Roll Dice Quickly but Plan Carefully in Dice Game SIXEM | Casual Game Revolution

Roll Dice Quickly but Plan Carefully in Dice Game SIXEM


Roll your dice as fast as you can, but keep an eye on your opponent’s board, because you might just have a chance to set them back!

Published by Hootenanny Games, SIXEM is a real-time dice game, with take-that elements, designed for 2-4 players.


Each player takes a player board and six dice. The dice come in six colors. The boards are divided into 6-by-6 grids. The columns are numbered one through six, and each row matches one of the colors of the six dice.

At the start of the game, you spin the spinner. This determines the goal for winning the game. You are always trying to get one or two lines of six spaces filled in on your board. The spinner also tells you if these lines can be vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or some combination of the three. You’re then ready to start a round.

Each round, everyone rolls their dice as quickly as possible, choosing which dice to re-roll. Once a player has one through six on his dice, he shouts stop, and then everyone stops rolling. Beginning with the player to the left of the person who shouted stop, each player marks off the space on their grid that corresponds to one of their dice, marking the space for that specific color and number combination. If you have the same number on more than one die, you may only choose one of them to mark off. If you have a number on a color whose space you have already marked off, then you can force another player who also has that same color and number combination marked, to remove their marking from that space.

The player who has met the winning condition at the end of the round, after everyone has finished marking their boards, wins the game. Otherwise, everyone starts rolling again for another round.

SIXEM Components


SIXEM treads some familiar ground that other dice games have covered before, but it manages to bring in some elements of strategy and take-that to make the mechanics feel fresh. You’re not just trying to roll your dice as quickly as possible, you also need to make quick decisions about which dice to reroll, what numbers on which colors you want to work towards, and sometimes which numbers on which colors you might be trying to force other players to erase from their boards. That’s a lot to take in, while trying to roll quickly, and adds to the real-time elements.

Being the player who shouts "stop" is a powerful position to be in, as you fill in your marks last. This means you're less likely to have to erase markings, and your placement in turn order when filling in your board can make the difference between winning or losing, since even if you meet the win conditions, you need to hold on to that position until the end of the round.

As with most games with take-that elements, it works a little better with 3-4 players, but is still perfectly enjoyable with two — there is just going to be a bit more head-to-head conflict. The components are nice, and simple. The dice are a little small and could have a bit more heft to them to make them more fun to roll, but a spinner is always a delightful addition to a game.

The simplicity of the rules, with the quick-fire decisions you have to make, layered with enough strategy to enable you to feel like the game doesn’t just come down to the luck of the roll, makes SIXEM a very enjoyable real-time dice game.

Pros: Some strategic choices to balance the luck of the dice, some player interaction, spinners are fun

Cons: Better with 3-4 players, dice are a little small

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