Blog Gaming Reviews Tabletop Games

Build a Tower of Dice in ‘Sutakku’

Reading Time: 7 minutes

How far will you push your luck? The upper you stack the cube, the extra factors you’ll rating—but should you don’t roll high enough, all of it comes crashing down.

What Is Sutakku?

Sutakku is a press-your-luck recreation for 1 or extra players, all ages, and takes about 15 minutes to play. It retailed for $14.95, but unfortunately is out of print now; you possibly can still discover copies online, otherwise you may get fortunate and discover it at a recreation retailer. (And, hey, should you can’t discover a copy, you might truly play with regular 6-sided dice.) Although it’s a recreation about stacking dice, it’s truly not a dexterity recreation—you would simply as easily line up the cube in a row as an alternative when you want. A word concerning the age score: the field says “14+” but the rulesheet says “all ages,” so I’m guessing the field score is just for legal safety reasons: you’ll be able to’t put lower ages until it’s been by means of all the varied safety testing. Suffice to say, the sport is fairly simple to study, so so long as your child isn’t going to eat the cube, they might in all probability play.

Sutakku componentsSutakku elements. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

Sutakku Elements

Here’s what comes in the box:

  • 12 cube
  • Stacking board
  • Scorepad
  • Material bag
  • 10 Smirky’s Problem cards (with rule card)

Sutakku diceListed here are the cube in numerical order. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The cube are very good: they’re 3/four″ six-sided dice with rounded corners, they usually’re chunky and heavy. The cube have kanji numbers on them as an alternative of Arabic numerals, and are engraved and painted in order that they gained’t put on off.

The stacking board is a two-piece board that matches collectively like a puzzle. It’s principally there to offer a reminder of the numerals for many who don’t read Japanese/Chinese, but I’ve also been using it just as a smoother stacking floor since I have a squishy playmat on my gaming table.

The Smirky’s Problem playing cards are optionally available, if you wish to throw in a little more “take that” (which Smirk & Dagger Games is understood for). The playing cards themselves are fairly rudimentary: they’re shiny on one aspect and matte on the other and don’t have rounded corners; the again has a good image on it, but the playing cards themselves are just a few easy text with a thematic title.

Sutakku bagThe pocket-sized bag holds virtually every little thing. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

The material bag can hold all of the cube and the cards comfortably. The stacking board matches inside as properly, however the pieces are just long sufficient which you could’t fairly close the bag. Relying on the place you’re enjoying (and once everyone can learn the numbers), you can depart the board and simply deliver the cube and playing cards. You’ll have to offer your personal means of maintaining rating, although, because the rating sheet is just too huge for the bag, too.

You can truly play the core recreation with any set of a dozen six-sided dice, and it might be fairly enjoyable. The larger cube make it simpler to stack them, and of course when you don’t have the Smirky’s Challenge cards, then you definitely’ll be missing that little bit of backstabbing.

The way to Play Sutakku

The Aim

The objective of the game is to attain probably the most factors over 5 rounds.


There’s not likely a lot setup besides to put the stacking board on the desk and decide a first participant.


In your turn, you possibly can maintain rolling and stacking dice till you choose to cease or you bust. Then you definitely rating your points for the spherical, clear the stack, and the subsequent player takes their flip.

If you roll, you roll three cube at a time, and then you will need to place two of them onto the stack. A die might solely be added if it is the similar or larger worth than the die under it. In case you can’t add a two dice after a roll, then you definitely bust and rating nothing.

Mulligan: Once per round, you might take a mulligan to re-roll, but you only get to roll 2 dice. In the event you can’t place both of them, you then bust.

Doubles: In the event you roll doubles of a value that’s larger than the third die, chances are you’ll place all three cube, as long as they’re all authorized placements. If the doubles are decrease than the third die, you just place two dice as normal.

Triples: Should you roll triples and it’s legal to put them, you might place all three. If the triples can’t be placed legally, you get a free re-roll of all three dice.

Sutakku stacked diceThis stack would rating 25 points. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu


For those who don’t bust and determine to cease, you rating factors. Your score is the worth of the very best die multiplied by the quantity of dice in the stack. There are also some attainable bonuses.

The Rule of 5: For those who push your luck and roll again when a 5 is on prime and succeed, you earn a bonus 50 factors.

The Rule of 6: Should you push your luck and roll again when a 6 is on prime and succeed, you earn a bonus 100 factors.

(Chances are you’ll solely score each bonus once per spherical, even for those who successfully push your luck twice with the identical quantity.)

A Tower of 12: In the event you handle to stack all 12 cube, you then get 200 bonus points. Notice that you simply’ll be rolling fewer than 3 dice in your final flip. In the event you’re right down to 1 die, you might roll it and try to add it—you don’t bust because you have been solely in a position so as to add 1 die, because it’s the last one left.

Recreation Finish

The sport ends after five rounds. The very best score wins.

