It’s likely you’ve either heard of or played pachee before if you know your boardgames. Heck, even if you don't you'll instantly understand what’s going on.
This is because pachee has come to be known in the west as ludo. It’s not completely the same as that game, but the compulsive dice throwing gameplay remains intact between the two versions.Race for the prize
Pachee (or parcheesi) is a four-player game in which everyone competes to race their four pieces around the board and onto the ‘home’ squares on the other side.
Movement is determined by the dice roll, with a ‘6’ granting either an extra move or the ability to place another piece onto the board.
Much like other ‘race’ boardgames, like backgammon or ludo, the tactics come from how much you're willing to risk your pieces – the further ahead you are when captured, the further back it takes you.
Having all four on the board at once could mean a swift victory, but is most likely to result in another player landing his own piece on top of yours, sending it right back to the start.Lady luck
Primarily, though, Pachee is a game of luck, with every action determined by the throw of a dice, although that hasn’t stopped this version of the game having a good try at making a structured campaign out of it anyway.
The Journey mode is where the bulk of play occurs, taking the form of a grid of levels that have to be completed in order to proceed to the next.
At first, these start off with a simple one-on-one encounter with the most basic rules, before blossoming out into a full-blown game with three opponents, multiple special squares, various board layouts, and unlockable designs.Phone home
It’s this desire to see what Pachee will chuck at you next that will keep you glued to your mobile.
Even if the base game can be frustrating at times – getting the final piece knocked off the board one square from the end is hair-tearingly annoying – the knowledge that there’s something that could mix up the gameplay around the corner will keep you going back to the game.
There’s also very little downtime during play, with dice rolls occurring quickly and opponents moving at lightning speed, which means there’s very few occasions where you’ll be hanging around despite the ‘roll a six to start’ requirement for putting pieces on the board.
The combination of an interesting reward system that keeps throwing up new features and the speed at which a game can be played make Pachee an interesting and enjoyable boardgame for mobiles.