Thursday 17 October 2013

Review - Don't Worry! (aka Parcheesi)

Don't Worry!

Don't Worry!
Published by Oaze.
For 2-4 players, aged 5 to adult (or 2 to adult in my house).

I am far from being a snob when it comes to board games. I don't turn my nose up at dumb games like Dungeon! and I am usually happier crawling through a dungeon in search of treasure than I am matching wits with someone in a game of Chess (although I do love Chess too). While my preference is definitely for thematic games, my collection is actually pretty diverse. Ingenious sits next to Kingdom Builder which sits next to Zombicide which sits next to Lords of Waterdeep which sits next to Gears of War. Anyway, you get the idea...

Despite my "come one, come all" attitude, there are still a few games that make me shudder: Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, all the usual suspects. Parcheesi is actually one of the games that fits into that "shuddery" category. It just isn't a game I would have in my collection through choice.

However, it is a game I own.

You see, it was my birthday back in June (I was 21 again), and my daughter (who is two years old) had picked a present for me. She had chosen it herself while she was out shopping with my wife. She had chosen it because it was big, bright, and "a game for Daddy."

She had chosen Don't Worry! A version of Parcheesi  released by a German company called Oaze.

Yeah. Parcheesi.

It is obvious to see why this version of the classic game caught the eye of a two year old. The box is huge, the colours are vibrant, and the playing pieces are an absolute joy. I mean really, just look at the pictures of them.

Don't Worry! playing pieces

Don't Worry! playing pieces

Don't Worry! playing pieces

Don't Worry! playing pieces

I admit, I was impressed with the look of the game. Laying out the board is like laying out the background for a cartoon, and the animal playing pieces are really chunky (I am a sucker for a game that comes with nice toys). Even the dice is huge. It is clearly a game designed for little hands, and in terms of production quality it is a triumph.

But it's still Parcheesi. It has attractive playing pieces, but it's still the same old rules that I dislike (presented in an ugly rules leaflet).

Don't Worry! rules
Dense text, dumb rules.

But a few days after my birthday, something happened. I had left the game in the lounge, and while I was working, my daughter pulled on my sleeve to get my attention. She pointed to the box, and said "I want that, please."

I took the game out of the box and laid everything on the floor, and then (knees creaking in protest), I got down on the floor too. I thought my daughter just wanted to play with the cute animal pieces, but to my surprise she picked up the dice, rolled it, counted the pips, and then moved a playing piece.


She didn't want to play with the animals. She wanted to PLAY.

That first time, we got through about a quarter of a game (playing slightly simplified rules) before she got bored. Since then, we have played the game on a regular basis. We still haven't got to the point where one of us has got a full set of playing pieces "home," but we get a little closer each time.

Don't Worry! board
The Don't Worry! board.

No. This hasn't changed my opinion of Parcheesi. I still don't think it's a very good game. But it is a game that I can play with my daughter. And any game that enables me to spend more time with her deserves a place in my game collection.


  1. That is excellent! And those playing pieces DO look cool...

    1. Thanks. They are very cool. My pictures don't do them justice... I should have put something in the shots to give a sense of the scale, as they are pretty chunky. It really is a lovely production, and if you have to play Parcheesi, this is a good set to go for. The box is massive though. I could probably be buried in it.


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