start is a pretty big punishment.
I have to give Sorry! Sliders credit for including four different ways to play the game. I will admit that the four games are pretty similar but I like the variety that they provide. Race for Home is pretty much your basic shuffleboard game with the small tweak that you need exact numbers to get all of your pawns home. Instant Home and Instant Sorry! are basically inverses of one another where one rewards you for getting a pawn in the middle while the other punishes you. Finally Danger Dots presents areas that you want to avoid in order to prevent losing one of your pawns.
Of the four games there are things I like and don’t like about each one. The two games that feature the hole in the middle probably involve a little more skill as it is extremely beneficial to get your own or another player’s pawn to fall into the hole. The problem is that it is usually pretty easy to get a pawn into the hole and getting a pawn in the center hole seems too powerful. I like the idea of the danger dots in game four but they don’t seem to play a big role in the game. It is pretty easily to avoid the dots so the only times a pawn lands on one of the dots is when it is hit by another pawn. Race for Home and Danger Dots have a lot more congestion in the middle of the board leading to more randomness while Instant Home and Instant Sorry! rely pretty heavily on getting pawns into the center hole. For the most part the four games are pretty similar with only slight differences between them. I really don’t have a preferred game and can see playing all four about the same.
In general I would say that Sorry! Sliders is pretty balanced between its reliance on skill and luck. The game requires skill as you need good aim and you need to shoot the pawns with the right amount of power in order to score the desired amount of points. Some players are going to be more natural at the game than other players. On the other hand though the game seems to still rely on quite a bit of luck. Most of the luck comes from how the pawns bounce and how the other players approach the round. A player can be really skilled at the game but if the other players keep bumping their pawns they are going to have a hard time winning the game. Generally the reliance on luck would annoy me. It is not that big of issue though due to how short the games are and the game as a whole is a lighthearted game that you just play for fun without really caring who wins.
Being a mass market game I was not expecting a lot of the components. The sliders actually work better than I was expecting. I wish they would bounce a little more though when they hit other pawns since it leads to the pawns clogging up in the middle of the board. The cardboard pieces are of a decent thickness but they seem to be a little prone to curling/warping. It is not that hard to bend them back though. Otherwise there is nothing particularly great or terrible about the components.
Should You Buy Sorry! Sliders?
Sorry! Sliders is one of the oddest spinoff games that I have ever played. Most spinoff games are made in order to make a quick buck off the original game. In the case of Sorry! Sliders though it has little to do with the original game and is actually a significantly better game. Sorry! Sliders is basically a board game version of shuffleboard/curling and it does a great job turning them into a board game. The mechanics are really simple but it is hard to deny that they aren’t really fun. If you like these type of dexterity games, I see you having fun with Sorry! Sliders. The one area where Sorry! Sliders actually uses the Sorry! theme is for the most interesting part of the game. Instead of always trying to target the most points, the game requires you to get specific numbers in order to get all of your pawns home. Sorry! Sliders has some strategy but it still relies on quite a bit of luck. Most games of Sorry! Sliders will only take around five minutes which is a little too short in my opinion. You likely will want to play several games in a sitting though.
If you don’t really care for the idea of a shuffleboard style board game, Sorry! Sliders is probably not going to change your mind. If you like these type of games though I think you will really enjoy your time with Sorry! Sliders. I would recommend that most people pick up a copy of Sorry! Sliders.