A review by
- 2-5 Players
- 45 minutes
What is Dice Town?
Back in the days of the old west, Poker was the game. Bankers, Sheriffs, Landowners, Prospectors and crooks all played. Fortunes and land could be won and lost on the turn of a card. Matagot have taken that concept and changed the cards to dice. Can you use the luck of the dice, a hint of a bluff and clever tactics to become the wealthiest citizen?
What is in my Box?
Dice Town’s box is illustrated in beautiful imagery that helps to conjure up the western theme. When you open up the box you will find,
- Gold Nuggets,
- Dollar Bills
- General Store, Property and Elixir cards,
- Sheriff badge first player card,
- Dice and Dice cups,
The dice provided in the box are standard poker dice. These will allow you to form hands using the 9,10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace faces. The dice cups are a nice sized plastic moulded shape with a sheriffs star logo. I found them reminiscent of bullet heads in their shape. The ‘gold’ Nuggets look like you might have just dug them from your claim. Money in Dice town is of the paper variety. Where Matagot have been clever is they have given the money a plasticised type finish this will help ensure the life of the notes despite regular handling. All the cards in Dice Town are of a nice durable quality so will stand up to repeated handling. Game-boards in dice based games can be a hit or miss affair. With this version of Dice Town the board looks nice with spaces marked out for where the cards need to go. If you were playing with a group of players who knew the game very well you would not need the board. The art however is nice enough to make you want to put it onto the table.
How does it work?
Playing Dice Town is a simultaneous affair for most of the game. Each player shakes the dice in their cups and up-ends them onto the table, being careful to keep them hidden from all other players. You will all secretly look at your dice you will choose one* to keep and clasp the rest in your hand to hide all the information from other players. Once everyone has selected their die to keep, you all reveal your die then repeat the process until you have built a ‘hand’ of five dice. Depending on which dice have been kept players will be allowed to claim Nuggets, Money, Bonus cards or Land. You might even decided to focus on stealing a card or becoming the sheriff (you decide the winner in ties). If you find yourself outwitted in dice selection you will be able to claim Doc Badluck’s Elixir cards to help you.
What about the Dice?
One of the nice things about Dice Town is the ease of understanding. When you reveal your 5 dice the decision of the winner in each Location. Whoever has the most 9’s will get nuggets, the most 10’s allows you to rob the bank, with Jacks you get a card from the general store (you get the idea). This works for all the Locations until you reach the Town Hall to claim Land you will need the best overall poker hand. Do not expect a simple pair to win. Three of a kind or four, a straight. All are achievable. Helpfully the Land cards have the ranking of the hands on their backs. This allows you to easily decide who is going to gain Land. Why is Land important? Each Land card is worth bonus points for the end of the game. Winning Dice Town is as simple as having the most points once all the Land cards or Nuggets have been claimed.
Dice Town is not a heavy strategy title by any measure. This is not to say there is none. The decision to focus on trying to gain a land card could cost you dear especially in the higher player counts. You can easily find yourself shut out. Paying attention to the other players revealed dice and adjusting your choices accordingly is something you will be doing every round. But not to such an extent as to melt your brain. This is light fun with some thinking involved.
Who is it for?
For the most part I would recommend Dice Town for meet-ups and as a filler for game nights. This is because it plays up to 5 players with ease and is definitely better at 3, 4 or 5 players. It does play nicely for family game nights if you are happy with children playing a dice representation of poker (I did not have an issue with this but feel it worth mentioning).
I like Dice Town…….. A bit. ……….Oh you were expecting more?
OK then. Dice Town is a light gentle fun experience in a fast food type of way. To clarify this weird statement. It is quick and easy to consume. It will satisfy that boardgame hunger but is not ultimately filling in the long term. I enjoyed it while I was playing but was left wanting more. It does what it sets out to. Which is provide a light 5 player experience for those times when heavy is not an option due to time scale.
I received a review copy of “Dice Town” through the Board Game Exposure group to review. This game will now be forwarded onto another reviewer. I have tried not to let this influence my review.