We all have our favorite "go to" Windows Phone games for when we need to waste a little time. Time when you have ten minutes before quitting time and the only other option is to count paper clips. Times when you're waiting in line at the DMV to get your tag renewed, in the waiting room at the doctors or waiting for your take-out order to be ready at the restaurant where time seems to be at a stand still.

There are plenty of games in the Windows Phone Store that will keep you entertained and help the time pass by quicker. The Xbox Windows Phone game Yahtzee is one such game.

Not only do you have the classic game of Yahtzee to keep you busy but there are four other variations of the game to play as well as an adventure mode. There's plenty of gaming involved with Yahtzee, some room for improvement, and overall it's an appealing game for your Windows Phone.

While there are plenty of Yahtzee games available in the Windows Phone Store, the Xbox version is the official Yahtzee game for our Windows Phone. Unfortunately, all the "Xbox" in this official version is achievements and Xbox Live leaderboards.  Seems a little lacking.

Yahtzee Settings
Yahtzee Options, Achievements and Custom Play

Off the main menu you have options to play the Adventure Game, play a classic game, customize a game, view your achievements and leaderboards, view the extras (awards, player bios, and statistics), access the game's options and view the help/about screens.

Gaming options include cover music/sound options, a shake setting (for shaking the Windows Phone to roll the dice), turning on/off tutorials, and turning on/off speed play.

Your dice throws can be accomplished by tapping on the blue cup or shaking your Windows Phone. Just make sure you have a firm grip or your phone may go sailing across the room.

Yahtzee Classic and Rainbow games

The Yahtzee game modes include:

The Classic Game: This is your standard five dice game of Yahtzee where you roll the dice to match scoring established categories.

You are given five dice that you can roll three times. After each roll you can hold dice that can be used to build a match the various scoring categories.

You have upper category section which represents straight totals of dice and lower category section that require a little more effort to match. These lower categories include three of a kind, full-house, straights, etc.

Duplicate Yahtzee: Duplicate Yahtzee adds an element of strategy to the game. You and your opponent's dice rolls are identical. The outcomes of each turn vary based on the dice that you hold and those you choose to roll again.

In a nutshell, the fifteen dice rolls are identical for you and your opponent. You just need to make sure you pick the right ones to hold for the higher score.

Rainbow Yahtzee:  The Rainbow version of the game is played with colored dice (red, green and red) and has the same categories as the Classic Game but adds four additional scoring categories to the game. You can try to roll a colored flush or a colored full-house (two of one color, three of another).

Duplicate Rainbow Yahtzee: Similar to Duplicate Yahtzee but includes the colored dice.

Battle Yahtzee: This multiplayer game begins with each player having 100 points. You still roll the dice to match a scoring category but points earned are taken away from your opponent or replenish your score. When you match a lower scoring category (full-house, three of a kind, Yahtzee, etc.) the points are deducted from your opponent. When you match an upper category (ones, twos, threes, etc.) the points can be used to replenish your score.

The chance scoring category (the sum of all your dice) presents an interesting twist to Battle Yahtzee. When you choose that category another die is rolled to determine how the points are used. They can be used against all opponents, as health points to replenish your score or poison to reduce your score.

Yahtzee Adventure
Yahtzee Adventure Game

The Adventure Game is a multi-stage game that has you battling various computer opponents. The Adventure Game has you playing all variations of Yahtzee. The further you advance in the Adventure Game, the more challenging the opponents become.  It's an entertaining way to play a wide variety of games but the only downside to the Adventure Game is that it is a little short lived.  You can have re-matches with the opponents but that can get a little old after a while.

If you are looking for a quick game, the Play Now option from the main menu will launch a Classic Game for you to enjoy. You can go into the Custom Play option and create a stand alone Rainbow, Battle or Duplicate game. The Custom Play has options to create a multi-player (pass and play) game for up to four of your friends.

Electronic Arts and Hasbro did a good job with the Yahtzee. It has plenty of gaming to keep the game from growing stale and the Adventure Game gives you an opponent when one may not be available. The game has a decent pace to it and if you want to speed things up when you're facing a computer opponent, just tap the screen to advance.

There are a few nits to this fine game though. First, and this is more cosmetic, every time you launch Yahtzee you are greeted with a screen asking if you want to enable game music and sound effects. Regardless of your answer, you are always greeted by this screen and it can be rather annoying. You should only have to answer once. If you want to change your mind, simply go into the gaming options.

Yahtzee launch screen, extras and achievements

Next, the Xbox features are rather weak. Sure, XBox achievements and leaderboards are nice but you can't help but think there should be more. You have a player profile in the Adventure Game but it's not linked to your XBox Live profile. You may not be able to have an animated player like your opponents but you would think a profile picture would be possible.

Another suggestion for improvement would be online play, the ability to challenge your Xbox Live friends to a friendly game.  Not sure if this is possible but it would be a nice feature to have.

Even with the slight room for improvement Yahtzee is an enjoyable Xbox Windows Phone game. Yahtzee is an appealing game that is a fun way to pass the time with. Graphics are becoming, sound effects are too bad and this XBox title has a lot of gaming to keep things from becoming stagnant. Granted the game genre may not appeal to everyone but if the dice game is up your alley, the Xbox Windows Phone game is worth a try.

There is a trial version available for Yahtzee that does have some limitations (mainly you have a points ceiling in the games). The full version of Yahtzee is currently running $2.99 and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Yahtzee