Like most other competitive board games, Sorry can ruin friendships mainly because of its wicked gameplay mechanics that would make your friends hate you whenever you stop them from winning. Although the game looks simple at first glance, it involves complex strategies that you need to learn to win the game more efficiently. To understand the rules of the board games, here is a guide to Sorry.
Before we dive into the gameplay of Sorry, let us first take a look at its origins and see where this genius game was invented. The board game was registered as a trademark on May 21, 1929, when a man named William Henry Story filed a UK patent for its unique board and interesting gameplay. The game would then be published by Waddingtons, a board game manufacturer in Britain, in 1934.
William Henry Story then applied for a US patent for the board game on August 4, 1930, and then he applied for a Canadian patent in 1932 so that it can also be published in Canada. The Parker Brothers, a popular toy and game manufacturer in the United States, got a hold of the patent from Story in 1934 and published it in the same year.
The Classic Edition of Sorry can be played by two or more players, although the maximum number is at four since there are only four colors that the players can pick as their play pieces on the game. In order to win the board game, one player must be able to get all four of his or her pawns to the Home tile before the others. While the pawns are on the side tiles, you and the other enemy pawns have the opportunity to stop players from reaching the goal, as they can bump your pawns to go back to the start, and vice versa.
Before playing the game, all players must first choose their pawn color. In the Classic Edition, the colors are blue, red, yellow, and green. The pawns must then be placed on their respective Start tile that sports the same color. On the right side of the Start tile is the Home tile, where the four pawns must be placed in order to win the game.
After choosing pawn colors, one player would have to shuffle the included deck of cards and placed them on the center of the board afterward. All of the cards must be face down while shuffling. The cards are drawn to determine the number of steps the pawns would take on the board in each turn. Take note that when the card says “forward,” it means that the pawn would have to move clockwise. Here are the cards included on the deck as well as their effect:
- Card 1 – Move a pawn from the Start tile or one space forward
- Card 2 – Move a pawn from the Start tile or two spaces forward, and then draw another card
- Card 3 – Move a pawn three spaces forward
- Card 4 – Move a pawn four spaces backward
- Card 5 – Move a pawn five spaces forward
- Card 7 – Move a pawn seven spaces forward, or you can split the number of moves on two pawns
- Card 8 – Move a pawn eight spaces forward
- Card 10 – Move a pawn ten spaces forward or one space backward
- Card 11 – Move a pawn 11 spaces forward or swap placed with an enemy pawn. You cannot use the first option if you cannot move 11 spaces forward on the board, and if there are no enemy pawns on the white tiles, there you would have to skip your turn.
- Card 12 – Move a pawn 12 spaces forward
- Sorry! Card – Force an enemy pawn to go back to its Start tile. You can use this card immediately or during another turn.
The one who will draw first on the deck will be determined by the players. If the players can’t decide on who will go first, they can get one die, and whoever rolls the highest number will be the first to move on the board.
All players must first draw a card on the deck at the start of their turn, as the card would determine how many steps one of their spawns will take on the board. If you have landed on a tile where an enemy spawn is standing, you would need to bump that pawn, and it will be sent to its Start tile. However, if you are landing on a tile where your other pawn is standing, then you must skip your turn without moving any pawn.
On the white tiles located on the side of the board, you would notice the slide tiles that have the same colors like the ones found on the pawns, the Start tile, and the Home tile. If you have landed on the beginning of the slide tiles, which is indicated by a left-facing arrow, your pawn would have to slide all the way to the end of the slide tiles indicated by the circle mark. You cannot use the slide if it is the same color as your pawn. If there are pawns in the middle of the slide, you would have to bump them back to their Start tile. The targeted pawn will be bump regardless if it’s an enemy pawn or your own pawn.
Once you are near the Safety Zone connected to the Home tile, you would have to right to the tiles in that zone instead of moving clockwise. The Safety Zone prevents other players from using Card 11’s second effect and the Sorry! card to work against the pawn standing on that zone. Also, other players cannot enter the Safety Zone that doesn’t have the same color as their pawns.
Getting to the Home tile is not that easy, as you would have to draw the exact number of moves to get to it; otherwise, you would have to skip your turn. If the Sorry deck runs out of cards, you can get all the cards in the discard pile, shuffle them, and place them face down on the center of the deck.
Popular Editions and Variants
Other than the standard Classic Edition, Sorry is available in few different editions that look different than the normal version but feature almost the exact same gameplay. Here are some of the bestselling editions of Sorry.
In this Disney edition of Sorry, the pawns are the popular characters from several Disney animated movies and TV shows, and each color has themes. The red pawns are the villains (Hades, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, and Maleficent), the blue pawns are the heroes (Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Hercules, and Tarzan), the green pawns are animals (Bambi, Winnie the Pooh, Young Simba, and Dumbo), and the yellow pawns are the ladies (Ariel from Little Mermaid, Snow White, Cinderella, and Jessie from Toy Story).
The Retro Series is Hasbro’s special line where they would publish an older version of their board games, and one of the games included in the line is Sorry. The retro edition of Sorry features the same gameplay as the standard version, although its overall appearance is much simpler and more streamlined.
A parody and adult version of Sorry that is also published by Hasbro, Sorry Not Sorry presents the same gameplay as the regular edition, but there are added “Have You Ever” cards wherein players will be asked if they have done the action indicated on the card. If they answer yes, they would be able to move more spaces, if they say no, then they would move less, and if they refuse to answer the question, they would have to skip their next turn.
Sorry is just like a simple game of Snakes and Ladders, although the chances of losing your progress on the board are higher, which makes the game much more frustrating for some. Not many groups of friends would dare to play Sorry, but for those who are good sports, the board game is surely one of the most fun ones that can be played today.