Game Review: Sorry!

by Julia DeKorte | 01 Apr 2024

Book Reviews




The objective of Sorry! is to get all four of your colored pawns from their start space, all the way around the board, and back into their home space. It’s a 2-4 player game and is fun for any age!


The board is a square with each corner hosting a Start location and a Home location for the colors Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green. Each player draws a card at the beginning of their turn, and the card will direct the movement of the pawns. Cards will have a number on them, telling the player how many spaces to move, or the word Sorry! on it, meaning the player can take one of their pawns from their Start location and move it to the location of another player’s pawn, forcing the other player to move their pawn back to their Start location.


Other special cards include:

  • 2: Move a pawn from Start or move a pawn 2 spaces forward. Players who draw a 2 get to go again!
  • 7: Move one pawn 7 spaces forward or split the 2 spaces between two pawns
  • 10: Move a pawn 10 spaces forward or 1 space backward. If none of the pawns can move forward, they must move backwards!
  • 11: Move 11 spaces forward or switch the places of one of the player’s own pawns with another player’s pawns


The first player with all their pawns in their Home location wins!



Sorry! is older than you think! William Henry Storey of Southend-on-Sea filed the first patent for the game in England in May of 1929. It was sold in the United Kingdom by Waddingtons, a British games manufacturer. Storey also filed a patent in the United States the following year, which was issued in April 1922, and a Canadian patent in 1932. Sorry! was adopted by Parker Brothers in 1934, and it’s now published by Hasbro.



There’s a few different variations of Sorry!, including Point-Scoring Sorry!, Teams, Sorry! with Fire and Ice Power-Ups, as well as video, computer, and handheld electronic games.


Point-Scoring Sorry! came out in 1939 simply incorporates a point system. At the end of the game, each player earns a point for every pawn they get back to home.


Teams Sorry! is played in teams of two. The game is palyed as if two players had 8 pawns each—meaning if red and yellow are paired up, the red player can move yellow pawns as well as their own red pawns. If one of the players successfully gets all their pieces home, they can continue drawing and playing cards for their partner. The first partnership to get all their pawns home wins!


Sorry! with Fire and Ice Power-ups adds two new features to the game. A fire card allows a pawn to move ahead quickly before the player’s turn, and ice stops a pawn from being moved at all. Additionally, each player only has 3 pawns instead of 4, and a pawn can be moved out of the Start location with any even number card, and the Sorry! card has the alternative option of moving forward 4 spaces.


There’s an electronic version of Sorry! that was released in 1998 as a Sorry! computer game, and a handheld version was released in 1996.


Sorry! Express is a travel version of the game, and adds in 3 dice instead of cards. Each player rolls all three dice and gets one of four options on each die: color pawn:

  1. Color pawn – The player takes the corresponding color pawn from the start base and, if it matches up with the color of their home base, puts it in their home section. If not, they put in their waiting area. When there are no more pawns of a particular color in the Start base and a player rolls that same color, he can take that color pawn from another player's waiting area, not their Home section.
  2. Sorry! – Take a pawn from the home section of one player's home base and keep it.
  3. Wild Pawn – The player may take any color pawn from the Start base or waiting areas (not the Home section of another player) and keep it.
  4. Slide – Change either one's own Home section or someone else's Home section to a different color.


Finally, there’s a Sorry! Not Sorry! version of the game that is adult-themed. It adds in several “Have you ever…?” question cards, and if the player answers yes, both the player and the opponent move 6 spaces, and if the player answers no, they can only move 3 spaces.


Reception & Awards

Sorry! was included in Games magazine’s “Top 100 Games” list in 1980, 1981, and 1982. It was also featured in the “100 Best” category of Family Games.

sorry! board game board game review game review

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!