Yatzy Twist is a Kristanix Games version of the Milton Bradley original Yahtzee! dice game. There isn’t really anything new that can be said about the classic dice-throwing game, but for anyone who doesn’t know it, it’s a game of chance won by accumulating the most points based on specific scoring sequences of five dice. Yatzy Twist captures the essence of the game in a simple to play, no frills way.
In this version, the top half of your screen is the scoring sheet and the bottom half is the dice field. By tapping on the “throw” button your dice will be rolled out onto the screen. After deciding which dice to keep and which to re-roll, you simply tap the keepers and hit “throw” again. Just like the original, you get three rolls total to score the most points in any given category. Granted, the tap-to-throw isn’t quite the same as shaking that little plastic cup and throwing the dice out on a table, it beats shaking your iPhone/iPod every time you roll.
Yatzy Twist has worked in several nice features for such a simplistic app, the best of which is found in the score sheet field. The game highlights the categories each throw can apply to and tallies your points automatically. This allows you to see at a glance which category you can use your final roll for as well as the point value you will earn. When you tap on the score you’d like to record, it asks for a quick confirmation, which avoids scoring mistakes.
There are two modes of play in Yatzy Twist — classic and Maxi Yatzy. The Maxi version is a bit different, which I suppose is the “twist.” It includes six dice and added categories, such as 2 pair, 3 pair, and “cabin,” to the classic categories of small straight, large straight, three of a kind, and so on. In both modes, you have the option to play alone, play against the computer, or play with up to three other people.
The sound effects in Yatzy Twist are minimal, limited only to the sound of the rolling dice and a serene instrumental background song. You can adjust sound settings within the options menu. Speaking of options menu, it’s not available from the start menu, but rather you have to access it through the information icon located in the lower right hand corner of the game screen. Once there, you can restart your current game, start a new game, and turn the music up or down.
While Yatzy Twist is not the trademarked version of the game as Yahtzee! Adventures for iPhone appears to be, it plays out pretty much the same and with the multi-player feature, the simple scoring, and smooth transitions from roll to roll, it is a simple, pick-up-and-play version that any Yahtzee! fan can appreciate. Though I suspect most people in a group would prefer to play the real version rather than pass their phone around, Yatzy Twist remains a more than acceptable electronic version of the game.