What Makes a Game Good?

Staccabees is the result of many Chanukahs of experimentation--our quest for the perfect dreidel variation.  We even did some research on game theory, studied the work of a prolific game inventor, and looked at variations on the classics. Here are some thoughts on what makes a good family game.

Foreign or Familiar?
We wanted anyone who had played dreidel before to immediately find something familiar and comforting in Staccabees.  So, we made sure that each turn included a spin of the dreidel and that the traditional meanings ("gimel" = all; "hey" = half; "nun" = none; "shin" = minus one) were retained.  But we also wanted the game to seem fresh and new.
Winning or Not Losing?
In traditional dreidel, the winner is the player who didn't lose. One by one, all of the other players are eliminated as they run out of gelt or nuts or whatever.  This is not the way to have a happy family gathering.  In Staccabees, everyone remains in the game until someone wins.  This change alone makes Staccabees much more fun than traditional dreidel.
Golf, Chess, or War?
Some people prefer games where there is a lot of physical skill, like golf.  Others prefer a lot of strategy, like chess.  Still others prefer games that are totally without skill, like the children's game of "war" with a deck of cards.  Staccabees is a wonderful compromise of all three!  For the mindless player, there is no need to pay attention to what other players are doing: you just spin the dreidel and do what it says, without too much thought for how you place your cubes.  But for the strategist, there is ample opportunity to cogitate and ruminate.  And if you are really eager to develop your physical skill, why not play Staccabees solo, and send us a photo of your most masterful STACC.
Slow and Steady or Cinderella Story?
A good game offers players the feeling that they can make steady progress toward victory, but also offers the chance for apparently miraculous comebacks.  In Staccabees, you know you are closing in on victory when your pile of cubes is getting small.  But no player can ever be more than 3 "gimels" from a startling come-from-behind win!
Quality or Quantity?
Your Staccabees dreidel and game cubes are handcrafted in the USA from sustainably harvested hardwoods.  These simple and elegant playing pieces are designed to provide years of fun and excitement.
The End or the Beginning?
Like all great games, Staccabees is fun the first time, right out of the bag.  But it also invites the dreidel enthusiast to continue tinkering and inventing, for endless new challenges.  Check out some of our favorite rules variations, and be sure to share your ideas with us!

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