CONdensed LIVE from GenCon: Thoughts on Bears!

*Photos and article by: Dylan Terry

GenCon may officially have ended, but when have I ever let an expiration date stop me?

Bears! is one of the numerous entries in the rapidly-growing dice game genre. These tend to be self-contained little games consisting of some dice and an instructional booklet. You roll the dice, determine what each face means in context, tally your score, and there you have it.

I have just detailed how to play 90% of these games.

But this isn’t about that.

Bears! takes you on a camping trip in a dangerous woodland wonderland where each player is a park ranger doing his or her best to keep the sleepy campers safe. There are player dice (black) and camp dice (white). The pool of camp dice is rolled, each player rolls his or her dice, and you go about pairing them as quickly as possible.

These pairs vary in point value: bear and rifle, bear and running person, bear and tent/sleeping bad…those are it. Improperly or unpaired dice are worth negative point values, and the game goes until a preset point value is reached, at which point the winner can brag about being better at rolling dice than his or her peers.

Bears! makes a good choice for a light travel game, perfectly playable in an airport terminal, train station, or, if you like to tempt fate, a camping trip.


For extra fun, make sure you leave all your food out while you play.


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