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Indie Boards & Cards

The bees are buzzing and it’s time for some real time dice rolling as you try to steal flowers out from under your opponents and build the greatest hive.

Building a hive requires planning and quick decision making, because the more matching flowers you have in it, the more points you will score.

Gameplay

Each player starts the game with five dice and a stack of sixteen flower tiles of all different colors. There are five different colors of flowers plus wildflowers. During the game players may play dice onto the stack of flowers in front of them, and on the stacks belonging to the players on either side of them.

When the game begins, players start rolling dice as fast as they can. There are no turns and all gameplay is simultaneous. Your dice have the numbers one through five, two of them have an image of a worker bee which can be used as any number, and three have an image of a killer bee. If you roll two killer bees you can take the top tile of any of the three flower stacks within reach.

To roll your dice, you have to shake them between both hands. If you can add one or more die onto a flower after you roll you may do so, but if you choose not to or cannot, you are not allowed to save any dice. On your next roll you must reroll all your dice that are not currently on a flower tile.

Each flower has three spaces for dice. In order to place your die on a space it must have the same result as shown on the flower tile. Some dice spots on the flower tiles require you to play two or even three dice of the same number onto the tile at the same time.

Once the third die is placed on the flower, the player with the most dice wins the tile. If a second player has a die on it, he takes a helper bee token. If three players all have one die each on a flower tile, the tile is discarded. All players get their dice back once a flower tile is added to a hive.

When adding a flower to your hive, you flip it over to the hive side. The first two tiles in your hive are placed next to each other, and all subsequent tiles must be added so that at least two edges are connected to tiles already in the hive.

Wildflowers count as every flower when in your hive and are therefore powerful tiles. When a player reveals a wildflower at the top of their tile stack they announce ‘beeline’. Each player has a beeline race card and may choose to place it in front of that stack to show that they’re in the race. The race cards show five dice spots, numbered one to five. You must fill it up, rolling and matching your dice to the empty spots in sequential order. The first player to fill her card wins the wild flower tile.

The game ends when the helper bee token pile runs out or three flower stacks in a row are emptied. Players then score points in their hive for any hive tiles of the same color that share an edge. You also score one point for every two helper bee tokens you have. The player with the highest score wins the game.

Beeeees! Components

Review

Beeeees! is a great family-friendly dice game. The rules are quite easy to teach and learn and there’s really no learning curve. You start playing and you get it right away. It’s the kind of game you can play with kids but one that can also get table time at an adults-only game night.

There’s a lot of racing to roll your dice quickly, but players also have to make snap decisions about which tiles to pursue since you want to build your hive smart as well as fast. That moment when a wild flower appears is great, as it affects everyone and pushes you to roll even faster.

The element of only being able to reach the three nearest stacks is enjoyable and adds a fun extra element to the player interaction, pitting you against only some players who will in turn be distracted as they’re pitted against players that aren’t within reach of you.

Art in the game is great. It’s bright and colorful, everything you really want in a game about bees and flowers. I do wish the dice were a little heftier and more satisfying to roll, and the tiles are a bit thin. The bee helper tokens, however, are made of a pleasant rubbery substance and look great.

Tile placement and real time dice rolling is a neat combination and works well in Beeeees!. There’s plenty to think about as you roll without over complicating the rules. Fun and frenzied, Beeeees! is a great addition to the dice game genre.

Pros: The art works well with the theme, tile placement blends nicely with the real time dice rolling

Cons: Some of the components could be a bit sturdier

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