Do you have five minutes for fun? Of course, you do! Get your dancing shoes on, it’s time to throw down.
Breakdancing Meeples, designed by Ben Moy and published by Atlas Games, is a light and amusing dexterity game that’s great for playing with family or friends. It’s fast and simple to learn, plus it has a super quick gameplay time which means it’s easy to squeeze in a few games to warm up, in between meatier games, when you’re short on time or, like, whenever! It’s small, tin box means it’s easy to transport so you can play on the move too.
The aim of the game is to score the most points by rolling your Dance Crew of meeples and matching them to the dance positions on your cards earning you Crowd Appeal.
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble
Setting up takes no time at all, each player takes a Crew in their chosen colour, 6 cubes of that colour and the two starting routine cards also of that colour.
The rest of the cards are then shuffled and placed face down near the play area, and you’re ready to rock.
Hit the Dancefloor
You’ve got your crew, you’ve got room to break it down, now all you need are some sweet beats. Well, the Breakdancing Meeples app has you covered!
This free to download app includes a one-minute countdown timer needed for the Dance Off, an encouraging MC, some background beats and a score tracker built-in.
I really felt that the app added to the game, the music and MC really draw you into the world of the game and not having to stop to write down scores is really beneficial to keeping the game moving at its fast pace.
Don’t worry though, if you’d rather not play with the app. It’s all cool, all you really need is a minute timer to countdown your dance rounds.
They See Me Rollin’
As soon as the Dance Off begins you need to roll your meeples.
Meeples can land in one of four positions; on their Feet, on their Head, on their Side or lying flat. The first three can be assigned to routines, but those lazy meeples need to work harder for your Crew!
Quickly check the positions your meeples landed in! If a meeple has thrown the shapes you need, lock them into position by placing them onto your routine card. Those meeples are now locked in and cannot be re-rolled until the routine is complete, the rest of your meeples must be re-rolled.
Then keep rolling, and rolling, and rolling until you complete a routine!
Once you complete a routine you shout out its name and place a cube onto one of the scoring squares at the bottom of the card. AND THEN ROLL SOME MORE! Time is running out and you want to wow the crowd the most in order to win.
This is going to test both your dexterity and mental agility! Not only do you need to be rolling super fast, but you also need to check for which meeple positions you require, and whether or not they landed in your desired pose. Oftentimes I found myself picking up meeples and a split second later realising they were actually in the position I needed...my brain needs to catch up with my hands apparently!
After each round, there is the Remix phase, in which three cards are drawn from the Routine deck and can be added to your personal routines. Starting with the player with the lowest crowd appeal, you each get to pick a new routine to add to your Crews Dances. However, you can only have a maximum of 3 routines at any one time. If you wish to draw a new routine and already have three, you must discard one first.
There are also some ‘dancer modifier’ routines in the deck. These cards don’t reward you with crowd appeal and instead offer the ability to turn two types of dancer from your roll into one other. Handy if you’re trying to complete the harder routines, but another element to consider whilst trying to go AS-FAST-AS-YOU-CAN!
Work The Crowd Appeal
Within the Remix, deck lie five Rally cards. These cards usually have a cost attached (you’ll likely need to pay one crowd appeal point to buy them) and can be attached to your existing routines.
They often give the option to place one more cube onto a routine once completed earning you more crowd appeal.
They also do not count towards your total routine card limit, so they can be great cards to snag if they come up in the draw.
Don’t Cheat to the Beat!
One thing that might cause issues is if there are any cheaters lurking. You need to be really honest about your rolls and the placement of your dancers. Everyone is so busy rolling their own meeples, that if someone wanted to cheat it’d be pretty easy.
The beauty of this game for me is that losing isn’t an issue. You can easily have a rematch in five minutes, so the defeat doesn’t stay with you. This game is really more about the fun had whilst rolling than winning.
So don’t cheat, Bro.
My Final Thoughts
This game is Fun. Honestly, dexterity games aren’t usually my bag, I much prefer strategic abstract games. But Breakdancing Meeples has something that really appeals to me.
I love that you can pick it up and play so quickly, I actually played a game recently whilst cooking dinner (and nothing burned!). It makes it really accessible and easy to get to the table. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to truly stretch my brain but I do want a chance to play something light and entertaining and Breakdancing Meeples definitely checks those boxes.
The game has great player interaction, and shouting the various routine cards names upon completion is often amusing. Particularly because I can never seem to pronounce ‘Bluedikrus’ in the heat of the moment.
Each round feels like a mini-race and your heart rate will elevate just like you were doing the real thing. (Not science. No heart rates measured.) But the pressure and the silly-named routines and the shouting adds up to good fun had by all
If you enjoy dexterity games and are eager to show off your physical prowess, Breakdancing Meeples is sure to thrill. For well-rounded dexterity skills, why not try some other games that focus on other challenges, such as balance in the tower building game Rhino Hero or the penguin flicking game, Ice Cool. With all that talent, you’ll be heading to the Olympics in no time!