Sutakku: Smirky's Challenge cardsSmirky’s Problem playing cards. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

Smirky’s Challenge

To throw in the Smirky’s Problem playing cards, you first roll off to see who goes first; the very best roller goes first and draws a card from the deck. Anybody who busts once they have been making an attempt to stack on a tower of solely 2 or 3 cube also will get to draw a card. There’s no hand limit.

Just one card could also be performed on a player during a round. Most cards are “Pre-Roll Challenges” and have to be performed earlier than a participant starts, they usually make it more durable—but there are bonus factors if they succeed. In some instances, you could play playing cards on yourself to try to get the bonus points.

When you run out of cards, shuffle the discard pile to type a new deck. If you could draw a card and there are none left, you get to steal one at random from another player—so don’t hoard cards!

Why You Ought to Play Sutakku

I’m usually making an attempt to keep up with critiques of new video games, notably with the stream of Kickstarter campaigns, which signifies that as soon as a recreation gets previous a sure age, it tends to drop off my radar. And, sadly, that signifies that some gems get missed, regardless of how onerous I try to keep up with the whole lot. Sutakku was revealed back in 2011, however I truly never managed to get it to the table till only recently, and I was pleasantly stunned.

First, a observe concerning the theme: the sport is loosely based mostly on the previous folktale concerning the stonecutter. You’ll be able to learn a longer model right here, however the gist is that the stonecutter (who had been joyful together with his life) turned dissatisfied when he saw a rich man, and he wished to be just like the rich man—and his wish was granted. However he stored seeing someone or one thing else that seemed even more powerful, so he turned a prince, then the sun, then a cloud, then a mountain—and ultimately a stonecutter once more, the place he was finally glad. There’s not a large cause this recreation needs a theme in any respect, but this one appears about nearly as good as any, and provides an excuse for utilizing custom kanji dice as an alternative of cube with regular pips.

The gameplay (without the playing cards) is fairly basic press-your-luck. On this case, it will get more durable and more durable to add to the stack as a result of you need to roll greater and higher numbers. What you actually need is to have a lot of low numbers so that it’s straightforward to build up the stack, and then end with a 6 so that you simply get a greater multiplier at the end.

One tough choice is when to use your mulligan. Should you roll excessive numbers on your first roll, do you go forward and stack them (and perhaps hope for a Rule of 5 bonus), or do you’re taking a mulligan, hoping for decrease numbers with the intention to stack a bit larger first? Do you intentionally add a 5 or 6 to your stack as an alternative of a lower die, simply to chase that potential bonus?

The Rule of 5 and Rule of 6 additionally tempt you to maintain pushing past the purpose of “safety.” You might have pretty good odds of stacking on prime of a four, but the odds drop considerably if you want to roll excessive enough to stack on a 5 or 6. However you then assume to your self: 50 factors! That’s pretty good, right? And should you busted the earlier round, you’re much more tempted to take some risks because the other players could also be farther forward and it’s your only probability of catching up.

Sutakku stackStacking all 12 cube scores a large bonus, however it’s very arduous to succeed. Photograph: Jonathan H. Liu

To date the very best I’ve ever managed is 160 points in a single round—I started with a lot of low numbers and built as much as eight dice, at which point I had a 6 on prime. I pushed, and managed to roll two 6s. That put me at 10 dice, so I obtained 60 factors for the stack, and 100 bonus factors for the Rule of 6. In fact, the other gamers inspired me to go for the 200 bonus factors, however I figured my luck was already stretched to the breaking level by then. The worst I’ve ever executed is 0 points … for your complete recreation. Typically, Woman Luck just doesn’t care.

The Smirky’s Problem cards throw some fun wrenches into the sport—because you get to attract them should you bust on a low stack (primarily, in your second roll), it mitigates the luck simply a little bit, as a result of it provides players with the worst luck a smidge of control. They will make issues more durable for an additional player, or determine to take a greater danger themselves in an try and meet up with the bonus points.

If Curt Covert (of Smirk & Dagger Games) is reading this, I’m sorry it took me so lengthy to provide this one a attempt. I’ve had a blast, and it’s been a nice recreation to break out once I’ve had two games going at recreation night time and one group finishes earlier than the opposite—or once we’re on the lookout for something to play while we wait for everyone to arrive. I feel it’s one that may in all probability find its means into my journey games rotation for positive.

As I stated before—Sutakku is now out of print, however in the event you’re fortunate enough to seek out a copy somewhere, it’s value choosing up! And if not, you possibly can all the time play it using a regular set of dice.

Click on right here to see all our tabletop recreation evaluations.

To subscribe to GeekDad’s tabletop gaming coverage, please copy this link and add it to your RSS reader.

Disclosure: GeekDad acquired a copy of this recreation for evaluation functions.

<img data-attachment-id="259121" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="1000,290" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"zero","credit score":"","digital camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"zero","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="NoMoney_" data-image-description="

No money modified arms for this assessment.

” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ class=”wp-image-259121 size-large alignnone” src=”″ alt=”” peak=”auto” data-recalc-dims=”1″/>

Favored it? Take a second to help the GeekFamily Community on Patreon!

Get the Official GeekDad Books!