Cephus' Corner

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Boardgame Review: Sorry! - Cephus' Corner

Boardgame Review: Sorry!

August 30th, 2013

I sent you back to start? Sorry!

We haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and play board games lately, what with helping my mother move and then catching up from all the things we had to put off, it’s been difficult.  However, we did squeeze in a couple of games one night and decided to pull out some of the classics, the games most people don’t play and even fewer ever talk about, just for fun.  Here’s my review of the classic board game Sorry!

Now it seems a bit silly describing the gameplay of something like Sorry!, after all, who hasn’t played this game?  It was released in 1929 by William Henry Storey, based on the ancient cross and circle game popular in India, Pachisi.  We also played that game the same night and there will be a separate review upcoming.

The general goal of the game is to get your four men around the board from your starting circle and into the home space.  The first person to do that wins the game.  It sounds simple and it is, but there are some tricks to it.  You draw cards that tell you how many spaces you can move.  Some cards allow you to do special things like split your move, exchange places with another player’s piece or move backwards.  If you land on another player’s piece, or they are one of the slider tracks and you slide through their piece, they’re sent back to the start, the classical “Sorry!”

There are some well-known problems with the game, which is why they’ve introduced variants, but in playing the standard game, the card-flipping gets really annoying.  You can only move a piece out of your start space by drawing a 1 or a 2, or by drawing an 11 and swapping with another player’s token.  Play, especially at the beginning, is a long, boring round of draw, pass, draw, pass, until someone actually gets a card that allows them to do something!  At the end of the game, you can only reach your home space by exact count and this again results in a lot of drawing useless cards and passing to the next person because you can’t move your pieces.  In our play, and we went through 4-5 games in a row, this resulted in lots of card flipping and then deck shuffling because only one out of every 5-8 cards was actually useful.

Because the standard game is just card flipping, the game is extremely random, it’s the luck of the draw that determines who goes where and when.  There is a variant where the players draw a hand of a certain number of cards and this adds to the strategic factor dramatically.  Although we didn’t play that way this time through, I’ve done so in the past and I think it improves the game.

Even though it is an old game, it’s still fun to pull out now and then for a quick game. The rules say it takes 30 minutes for a game, but experience puts that closer to 15-20 minutes so it can be a palate cleanser between other, heavier games, or as a nostalgic time-filler on it’s own.  Don’t overlook the classics, most of them have stayed in print for decades on end because they’re actually pretty fun games.



Parker Brothers
Released: 1929 (our version is 1972, also own older versions)
Players: 2-4
Age 8+
Game Type:  Family

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.