(P)review – Private Die or Guess Who Won This Time?


First off let me throw out there a big apology for this being so late. We played it awhile ago and wrote this, and then all hell broke loose. 4 family birthdays, set-up for NYCC, Mars Attacks finally showing up, recovering from Comic-con…

Jen: We have a package downstairs.

Herb: Fine, I’m not doing anything important.

Jen: But we have a package downstairs.


Jen: But it might be the yellow beanie hat I ordered.

Herb: …

Jen: Hello?

We received an unmarked manilla envelope with “Confidential” in red sharpie. Immediatly I got the same feeling I got when I opened Agents, minus the coffee stain.

I think for the first time ever, I read the rules and 5 minutes later we were playing. They were actually that simple. Private Die is a push your luck dice game that puts you in the role of a detective trying to solve cases. To achieve this you roll a 12 sided “witness” die numbered 7-18. Your goal is to roll that number or as close as possible on your 5 “interrogation” dice without going over the target number. You have witness cards that are revealed every turn which modify these rolls or allow other things to happen like re-rolls. If you are the player who is closest to the target number without going over, you win that round and receive a number of “clue” chips equal to the number of dice you rolled. On your turn you may also spend these chips to roll more dice.

The first person to reach 15 chips is the winner.

During the first game Jen was a bit lost because she sucks at anything with dice. The fourth turn the witness die showed a 12, I decided to roll 3 dice, and rolled a 12, she slapped me dead in the face. This, my friends, is a sign of a competitive game, and Love. Rarely do we finish a new game and then both immediately reset everything for another game.

I also want to throw this out there, on the second game, Jen and I got so into the game that we didn’t realize that Jen had won about 3 rounds previous. She had about 25 chips…

I’ve played a lot of games where it was obvious that were tweaked endlessly and tirelessly refined, and the game just doesn’t make me want to keep playing. Just going through the motions to win isn’t fun. Private Die challenges you to look the other players in the eye and say “Screw you!” and throw three dice to make a 12. I can’t wait until Jen and the girls play this together. I’ll be sure to go grocery shopping or something because I know when I return there will be at least 1 black eye or missing tooth.

I usually end articles with “if you like (name a game) you’ll love this”, but this is actually a just plain fun dice game thats fun for everyone. Back it now on Kickstarter, you still have time.


Herb Ferman is the lowly other-half of Jennifer Chan. Raised on the planet Earth he is a carbon based life-form who eats food and walks upright. When not doing the previously mentioned things he plays board games, breathes air and yells at people who poke him in the eye with umbrellas.