Game Length: 30 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 2-4 players who want to roll the bones
Can’t Stop is a classic and simple dice game where each player is trying to reach the top of a number of columns. It is a press-your-luck style game where the more you try to get out of each of your turns, the more you will eventually lose should your luck run out.
Players take turns to roll four 6-sided dice. These are separated into two pairs, as chosen by the player who rolled them, and temporary markers are placed on the values corresponding to those numbers. For example, dice rolls of 1, 4, 5 and 6 could be paired into results of 5 and 11, 6 and 10 or 7 and 9.
After each roll, the current player may choose to roll again, or stop rolling – they have three temporary markers they can place on the board, but after placing all three on the board, if they cannot form a pair of dice able to advance any of those, all progress is lost and play passes to the next player. If, however, they decide to end their turn, their progress is ‘saved’, and later on they can try to progress further up their chosen columns from where they stopped. The first player to reach the top of a column ‘scores’ that column, and no further rolls can be made on that number – the first player to score 3 columns wins the game.
The less likely values such as 2 and 12 only require three advancements to reach the top, while the more likely values such as 7 require many more – to reach the top of the 7 column requires 13 advancements. There is no prize for second place on a column and being beaten to the top can mean a lot of wasted turns – and in the closing turns of the game, one extra roll of the dice can be all that stands between victory and defeat.
Can’t Stop is a very simple game that anyone can pick up quite quickly, and makes a great light filler game. Despite being first published in 1980, it is still going strong and has had multiple reprints, which is testament to its appeal.