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Sorry! Spin Board Game Review and Instructions

How to Play | My Thoughts | Final Verdict | Comments

How to Play

The objective of the game is to be the first player to get all four of their pawns into their home zone.

The player who has most recently said “sorry” gets to go first. The player takes the top card from the draw deck and either performs the action on the card or chooses one of the two actions on the card to perform. You can enter the game track from the start space with any number card that is drawn. Players try to move their pieces along the track in order to reach their home track. If a pawn lands on a spin space that does not match the color of their pawn or is not attached to their home track, the gameboard is rotated clockwise one quarter of the way around (move the spin space far enough that it is now touching the next home track).

Sorry Spin Gameplay
The green player has landed on a spin space of a different color. The whole board will be rotated clockwise a quarter of the way around.

While moving around the board, two of the same player’s pawns may not occupy the same space. Any move that would put two of one player’s pawns on the same space is not allowed. If a player moves their piece onto a space occupied by another player, the moving player gets to keep their piece on the spot and the other player’s pawn is returned to their start space.

Sorry Spin Gameplay
If the yellow player moves forward two or more spaces, they can enter their home track. If the red player moves forward two spaces, the yellow pawn will be returned to the yellow player’s start space.

Once a piece is on a home track, it may not be returned to a start space by another player. In order to win the game a player must get all of their pawns into the home zone. In order to get a pawn into the home zone, the player must move the piece onto the home zone space by exact count. A player may not move backwards into their home zone.

Sorry Spin Home Zone
The yellow player has made it onto their home track. The yellow player must move forward exactly two spaces in order to make it into the home zone.

Some additional rules for the game include:

  • If you split your movement between two pawns and the first pawn lands on a spin space, the board is spun before the second pawn is moved.
  • You can’t get on the main track, home track or home zone by moving backwards.
  • When switching pawn positions you may only use pawns on the main track and cannot use pawns on a start space or in the home track.
  • If you can’t use the action on the card you drew, your turn is skipped.

The first player to get all of their pawns in their home zone, wins the game.

My Thoughts

Created in 1929 Sorry! has become a classic board game. Most people have probably played Sorry at least once in their lives. When I was a child I loved Sorry but as I have grown older Sorry has started to fall out of favor with me. Sorry relies too much on luck and has too little strategy to be considered a good game.

Due to its’ success, Sorry has had a lot of spin-offs over the years. Some of these spinoffs like Sorry Sliders (a take on the game of shuffleboard) are actually pretty good and are actually better than the original Sorry. Unfortunately a lot of these spinoff games are not very good since they are either re-skins or they just slightly alter the rules of the original Sorry. Sorry Spin ends up fitting into the second category.

Just like the original game, Sorry Spin uses cards in order to move players’ pieces around the gameboard. The object of the game is to get all four of your pieces into your home zone. If you have played Sorry before you have pretty much already played Sorry Spin. Sorry Spin is so similar to the original Sorry that there are only two significant differences between the two games. These differences include the gameboard and the variety in the types of cards in the game.

The most obvious difference between Sorry Spin and the original Sorry is the gameboard. The gameboard was the one thing about Sorry Spin that had me intrigued about the game. Instead of a traditional rectangular board where players move around the squares along the edges, in Sorry Spin the gameboard consists of five different gears. When the gears are spun, the board rotates. When the board rotates all of the playing pieces are also rotated. This can help players by bringing their pieces closer to their home track or it can move them further away from their home track.

I thought by adding the gears, there would be more strategy in the game since players would be able to alter the gameboard. I thought players would be able to rotate the gameboard to help themselves while hurting their opponents.  The spinning board does add some strategy to the game. If an opponent is close to getting a pawn into their home track you can spin the track and make them move right past their home track. You can also spin the track in order to move your pieces closer to your home track.

Unfortunately most of this potential is wasted since players have next to no control over when or how the board is spun. There are only two ways to be able to spin the board which require either landing on a specific space or drawing a certain card. There is no way a player can plan for or even anticipate when the gameboard is going to spin. When you do get to spin the gameboard you have no control over how you want to spin it. When the gameboard is spun it is always spun clockwise. I think the player should have been able to choose which direction they wanted to spin the gameboard. Without having control over when or how, the spinning mechanic ends up hurting the player who spins the board just as often as the other players. If players would have had more control over these factors I actually think the spinning mechanic could have added a decent amount to Sorry.

Unfortunately the gameboard also adds quite a bit more luck to the game. You can never predict when you or another player will spin the gameboard. Sometimes the gameboard spins so often that there is no way for a player to plan ahead since the board is likely to be different when it get back to their turn. The spin mechanic at times makes the game way too easy as well. If the gameboard is set up right, a player could actually move their piece out of start and into the home track within one move. This feels kind of cheap and just reinforces the good and bad luck for various players.

The other main difference from the regular game is that the cards have more choices. Most of the cards let you choose from two different options. This was not really present in the original Sorry! I like that the game gives you two options since there is more flexibility when you draw a card you don’t want. The cards could still have used more variety though. Most of the cards are of the move forward or backward a certain number of spaces variety. I also think the spin card is stupid. Everyone who draws a spin card pretty much wastes their turn. Since the player has no control over how the board is spun they could actually end up using their turn to hurt themselves and help an opponent.

One of Sorry Spin’s greatest strengths are the components. The various game pieces are made of pretty thick plastic and should last as long as they are taken card of. My only real complaint with the gameboard is that it can be hard to turn at times.

Final Verdict

When you get down to it, Sorry Spin is pretty much a re-skin of the original Sorry. Both are simple to play but lack any strategy. The rotating board adds a little strategy but also adds more luck to the game. Sorry Spin is just kind of boring to play. If you don’t like the original Sorry I can’t see you enjoying Sorry Spin since the things you probably hate about the original are present in Sorry Spin. If you do like Sorry though you may get some enjoyment out of Sorry Spin since it does add some interesting mechanics to the original Sorry. The game is also pretty cheap so you don’t have to spend a lot to give the game a chance.

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