Editor’s Note: This review originally appeared over at TokenMeeple.com; a great website that covers boardgames of all types. The team over there does great work and has agreed to let me crosspost some of their best reviews for my audience!
The Kingdom of Rolldovia is in turmoil. Her royal highness Queen Statisia, has decreed that there will be a new capital, after the beautiful city of Dienness was sacked by hordes of barbarians and bandits from the south. As leaders of one of Rolldovia’s influential noble families, players vie with each other to establish their provincial city as the best home for Rolldovia’s new capital. As the head of one such noble family you must choose its path in gaining the approval of all others in the kingdom — will you choose to press your claim through a strong military taking the fight to the bandits, through new and wondrous buildings, or perhaps even through opening up trade routes? Whatever you choose you must manage your city and the land’s natural resources carefully, making the best of your luck with good choices and sound strategy, while watching out for attacks from jealous rivals. Dice City is a dice-crafting game where the buildings and locations in your city become the faces of your dice as your roll them each turn.
Dice City is easy to learn, yet has many options per turn and multiple paths to victory. For instance, you could opt to go the military route and cover up all of your resource generating locations with military structures. It might sound like it would be a simple over power scenario once you get that established, but you still have the option of going after bandits or shutting down/stealing your opponent’s locations/resources. Alternatively, you could cover up the existing military spaces with more economic buildings in the hopes of easily nabbing the trade ships with an influx of resources. Of course, a mix of strategies might prove to be a more viable path.
There is a bit of luck and randomness with the dice rolls not always providing you want at certain times. While you may struggle at times with rolling, there are options to moving dice to adjacent areas sacrificing other dice and not collecting their resources or taking their actions. This makes the one and six spaces a little less popular for the structures you want to hit on a regular basis. If you want to roll a three for example, you could roll a two or four and only have to give up one die to move it. It’s all a matter of odds and random luck, but the ability to move dice provides more control after they are rolled. Dice resolution order is also key at times since you can potentially acquire more resources or strengthen your army if you play your dice in the most efficient manner.
Dice City is a very good city builder and a bit more then what we would normally call a “filler” game. We love the design and the art direction makes it a fun game to look at while playing. There is definitely a bit of slowness to the first few initial rounds but this is corrected in the later rounds and does make it feel much more like you are constructing a bigger city.
We liked it enough that we picked up the newly released expansion, Dice City: All That Glitters, to add even more variety! This will hit the table fairly often in our house.