Fling Toys with Jack and Friends in Merry Madness, A Spooky Holiday Dice Frenzy | Casual Game Revolution

Fling Toys with Jack and Friends in Merry Madness, A Spooky Holiday Dice Frenzy

Merry Madness

Get rid of all the toys on your board by rolling as fast as possible in a madcap real-time dice game themed around The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Published by The Op, Merry Madness is designed for 3-5 players with a 15-minute playtime. But the rules might be a little bit familiar…


Each player takes a player board and places a certain number of toy tokens on it of a random assortment. There are five types of toys in the game. Each player also takes one toy die, one direction die, and one quantity die. The Sandy’s Christmas Bag tile is placed in the center of the table.

Gameplay is simultaneous and in real-time, with all players acting as quickly as possible. You roll your three dice. These will tell you which type of toy tile and how many (1-3) you can move from your player board, and in which direction you move them to (it can either be onto the player board of the person on your left, your right, or you can choose which player board to move them to. The direction die can also have you move them onto the Sandy’s Christmas Bag tile.

Players continue rolling and moving their toy tiles until one player has managed to empty his player board of all tiles. He announces this, and all gameplay stops. That player then takes one gift token, and a new round is set up. Play continues until one player has won three gift tokens.

Merry Madness Components


Merry Madness is a fun, light, real-time dice game, that is easy to teach and fast to play. There’s a lot of fun, mad rolling, and humorous player interaction as you toss your toys at other players’ boards, and everyone tries to work as quickly as possible.

There’s not a lot of decision making in the moment, but you’re trying to push yourself to act quickly, both in the rolling and in the visually processing your rolls and what’s on your board, or when you roll wilds on either the toy die or the direction die trying to decide the most advantageous move at a glance.

The Op has published two other games that are nearly identical to this one: Mischief in Diagon Alley and Mickey and Friends Food Fight. They are all essentially the same game, especially when you take into account the variants in the rulebooks. We would prefer a bit more variety, or a clever way to combine the games, to justify owning more than one if multiple of the themes appeal to you, since gameplay-wise there’s not really any reason to purchase more than one. As it stands, it’s a bit disappointing to find the games so similar.

Generally, the game has quite nice components, with very solid tokens and player boards. The dice are a bit small, however, and something a little chunkier would have been more satisfying to roll.

The core mechanics of Merry Madness are enjoyable, we just wish there’d been a little something to set it apart from other, similar games. It feels a bit like a simple re-theme with win conditions mildly tweaked but variants included to make it all the same in the end. This can be fine, though, since one theme might appeal to one player where another theme wouldn’t. So, if you don't own the previous games and the Nightmare Before Christmas theme appeals to you, this is a great one to pick up.

Pros: Enjoyable real-time mechanics, fast gameplay, nice component quality on tokens and player boards

Cons: Essentially just a re-theme of other games from The Op, dice are a bit small

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.