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Game #3377
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Can't Stop    View all Top Dogs in this genreCollection: Unofficial Boardgame Conversions
Strategy   Board - Western

Rating: 7.25 (8 votes)

Can't Stop box cover

Can't Stop screenshot
Can’t Stop is an excellent freeware PC version of the Parker Brothers board game of the same name designed by Sid Sackson, legendary board game designer (Acquire, Domination, and dozens others). The game is best described as a “progressive scoring dice game” where one of the major part of strategy lies in deciding when to stop rolling the dice. The game page at Sid Sackson fan site elaborates in more detail:

Can’t Stop is based on the fact that it's easier to make a 7 with dice than it is a 2. In fact, as anyone who's taken any dice game seriously knows, the chances in 36 of making numbers are as follows: 2: 1 in 36, 3: 2 in 36, 4: 3 in 36, 5: 4 in 36, 6: 5 in 36, 7: 6 in 36, 8: 5 in 36, and on back down to 12: 1 in 36.

The game is played on a board that's shaped like a stop sign, with square indentations making columns under the numbers from 2 to 12. There are 3 indentations in the 2 column, 5 indentations in the 3 column, on up to 13 indentations in the 7 column, and back down to 3 indentations in the 12 column. To win the game, a player must capture three columns.

There are four dice. On each roll, the player chooses how he wants to pair off the dice, making two numbers from two dice each. He's got three temporary place markers. At the start of the game, let's say he rolls a 1, 2, 4, and 6. He can call that a 3 and a 10, or a 5 and an 8, but he chooses to call it a 6 and a 7. He places two of the place markers at the bottom of the 6 and 7 columns. He rolls again. This time, he gets three 1's and a 6. The only possible combination is 2 and 7. So, he moves the marker that's already in the 7 column up one notch, and places the last marker in the 2 column.

From here on in, he can keep rolling and advancing the markers as long as it's possible to make either a 2, a 6, or a 7. After every roll, he can pass the dice and call his turn over, replacing the temporary markers with markers in his color. This progress up the columns is permanent, and he'll continue from there on subsequent turns. However, if he rolls a 4, a 5, and two 6's, he craps out as he can't make any of his numbers, the temporary markers come off the board, and he's made no progress on this turn. Once he gets to the top of a column, he has captured it, and three columns wins the game.

The beauty of the game is in that ability to keep on going. It's so tempting to try just one more roll, and so nerve-racking to know that it'll probably be one roll too many. And as much as you take the odds into consideration, dice are capricious. This is almost always a raucous game, with players taunting each other, trying to goad them into going too far, or teasing them for being chicken when they play it safe.” If you enjoy abstract strategy games, especially ones that are based on mathematical concepts, this computerized version thanks to George Crawshay (compiled by Bob Claster) is well worth your time. Recommended!

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Sid Sackson & George Crawshay
Developer: Freeware
Publisher: Freeware
Year: 2000
Software Copyright: George Crawshay
Theme: Unique
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links: The Great Games of Sid Sackson, Board Gamers Anonymous (rules translation)
If you like this game, try: Bermuda Square, Choice, Rummi

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