My eldest daughter wanted to pick a game for a new game review, and she selected one of her favorite games of all-time, Sorry Sliders. It’s a simple dexterity game that uses Hershey's Kiss style pawns like those from the original Sorry game, but these have ball bearings built into the bottom so they, well, slide. The object is to flick or toss your wee sliders (no, not White Castle sliders, the pawns) down one of the 4 colored lanes to an attached “bull’s eye” panel with concentric rings valued at one point at the edges up to five in the center. It’s really a simple sounding game, but in practice it’s a heck of a lot harder than you’d expect, provided you have able opponents who are trying to hose you over at every turn, making it very difficult to score.
The game is a typical Hasbro/Parker Bros./Milton Bradley family game, in the standard family game type box, with some art on the front that reasonably depicts the gameplay. Once you crack open the box, the contents are of the typical game-mill quality, with ample little goodies included. Inside are four lane sections in four colors, two target sections, four scoring cards, four pawns of each color, and four scoring pawns, as well as some plastic backboards to keep the sliders from launching off of the back and taking out your eyes when your children get a little overexcited. Also included is a rules guide which is very easy to read and remarkably well written.
The first thing to do is decide how many players are going to play, hand out the pawns and scoring cards, and hand out the lanes. This is pretty simple as everything is color coded, but once this is done you then must decide how to configure the track. There are a multitude of options, depending on which of the ample variations you wish to play. The fact that there are two double-sided target pads gives you a lot of variety in the track configuration, but unfortunately all of the variants are only variants in name as the game itself is pretty much the same no matter how you elect to configure it. The more interesting of the two target sections has a hole in the center to catch pawns, allowing you to bollocks your opponents by knocking them into it, but other than that, it’s pretty much the same with either target pad. Regarding the lanes, you can attach them to the targets with little hooks, which was brilliant on the part of the designers, and you can set them up in myriad configurations to make the lane area longer than the normal 1-lane-length-per-player configuration. We’ve played this game a few hundred times, it seems, and we have used every piece that came in the game, but we’ve yet to see a huge difference in the gameplay.
The long and short is that you take your little sliding pawns and toss them down your lane to the target area, attempting to land within a numbered concentric ring and score some points while also knocking your opponents into less desirable areas, or ideally, off the board through little corner openings marked “Sorry”. Everyone takes turns tossing their pawns until all the pawns are played, at which point a scoring round occurs. If any pawns went off the board, or in the case of the target with the hole fall in, the player has to take their highest-point scoring pawn and move it back to start. Pawns that were scored move a corresponding scoring pawn forward on the scoring track to Home, meaning those pawns are safe. You can only move each scoring pawn once per round, so any unusable points are lost. Furthermore, if you score too many points with a pawn, you cannot reduce the scored pawns’ value, meaning you have to hit exactly the right amount without going over, a la Price Is Right. I will say that the game is actually a lot of fun until you’ve played it twenty times in a row as my daughter likes to do, which can be grating at best.
The winner of the game is the first person to get all four pawns across the finish line on their scoring track to Home, which is the seventh space on the track from start. It’s really a quick game, and from setup to a winner being decided is usually within 15 minutes. Although the game itself is not incredibly engaging, it is colorful and very accessible. I would recommend it for parents with kids in the seven to twelve year age bracket, and beyond that it’s going to sit on a shelf and gather dust. Don’t even think about following Agricola or Race for the Galaxy with Sorry Sliders, it just isn’t that type of game.
Things I thought were pretty slick:
*The game is very quick to learn, assemble, and get to playing
*Although pretty simple, the components are of good quality and very colorful
*While not Pitchcar, it’s not a bad little game if you want to play a dexterity-based game
*Playing with the family makes this a backstabbity little nugget that just may end up having your kids want to knuckle you up
Things I thought were lame as hell:
*The game includes a bunch of “variety” options, but the variety amounts to a choice between “very mediocre” and “can I slice my wrists now?”
*The game is so quick that you end up playing four or five times in a row, and you’ll probably be sick of it by round three
*The game is about as absorbing as a block of stone
This is a simple, simple game with just a miniscule amount of strategy involved, but for what it is, it’s pretty decent. I would recommend it for families with a couple of kids, but that’s about it. This is not a game for adults, unless those adults are imprisoned or have been otherwise institutionalized for some manner of mental handicap. It’s just not all that incredibly fun, even if you like playing games with your kids.