Back in 2011, I posted this simple push-your-luck dice game called Bombs Away that could be played with one die. I soon discovered some similarities to a 1994 casino-themed dice game called Sharp Shooters, which was later reimplemented by Ravensburger as Royal Casino and Temptation.
The basic mechanic still appeals to me, though I've since taken as a personal challenge not to design any games with violent or combat themes. So, the bomb has to go. Curious about alternate "ticking timebomb" metaphors would work with this mechanic, I kind of like the image of a mystery egg. Players are taking turns sitting on an egg until it hatches.
The longer you sit on the egg, the more claim you have over it, but what comes out of the egg may not be what you expect! The egg is represented by one d6. You roll the die to sit on the for one day and place one of your colored cubes in an open space beside the result.
1 [ ]
2 [ ] [ ]
3 [ ] [ ] [ ]
4 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
5 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
6 [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
You can continue sitting on it, rolling once for each day, or you can pass your turn to the next player. If you ever roll a result which has no empty spaces, the egg hatches! All sorts of things might hatch from the egg, resulting in different benefits and penalties for each player who sat on the egg. There is quite a bit of information to draw from this simple system.
- Did the egg hatch on a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6? Each might be a special group of results, with 1 being the most rare results since it's so unlikely.
- Who sat on the egg the longest? Whatever hatches may reward this player for taking the time to incubate it.
- Who hatched the egg? Even if you didn't spent much time sitting on the egg, whatever hatches might imprint on you, giving you some benefit in the long-term.
- Who sat on the egg the least? Whatever hatches might resent this player for not spending enough time caring for it. Or maybe go the opposite direction and reward this cautious player!
- Which row is most occupied when the egg hatched? This might determine the value of whatever hatches, meaning if there were a lot of 5s filled on the egg, but it hatched on a 2, it gets some special ability.
Want to get even crazier? Make it a worker placement game where players incubate a whole roost of eggs. Each player bids to lay on a chosen egg, each being incubated at different rates based on the preceding die roles. In this case, pecking order really does matter. Neat!