How Dingbats Works

How to Play Dingbats

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Even though the board game versions of Dingbats are all currently out of print, there are plenty of copies to be found in gaming cabinets and for sale online. To begin playing the Dingbats board game, four of each of the three types of cards are placed face down on the game board, then each player rolls the dice (or, depending on the version of the game, you may spin the revolving playing board with an arrow in one corner; where the arrow points when the board stops will indicate who goes first).

If you have the highest roll (or if you are on the winning end of the game board's arrow), you'll be the first to flip one of the puzzle cards, starting at one of the board's corners. As your turn as Solver begins, an opponent will set a 30-second timer. When you think you've figured out the answer, say it aloud and then flip over the card to read the solution.

If you've solved the puzzle on the card, keep the card and keep going: The idea is to correctly solve as many cards as you can before time runs out and play passes to the left.

How will you know which card to go for next? Under each card is an arrow printed on the board; usually more than one arrow is present, which means you will have options when it comes to choosing the next adjacent card. Rarely, there will not be a card in the space indicated by the arrow; in that case, you can choose any card on the board at random.

If you didn't solve the puzzle, replace the card and place a new one from a different-colored deck on top of it. The person who solves the puzzle on the top card will get to keep both cards. Sometimes this jackpot will include multiple cards; each card in the jackpot is factored into the solver's score.

The game continues until the cards are gone from all 12 spaces. These solved puzzle cards will either end up in your pile or an opponent's, and you'll need to tally the points of each card in your respective haul.

If you have the high score, feel free to scream, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner" or any other victorious refrain that comes to mind. You could also up the ante by adding the game's 12 optional wild cards to your next round; these cards can give a player extra time to solve a puzzle, cause a player to miss a turn or reward a player with double points [source: Ravensburger].