Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dice Town

I had one of my Twitter friends ask me what I thought of Dice Town. I explained that Twitter was not exactly the best stage for a full game review - that 140 character limit makes good reviews very difficult.

I promised him a more in-depth review here, "soon."

Those of you who read my Geeklist of games played at GenCon will have spotted that there were three games that were sprung on us shortly after arrival.

All three of them were great games - one of them was (in my opinion) the best new game in the booth. "New," in this case meaning "Learned since July 20, 2009." That includes everything included in my pre-GenCon prep shipment and the games I learned at GenCon.

Here is an overview of the first game of the three "surprise" games:

Dice Town
First of all, let me explain: Dice hate me. Games such as Yahtzee leave me completely cold because of this hate (and yes, I realize that there is a great deal of strategy to Yahtzee, if you look for it).

And yet, I love Dice Town. There's something oddly appealing about it.

I didn't have a chance to look at the game until late on Thursday - we had a guy in the booth who knew the game already, and that table was constantly busy, and frequently had a line of people waiting to demo it.

The game itself is simple: Roll the dice. Decide how many dice you want to keep. Pay the Stagecoach for every die you'll be keeping past the first. Set kept dice aside and roll the remaining dice.

Once someone has five kept dice, everyone else gets one last roll, when they are required to keep all dice (at no cost).

Then go through each stage on the board - do you have the most nines? Grab one Gold Nugget for each nine. Every number has a benefit associated with having the most of them. One player will get "General Store" cards, which have a variety of effects. One player will get to rob the bank. One player can steal a card from another player. One player becomes Sheriff and decides who wins ties.

The best hand gets the Deed to some property. If that hand has any aces, you will get some bonus Deeds.

Any player who didn't win anything else gets to vist Doc Badluck, for an additional benefit.

Once the Gold Nuggets or Property Deeds are all gone, players check their score. Each gold nugget is one point. Each dollar is half a point. Some of the General Store cards are worth points. Each property deed is worth points.

Most points wins.

I don't know what it is about this game that appeals to me. Maybe it's the fun of the poker dice. Maybe it's the fact that you can win the game without even once having the best hand.

The game is simple enough to teach in five minutes, and plays quickly enough to qualify as filler. My regular Wednesday group has asked for it for the last few weeks.

Was it the best game in the booth? No. Sorry. That was Dungeon Twister (Did you really expect a different answer from me?).

Was it the best New to Me game in the booth? No.

Was it the game which most surprised me? Yes, absolutely.

And the most telling question: Will I voluntarily play it again? Yes. Absolutely. I'll probably even play it tomorrow ...

Next week, I'll try to discuss one of the other two surprise games - it depends on PAX and how much time I have this weekend. Don't worry, though. I'll get to them eventually.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your opinion of Dice Town. I'm sorry to hear dice hate you. Perhaps dice have decided you're a good guy since you enjoyed Dice Town. You're welcome to explore my site,, to learn more about your new friends.