Yahtzee is a dice game made by Milton Bradley, which was first
marketed by Edwin S. Lowe in 1956. The game is a development of earlier
dice games, such as
Yacht and Generala. The object of the game is
to score the most points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations.
The dice can be rolled up to three times in a turn to try to make one of
the thirteen possible scoring combinations. A game consists of thirteen
rounds during which the player chooses which scoring combination is to be
used in that round. Once a combination has been used in the game, it cannot
be used again.
Nowhere, it seems, is this type of dice game as popular as in Scandinavia.
It is called Yatzy here, the name is public domain. Some of the oldest computer
implementations are from here, and in relation to the total population and the
total number of games, more than from anywhere else. As of 2011-06-15, more
than 10% of the Scandinavian games on Download Central are Yatzy implementations!
Yatzy has some variants unknown to Yahtzee. One is the forced game, which
means that you have to score your throws in the exact order the categories are
listed, first the ones, than the twos, and so on. This variant seems to be a
specifically Norwegian thing: Both Norwegian implemetations ask right at the
beginning if you want to play a forced (tvungen) or free (valgfri) game, and
only Norwegian Wikipedia mentions it.
Another one is Maxi Yatzy (also known as Super Yatzy in Denmark), which is
played with six instead of five dice. Ove Lautensack's Mega Jatsy is the only
implementation I have found so far.
In the USA, Yahtzee enjoyed some popularity with programmers in the era
between 1988 and 1996, when in the wake of Tetris
all kinds of puzzle games became popular. Nearly all of these implementations
either sported character graphics or ran either on
16-bit Windows or Macintosh.
Michael Wollert's Yatz is the only graphic DOS game that I have found. Only
few of the Windows games were ported to 32-bit Windows (YahtC, Ancient Ivory,
Ancient Yacht), and so far I have not found an original 32-bit Yahtzee from