Parcheesi board game
by Carolyn Osborne
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
2-4The Parcheesi board game (known as Ludo in Europe) does not offer much strategy; the game is mostly luck. It’s a good game to play with a child, because everyone has a good chance of winning.
The Game and gameplay
The game is offered by various companies in various editions because it is an ancient, open-copyright game, like Chess or Checkers.
Parcheesi was invented in India where it remains popular. It is a game for four players; the object is to get your four pieces from start to “home”, rolling a pair of dice and moving around the board.
Advancement in Parcheesi is based on rolling the right numbers. You have to roll a five to get a piece out on the board and you have to roll the exact number to get a piece into “home”. So, players tend to cross their fingers or hold their lucky rabbit’s foot a lot.There is some strategy for how to use the rolls you are given. For example, with two pieces you can form a blockade and keep other players from advancing. Sometimes the rolls force you to end your blockade, or to make other moves that you are not particularly happy about.
You can also send other players’ pieces back to the starting point by landing on the same spot where they are. Doubles on your dice roll gets you an extra turn.
Pros and Cons
This is a great first game for children (maybe second, after Candyland). With this game, they can learn how to be a gracious winner and a good loser because they will experience both.
They can learn how to keep their emotions from making their behavior obnoxious when someone sends their piece back to start or when they come upon a blockade; and these are really important life lessons for kids.
Also, as a good game for children, it offers opportunities to teach basic statistics of dice: what numbers you are likely to roll most often and how you can use that in strategy. Being seven spaces away from something is great because that’s the number rolled most often, that sort of thing.
Because there is some strategy in it, kids can learn how to anticipate what someone else is likely to do and how to maximize their own positions using the rolls they get. At the same time, the strategy is not so significant that kids will never win, which can be frustrating for them and make games no fun.
If you like games that have a significant luck element, then this is a really fun game because you can race your pieces along the board and you never know what will happen.
If you are a strategy kind of person, this is a less fun game because the dice will do you in every time. It’s less fun than Backgammon, which is also a combination of strategy and luck, but with a bit more strategy.
The Parcheesi board game board game is a wonderful family game, because people of all ages can compete on a mostly level playing field. Because the process of playing the game is easy to learn, it is a great game to help kids learn the social and technical aspects of playing games with dice.