Thrown – WizKids – Review

"It is light enough to enjoy a conversation while playing but tactical enough to bring out some fantastic ‘ah-ha’ moments on your opponents."

Theme and What is it?

Thrown is a dice rolling, take-that, trick taking game.  It has a light association with the medieval and fantasy genre but is not dependent on the theme.  There is a great deal of luck involved and some tactical decisions with card powers.  These abilities allow for the tables to be completely turned on a player in the lead. 

Gameplay Mechanics

Each player randomly selects a set number of dice from the pool of all four colors.  Four cards are laid out face up and 1 small colored block is randomly placed on each card.  There is a simplified version of the game that does not include these colored cubes, but I find the game much more interesting with them.

The first player chooses a color dice to be the trick color and rolls from 1 to 3 dice in that color.  Each player subsequently rolls 1 to 3 dice in that color as well.  If someone does not have the trick color, they have the option of trying to roll a trump in a different color and/or use a special ability on a card.  Players always have the option of purchasing an ability on a card if they have the right color die.

After each player has chosen and rolled dice, the highest roll in the trick color will win the trick.  This is the case unless trumped or affected by some ability on a card.  The winner receives a coin for each of the other players dice used.  This is repeated as many times as it takes until all, but one player runs out of dice.  Money is lost for each dice remaining in this players hand.  The next round is begun when 4 new cards have been laid out.

The game ends after a number of rounds equal to the number of players.  All money is added up and the one with the most wins.

Initial Impressions

I was looking for something in this game about trying to gain a king’s ‘THRONE.’  The cover oozed with medieval conflict and I was sure there would be some knight fighting and Merlin magic.  I was ‘thrown’ off and discovered the art had nothing to do with the game.

I love dice so I was happy to run my fingers through a box of them.  Also, the idea of the cards causing changes to the game was interesting.  As I started to learn the game with the recommended basic instructions, I became a little disappointed by the high level of chance.  It wasn’t until I hit the advanced instructions that the game began to shine. 

Game Build Quality

There are cards, many dice in 4 different colors, 4 small colored wooded cubes, and cardboard money in Thrown.  All the components are average and get the job done.  There is a piece of paper that lays in the bottom of the box to simulate the “Void” where your dice are discarded.  The box easily closes when all components are put away.

Artistic Direction

The art in Thrown has a generic fantasy feel.  There are no backgrounds behind the rather simple character art on each card.  There are no frills in the design of the coins.  The iconography at the bottom of each card helps cue to memory the action on each card.  However, I found it very difficult to keep it straight in my mind how the card is activated while playing the advanced variant.  This is because red and grey cards only work when discarding a dice that matches the color of cube.  Unfortunately, the color of cube and color of dice may or may not match.  The same problem happens with blue and green cards.  The confusion could be cleared up by removing the colors on the cards and listing the effects instead.

Fun Factor

Thrown was a little difficult to understand at first.  Once I got the hang of it, the game moved along smoothly.  Thrown is basically a dice rolling game and with that comes a great deal of luck.  I’m not typically a fan of games built on luck but Thrown has mitigated this with tactical options.  The cards and colored die allow for the fate of the roll of the dice to be altered.

The fun for me comes in not having to be bound up in Analysis Paralysis (AP).  You only have a few options and those may change each time a person takes a turn.  The pressure is off to build some long-complicated strategy or pick from 20 different choices.  It nicely evens the playing field where there is a huge discrepancy between players’ ability levels.

Age Range & Weight

Thrown is rated for ages 14 and up.  My 8-year-old played this game and did not have trouble understanding the basics.  However, she did not understand the tactics available when using the card abilities.  It didn’t matter because she could still play while the adults acted more competitively.  The luck in the game allowed her to win on occasion giving her the joy of playing with us.  If you are serious about winning Thrown you will need to adhere to the older age range to be competitive.

Conclusions

I enjoyed playing Thrown and will continue to pull this out to the table.  This is a good game when I want to play something but I’m tired after corralling 4 kids through homework, dinner, and soccer practice.  I don’t have to think tremendously hard or commit to a multi-hour game.  I can have the kids join my husband and I for some family time and dice rolling.  It is light enough to enjoy a conversation while playing but tactical enough to bring out some fantastic ‘ah-ha’ moments on your opponents.  I recommend Thrown for some quality friendship or family time.