Saturday, December 3

CanDados: chance, decision making and risk • Console and Dashboard

The combination between locks and dice could not have another play on words: CanDados. It is the title of the new Anima-T project, in the form of a quick and easy rules competition. Couples, threesomes and ladders are as present as the fateful challenges.


CanDados It is a board game of 2 to 8 participants, with competitions of 30 minutes, indicated from 8 years. It bears the signatures of Sergio Carrasco and Anna Álvarez, under the Anima-T label (Monster Deal).

Currently, it is in the final stretch of a financing search campaign in Verkami. Its price is 13 euros, in a reward that includes the game, the unlocked extras and the shipping costs to the Peninsula.

Increasing this amount adds additional copies or the publisher’s previous set. The idea is that it can reach the tables in January 2022. In relation to the components to be unlocked, sleeves appear to protect the cards or a set of additional dice.

We are facing an abstract challenge, which proposes us to complete different objectives. They are shaped like padlocks, with their requirements to open them. They will translate to end-of-game points, while challenges not completed will work as a penalty.


Before we start, we shuffle all the cards. We distribute two objectives per player, who will remain face up in their zones. If we are 2 or 3 players, it is advisable to remove 10 cards from the deck.

The shift structure

The game begins. Each participant’s turn begins with the roll of the dice. You can perform up to three runs, preserving the results you want. When he has the ultimate, if he wishes, he will set aside a die with a ‘1’. It will not be used to complete objective.

If we have saved a blank ‘1’, we perform its special action. It consists of rolling, once again, all the dice (with the exception of white). It will be time to check if we meet the requirements of any objective. We must bear in mind that we can only complete one per shift.

In doing so, we save it and replace its hole with a new one from the pile. They will ask us for certain results, either in number or color, odd and even throws, pairs, uncles and straights, among many other options.

Next, we will execute the special action of a saved ‘1’, in case we have it. Green rewards us with an extra target and red allows us to steal a target from a rival. Yellow implies an exchange between one’s own objective and another’s, while blue implies removing all objectives in play to redistribute them. We start with the player on the left.

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Finally, and only if we have completed an objective, we will make a single roll. Everyone can use it to try and fulfill the requirements of one of their objective cards. We pass the turn to the left, who will repeat the same mechanics.

The challenges

When it comes to drawing a new objective from the stack, we can come across a challenge card. It must be resolved instantly, by means of a single roll. If we meet your requirements, we return it to the deck. If we do not get what is requested (for example, a total of more than ’20’), we save it. It will subtract points from the count.

Game over

The challenge ends when someone runs out of target cards. In two-way games, it ends when the draw deck runs out. We add the points from the completed objectives and subtract the points from the unfulfilled challenges. The player with the highest score win the game.


How can I be so delusional? My mindset has completely changed in a matter of minutes. I have started the game decisively. With extreme confidence in my possibilities. Luck was on my side, but it wouldn’t be fair to downplay my decisions.

To target in turn, this flows. Too bad I got stuck so soon. What remains of that risk that always paid off? I keep taking risks. Maybe too much. Everything indicates that the fault may be there. I relax and, this time, I don’t play it.

Is it really that difficult to get a blue ‘2’ and a red ‘3’? Why don’t I get three ‘1s if the color doesn’t matter? I have to confess that, when these objectives have reached me, I have been happy. They seemed easy, but looks are deceiving. My grandmother already said it …

The clever ones of my companions advance, while my friend frustration sits on my knees. It is she who opens my eyes. Truth be told, I shouldn’t blame this on chance. At least not in its entirety. I must confess that, although I have reduced the risk, I have saved myself special results each shift.

I could well have already completed some of those objectives that are so resistant, if not for my desire to annoy others. What if a robbery here, what if an exchange there. And I’m about to restart the stage! Maybe I’m going overboard by causing so much harm, but have you seen their faces? I think this is starting to pay off …


CanDados it is precisely, what promises: a fun game, with very simple rules, which generates very fast and dynamic encounters. We will not expect to find the most revolutionary challenge of the year, but one capable of entertaining in the dead times, in meetings with friends and away from home. And also for a long time.

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Starting from a small box, we have a title to enjoy anywhere. Having a smooth surface, not very large, is enough. The train table, park grass, and pool towel will all work great.

We also don’t need regular players to cheer up. In fact, we are facing one of those games that serve as an introduction to more complex competitions. Which are a presentation letter to a sector with enormous possibilities, both in terms of fun and learning.

In a couple of minutes, we will be familiar with the rules. We roll the dice and try to complete objectives. The inspiration in the classics is more than evident, when trying to obtain certain results. Stairs. Poker. Full. In fact, this essence draws the attention of our elders, who will be guided by logic and colors.

We might think that, with so much throwing of the dice and with a random arrangement of the cards, the luck factor is fundamental. In fact, it carries enormous weight (sorry, random allergy sufferers!). Luckily, it is completed with two elements that are as attractive as they are addictive: decision making and risk.


Each game is full of decisions to be made and, of course, each turn. Do I keep that red ‘2’? What if I keep that ‘1’ even though I know I’m giving up my goal? At all times, we will assess the situation. We will be guided by the progress of others (the locks that have been opened) and by how much or how little we have to lose.

Usually the Balance is synonymous with success. That is, we will not neglect our objectives, so as not to stagnate, while trying to annoy something (or a lot) to the opponents. In fact, we will find those players who seem to be on their own and, also, with those who only seek to step on the rest. For those who move for revenge, with plays that pay dearly.

At this point, risk comes into play. We will have an almost perfect playBut what if a new release makes it perfect in its entirety? There will be moments when everything is clear, but in others we will suffer. Wildly. The surprises will arrive, with their joys. Regrets. Why the heck did I save that ‘1’?

To further increase the excitement, the challenges appear. They consist of unique spins, this time yes, moved by maximum chance. If we fulfill them, we will take a good weight off our shoulders. At the end of the day, there is nothing worse than seeing the effort when opening locks is clouded by a good handful of negative points.

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The endings are not entirely unexpected, but we will not know for sure who has won, unless we are masters of memory. Thus, the nerves shine in the count.


One of its best points is that we won’t get bored between shifts. It is what makes, without going any further, that it is a lot of fun with large groups. It is due to the interaction between players, not only due to the effects of the special dice, with their draws and exchanges, but also due to the unique rolls each time someone completes an objective.

They will serve so that everyone can fulfill one of their own. It is a way to remain attentive to any play and, of course, not to be left behind. The system allows that there are, in general, very disparate results. For its part, two will not have elements that are omitted or eliminated, with the exception of the 10 cards that we will remove to adjust the duration.

As we have seen, the oldest will be the ones who enjoy it the most. When faced with a family challenge, children will be able to participate without problems. In fact, in a game to CanDados they will be practicing with him simple calculation, with observation and attention, at the same time that they relate colors and results. They will learn to make decisions, driven by consequences.

Anima-T’s new project is a sample of how simplicity does not expire and how, despite the enormous number of games that are released every year, there are always proposals to come out. As already happened with Monster Deal, his previous game, the design is also marked by simplicity.

There are no distractions, so we can focus solely on winning. The numbers and letters that accompany each letter have large dimensions, making the task easier for those who do not have perfect eyesight. People with color blindness problems will have some other problem when it comes to associating colors, something that can be solved through the traditional icon system.


  • 46 Objective Cards
  • 4 Challenge Cards
  • 3 Letters of Help
  • Rules Letter
  • 5 Color Dice

The photographs used for this review are taken from its prototype, so they do not correspond to a final design.

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