Shake Up is a game of dice rolling for 2 to 4 players, where certain combinations allow you to advance your pawns up a stepped pyramid.
On their turn, a player rolls all four dice. They may roll up to three times, re-rolling all, some, or none of the dice.
- If you roll 4 of a kind, or a run of four (aka a small straight - 1, 2, 3, 4 or 2, 3, 4, 5 or 3, 4, 5, 6) you can move a pawn up a level, and either take another turn, or move one of your opponent's pawns down to the lowest level. If you roll one of these combinations on your first roll, you may move a pawn, move your opponent's pawn, and take another turn.
- If you roll 3 of a kind, a run of three, or two pairs, you may move a pawn up a level.
- If you roll a pair, you may not move a pawn, but are not penalized. Your turn ends.
- If you do not roll any of these combinations, you must move your highest pawn down to the starting level.
Pawns can only be moved to the next level if there are at least two pawns on the starting level. (The lowest pawn may move up without needing another pawn.)
Each step of the pyramid has one fewer spot for a pawn, so a pawn must go on ahead, or be left behind, making for some strategy and tension.
Once you reach the top, you drop your pawn through a hole, and it is safe. It can no longer be moved back down to the starting level. The first player to get all five of their pawns to the top wins the game.