YAY! is played on an 8 x 8 grid. It has a simple mechanic of rolling 3 dice (d6s) and totaling the result. The game appears at first to be in a larger than necessary box, but this is because Noris have designed it with a solid wooden frame to hold the 64 square grid paper pad. The players then roll the 3 dice into the frame.
The player totals the value of all 3 dice and either writes this down in one of the squares touched by the dice (ie those on which the dice land or over lay) or rerolls all 3 dice. The second (or any consecutive) die roll must yield a number (total) greater than the previous roll otherwise the total is not written into a square.
Players may only write (each player has a pen of their own colour) their number down if it is isolated in a blank square - no numbers are ever over-written - or it is written in a blank square adjacent to one of their own numbers.
If they wish to write it in a square adjacent to another player’s number then their result must be a higher number (than their opponents). In this case the opponent’s number is X’d out (not wiped out - the square remains unusable).
The game ends when one horizontal (or more) and one vertical (or more) column/row has been filled - with numbers crossed out or not.
All squares that have not been crossed out should be checked and circled in the colour of the owning player - these being legitimate for scoring. The winner is the player who owns the most circles - not the value of the numbers within them (the total value only counts in the case of a draw).
YAY! seems at first to be a nothing game, just rolling dice and adding their value, but it is actually very clever and quite tactical. To start with it is just a case of rolling the dice, deciding if the number rolled is high enough (at this point any number is good) and writing it in the best tactically positioned square available to you.
As the game progresses there are less squares to aim for - literally you need to aim to get the dice to land where you want them to - and rerolling becomes important. If you fail on a reroll you must X out one of your previously written numbers.
There is a great desire when rolling the dice to try to roll the highest number you can, especially early on in play. It is easy to forget that it is the number of legitimate (scoring) squares that count towards winning NOT the total value of numbers in them.
YAY! is a good game for family play and can be taught to children just as easy as it can to adults. Noris Spiele have made sure it is universally available to the majority by having multi-lingual rules in the one box.