Games Gazette Logo


PASS the PANDAS is, to coin their blurb "The Fast & Fun Dice Game That's Pure Panda-monium!"

Designed by Ken Gruhl and Quentin Weir with artwork by Peter Campofiori for 2-5 players aged 6 plus


One Rules booklet (basically one sheet of thin glossy paper folded in half and printed on all four sides) and 20 custom made dice.
The dice, regular six-sided shape, are all the same: 3 Blanks, 1 Panda, 1 Bamboo and 1 Water droplet.

The number of dice in play for each game depends on the number of players; 2 & 3 players / 6 dice each, 4 players / 5 dice each  and 5 players/ 4 dice each.

The rules are simple which is how the game plays as fast as it does; with 2 players it's over in about 5 minutes and with 5 players it could go all the way up to 11 (minutes). The player who first loses all their dice wins. This tends to suggest that there is a possibility of winning on your first dice roll - roll all Water Drops and your dice are removed from play, thus you have lost all your dice and theoretically won. Another possibility if this happens is that other players may not have had a chance to even have one dice roll.

Played in turns (there are no specific changes based on the number of players - usually games require some small differences especially for 2 player games) we decided that when playing just the two of us to alternate who rolls first because your dice roll may be affected by the other player's dice roll.

On a player's turn they roll all their dice and remove all Water Droplets from play, Blanks remain but count as nothing, compare Bamboos rolled with how many the previous player rolled and if they rolled more than you they have to give you the difference (ie player A rolled 3 Bamboos then Player B rolls 1 Bamboo, so Player A gives 2 Bamboo to Player B). All Pandas rolled are passed to the other players; distributed by the roller to whom they wish.

The Bamboo Challenge (as the comparison of Bamboo is called) only counts if the 'next' player rolls less Bamboo than the previous player. If the 'next' player rolls more Bamboo than the previous player nothing happens.

Possible rules misunderstandings: The following are direct quotes:
About the Dice:  "Each image on the die corresponds to an action taken by the player who rolled it."
GGO: The images on the dice correspond to the Actions the rolling player must take. There are no options.
Rule 2. "Remove any Water Drops you rolled from the game."
Note:   "Remember that on every turn, players re-roll all of their dice."
GGO:  "Remember that on every turn, players re-roll all of their remaining dice." (previously rolled Water Drops are aside and out of the game)

If you are looking for a deep meaningful game, or even a meaningful game, this isn't for you. It is a game controlled 100% by the results of rolling the dice. It isn't like Yahtee® (for example) where you decide which dice to keep and which to re-roll, there aren't any re-rolls on your turn. There is no 'pushing your luck' there is only luck. 

Despite the fact that this is a 'no-game' game and all you do is roll dice then read and react to the results it is actually quite a lot of fun. It's for players aged 6 and upward, but it should be played as a beer & pretzels game (more beer - or wine - than pretzels) because it produces silly commentary, backward-snorts, and giggles galore. I found it in one spot on eBay for a very reasonable £10.00 + postage, but the regular price online seems to be from £15.00 + postage. In the UK I would suggest strongly that you don't buy it from the States or Australia because although it's good fun it isn't good value for £43.00 postage plus the required asking price.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015