What’s the most fun you can have rolling dice (when there’s no money on the line)? Nicole’s got her top picks for you, roll those bones and read on.
Pandemic: the Cure – Pandemic is a classic co-operative game, and this is a really well designed, streamlined translation of the original. Rather than a board the ‘geography’ is set up as a ring of circles – and the viruses are represented by dice! Infection and breakouts occur due to the amount of dice in any given area. The team have characters with their own specialized dice, and you’ll be rolling those to get around, sample and cure! All the excitement and intensity of Pandemic in a great dice rolling bundle.
Escape – Want to have a great 10-minute real-time frantic fun time? Escape is THE game for you! Starting inside a small setup of temple tiles, each player has a set of dice that they’ll be rolling to try and get a variety of combinations of symbols. With these combinations you can explore (put out) new room tiles, gather treasure and move around. While most dungeon and temple crawling games are a slow burn, the aim of Escape is to do just that, and grab as much loot as you can on your way out! Make it to the exit while trying to not lock up too many of your dice, or be fated to be sealed in forever.. until you play again immediately to beat it this time, you swear.
Dark Moon – While Dark Moon is, at large, a hidden traitor game, a huge aspect of how you manipulate the game is through the secret rolling of dice. You choose to commit values to certain tasks – so if you’re one of the hidden traitors and nobody can see that you rolled good stuff, you can just put in a lot more negatives and blame bad luck! But if you’re not a traitor and you generally are having bad luck? Ooh that’s gonna burn! It’s a Dark Moon out there, and you’ll have to roll as best you can.. or be sneaky about it!
Roll for the Galaxy – Race for the Galaxy is a great game, but I never manage to have a smooth game of it because there’s so much to take in on the cards info-wise and trying to keep up remembering the symbols is tough for a player such as myself. Roll for the Galaxy, while still relying on symbols (this time on candy-bright dice) manages to simplify the way dice and symbols are used and the game flows very nicely! It’s delightful to rattle around the dice and slam that cup down as you explore the galaxy and beyond.
Würfel Bohnanza – If you’ve played Bohnanza before and want to try Würfel (Dice) Bohnanza, be ready for quite a different experience! Where Bohnanza relies heavily on card play and trading between players, Würfel Bohnanza is about rolling dice to collect certain kinds of beans (the same as the card game!) to fulfil recipes on a card to gain money. While the active player rolls, each other player can be on the lookout for bean combinations that match their recipe card and claim those before the active player rolls again – so it’s quick and fun and gets quite enthusiastically shouty in my experience! Lots of fun pushing your luck to fill those recipes and a quick & light game to enjoy when you’re not in the mood for something heavier.
My honourable mentions: Bang! The Dice Game (much more fun than the card game, Can’t Stop (delightful push your luck), Alien Frontiers (spaceships, whee!), Bruges (great implementation of dice in a Euro) and King of Tokyo (monster Yahtzee!).