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Review of Redigo, a tabletop RPG system that uses hand signals!

Redigo (pronounced re-dee-go) is a tabletop RPG system that uses hand signals as it’s main randomization mechanic!  It focuses on driving the story forward through comparing signals and gives a great way to run a game anywhere!

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Redigo is great to run with all ages! 

Redigo is great for all ages to play as long as they can signal numbers 0-5 with their hands and can count up to 5.  It is rules-lite and easy to understand to allow for a lot of freedom in storytelling.  

Because Redigo is a game system, you also make up all the content and can tailor it to your particular players however you want!  You make your characters and setting in any way you like or can take an existing tabletop RPG setting and then apply the Redigo mechanics to tailor to you and your players’ interests.  When we played, we were able to apply these mechanics to a train story that my kid (4 years old) and I made up on the fly, and it was a great frame for introducing some easy randomization and asking questions.

Flexible hand signal based mechanics in Redigo

Hand signal based randomization

In Redigo, you don’t use dice to randomize, you use hand signals!

There’s a game guide and at least one actor who plays, and, when a situation that requires some outcome randomization arises, they each pick a number and hold up their hand with that number at the same time!

Redigo hand signals showing one through five

The difference between those numbers determines if it is a miss, a win, or an extra opportunity (like a super win!) for whatever the challenge was.  There’s also options to repeat the hand signal showdown to get multiple wins to complete more difficult tasks.

I liked how easy this system was AND that I don’t need any tools with me to play it.  If I’m in a waiting room with my kid or need to entertain him while we’re waiting for food at a restaurant, we could easily play this without me having to remember to bring a game or toys for him.  Plus, the number reveal is a lot of fun – it’s like number based rock-paper-scissors, and it was a lot of fun to run with my kid.

Hand signals for feedback and boundary setting 

Redigo also incorporates hand signals in its feedback section, giving players or the story guide a clear way to communicate if something is OK (thumbs up), they need to talk (wobbly fingers), or they want to pause the game (making an X). 

Again, no additional tools are needed, and it provides a really accessible way to express information and feelings without having to use words, which can be difficult when a tough topic comes up or there’s frustration rising. 

More ways to play Redigo

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There’s also a supplement to Redigo called Redigo: More Ways to Play that suggests swaps to the game mechanics (like how to swap hand signals for dice) or how to tweak the mechanics to make challenges balance differently or to facilitate different types of challenges.   These additional tweaks can help when players are trying to multitask, apply an area-of-effect ability, travel, etc that have more than one task or target to consider.  It shows how flexible the system base is, and it also actively gives permission to adjust the system how you see fit!

What did my kid think about Redigo

My kid really liked this mechanic – it was easy to understand, and he had a lot of fun trying to strategize and guess what my next number would be.  It also gave him the opportunity to challenge me!  He could very easily take the story guide role and was happy to run me through one of his stories, and the mechanics facilitate that instead of getting in the way, so he was actually able to do it by himself.

Overall thoughts on Redigo

Redigo is a great system base that offers a lot of flexibility and wide accessibility as a mechanic that can be applied to any setting (or even existing tabletop RPGs as an alternative system).  We had fun with it, it was quick to pick up, and I am glad to have this in my tabletop RPG toolbelt as a system I can sit down and play anywhere with my kid!

Find a copy of Redigo

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You can find Redigo here on the creator’s website!

I hope you get the chance to check out and enjoy Redigo too!  Let me know below if you try it out and what your thoughts are!If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!

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