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Kniffel - The Original!

Kniffel - The Original!

Yahtzee or Kniffel is beyond a doubt one of the best known and loved dice games there is. It's been around for over half a century and has been bought and played by millions of people.
And yes, there's something somewhat nostalgic (lest we call it old fashioned) about the Yahtzee aura – images of elderly folks in visors and capri trousers, playing in the late afternoon sun come to mind – but a new version under the name of Kniffel - The Original! was recently released for Android by Schmidt, so let's take a closer look at it together.


Reviewed version Latest version
1.0.8 2.2.4

Features & Use

Test devices:
-HTC Desire with 2.3.7 (Root and Custom ROM)
-Acer Iconia A500 with 3.2

Upon starting up Kniffel - The Original! onscreen windows of b-interactive and Schmidt pop up; hit the small arrow beneath the Kniffel logo in order to access the app's homescreen where the main functions are listed:

  • Continue
  • New Game
  • Help
  • High Scores
  • Options
  • More Games

When starting a new game of Kniffel you can add up to eight opponents (real or AI). A random generator picks the first player who's name (which you can select at the beginning of a round) will then appear on the screen. A bar near the top of the display reveals the player's name, and beneath it you will find the dice-rolling-field. The number of remaining dice is displayed on the left in the form of die cups. The current number of spots is also displayed. Shake the device in order to roll the dice. As an alternative you can make an adjustment in the settings so the dice are rolled by tapping on the die cup on the left hand side.

The possibilities (One, Large Straight, Small Straight, Yahtzee...) are displayed near the bottom. You can also see where you can score points and which fields have already been played. There's a scores table showing points—so the principle is just the same you may or may not be familiar with from having played the paper version of Yahtzee.

Every time you finish a round you will see the high scores and the names you listed at the beginning of the game.
Go to settings to switch on/off the background music, sounds and vibration function, as well as the aforementioned 'automatic' dice rolling function.

Bottom line:
Kniffel - The Original is a good app that can bring Yahtzee to your smartphone, and it works rather well, save for a few unfortunate crashes. That said, I find the game to be somewhat uni-dimensional, and I don't mean in a visual sense. Other Yahtzee games lure users with new options—Kniffel only provides the one, classic game mode.

Screen & Controls

Kniffel - The Original!'s design is very good: it fits the mood of the game and it's easy to use. Anyone can use this app, though knowledge of the game Yahtzee comes in handy.

Speed & Stability

Kniffel - The Original!'s speed is fine, though the animations can take a moment to load.
The game's stability leaves something to be desired. The app lagged and froze several times throughout our test runs on the Desire. I was immensely bothered by this, a small consolation being that the score is saved every time the app crashes, so one can easily continue playing after having experienced any turbulences. Every time the app is started up again after a crash the theme melody begins to play. Now, I am somewhat of a musicophile, but I can do without the constant theme music, thank you very much.

The game is not optimised for tablets and can't even be accessed from a tablet.

Price/Performance Ratio

Kniffel - The Original! is available for 3,99€ from the Android Market and our very own AndroidPIT App Center. Quite a price tag if you ask me, especially if you consider that the app does tend to crash every so often. What's more, there are plenty of Yatzy games on the market that can do the same – if not more – as Kniffel and are either free or not as pricey.


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