NADA! (Family Fiends) Review
“Match, Snatch, and Win!”
Let’s face it; ours is a plugged in world. And for the most part, that’s a good thing. Never before have we had such access to so much knowledge, so much entertainment, so much fun, at just the click of a button. That being said, the simple pleasures in life are important too, and it can be tough to get everyone unplugged for some good old fashioned family time. Blue Orange Games seeks to help you change that, with some brand new family games that are both loads of fun and affordable (two of my favorite things!).
Today we’re taking a look at NADA!, a game that is high on quick reflexes with a pretty low learning curve. It’s an exceedingly simple concept – basically, just find the matches before any one else does. The game comes with thirty-six dice, half of them orange, and the other half white. Each of the dice are printed are printed with a fun symbol like cherries, sharks, skulls, anchors, and more. You’ll play three different rounds to make a game, and each round consists of rolling twelve of the dice (six in each color).
When the dice are rolled, you have to find a match that spans both colors. For instance, if you find both an orange dice with a skull showing, and a white one – you have a match. If you are the first to call out “skulls”, you get to keep those two dice. Your goal is to end the game as the player with the most dice. It is not a match if the dice are the same color – for instance, two white dice with palm trees – and it is that that trips you up more than anything. Your brain will want you find the matches in the same color, and that is what makes it challenging. If there are no matches left on the table, the first person who calls out Nada! with their hand flat over the dices gets to keep all the dice remaining on the field.
Simply being quick with “Nada!” can win the game for you, as there are often quite a few mismatched dice on the table. You can’t just go yelling Nada! or Bunnies! willy-nilly though. If you do make a mistake and call out a wrong match (or call Nada! when there are matches present), you will be penalized. When a wrong call is made, all the dice on the board get re-rolled, and the person who made the bad call has to sit out of play until the next round. Harsh!
That’s pretty much it, but there are some suggested variations for those who like to a little more variety. The “Secret Throw” variation has each player starting out with a personal “dice bank”. At the start of each round, the players must all roll a pre-determined number of dice. The twist is that which colors or combination of colors each player rolls is secret. Once the dice are rolled, the game plays out as before, but the idea that you could have a whole table full of just white mixes things up a bit, as obviously no matches can be made. In the “All In” version, all thrity-six dice are thrown at once, with the player who finds a match collecting all of the dice that show that symbol. However you choose to play, NADA! is a game that requires quick reflexes and an even quicker mind.
You know, as a family we love board games. But to be honest, it can feel really hard to carve out enough time to get a game or two in (Monopoly anyone?) And that’s what I love about this game. If you have ten minutes, you have time for a game. And the kids loved it. The game is suggested for ages seven and up, and that makes sense from a competitive standpoint, as younger kids may be frustrated at not finding matches before their older counterpoints. Your mileage may vary though, as I found my seven year old was usually the quickest on the draw in our games even when much older players were involved – so if you think your six year old can handle it, go for it! Plus, it’s a bag full of cool dice – my kids just plain loved stacking and sorting them, even after the game time was over.
NADA! is a simple yet engaging dice game that will have your whole family getting in on the frantic fun. It’s a simple enough concept that even younger kids will be able to easily grasp it, yet it is also genuinely fun to play as an adult. With each game clocking in at around ten minutes or so, it’s the perfect game for busy families – and a great way to connect with your kids, even if it feels like you never have a moment free. The included carrying case and compact size of the game makes it easily tucked into a purse or a backpack for gaming on the go.