Dicetiny: The Lord of the Dice – What We Think
Dicetiny from developer Fromdice, is a game composed of CCG, RPG, and Mario Party-type elements that fails to combine these parts in a compelling way.
While the game is in Early Access with the promise of more elements being added to pad out the limited experience currently available, what is there right now is bland and repetitive, with an uninteresting and garish story surrounding it. As well, the game looks designed for mobile platforms with mismatched art assets that don’t gel together well when blown up on a big screen.
Roll the Dice and Choose your Dicetiny
The game starts with you choosing a class for your hero, each with different perks that are supposed to make a difference in how you play. While these may be a bigger factor in play style as the game expands, I found that all of the enemies could be beaten reliably by brute force or level exploits, as opposed to strategically using your cards or class bonuses. From hero selection, you are set to enter the world of Dicetiny, which at the moment, only has eight encounters.
Each encounter is the same square board with different enemies and random events littered throughout. The object of the game is to defeat your opponent by reducing their HP to 0 before yours does. Each player takes turns which are comprised of rolling the dice to move, playing spell or minion cards to attack your opponent or their minions, and using your class ability to give yourself a bonus, which can be done in any order.
Everything except for rolling the dice requires action points, which increase at the start of every turn by one up to a maximum of seven – which seems to only serve the purpose of padding out the encounter’s length so that it is not over in two minutes.
I Put All of These Things Here, Why Won’t They Work?
With so many different strategy elements in place, Dicetiny doesn’t delve too deeply in any direction, giving the overall game an uncomfortable feeling of restraint. The chance of getting the right card or the right roll at the right time is small, and as such the reward for actually getting lucky doesn’t feel earned.
The AI is poorly balanced as well, as in the first two levels I had to fail numerous times before finding a specific trick on the board that would help me beat the boss, whereas in the later levels, I could sit back and play defensively as my enemy would slowly destroy itself.
Dicetiny labels itself as an RPG, but the progression normally associated with the genre is poorly implemented. Beating a boss means you get to “click for open chest” and get a reward that should help you later on in the game – a card, some currency to buy more cards, or different modifiers (called “Relics”) for your dice rolls. However, none of the cards that I got added any substantial benefits to my deck. All of the cards that I needed to defeat the last boss were in my deck at the start of the game.
The story hooks for the game might make up for the repetitive gameplay, but instead it is a generic and lazy copy of classic fantasy/adventure tales, even going as far as to rip off the scrolling text from Star Wars and the world set-up of The Lord of the Rings.
You are a hero who must defeat the bad guy, Dead Serious and his followers in a board game. While it seems to be self-aware at how ridiculous this concept is, the opportunity for humor is wasted on clunky and misspelled references.
The story and presentation of the game is obviously not where the majority of the developer’s time was spent, and as such, the constant references, poor translations, and low-res sprites are forgettable, eventually becoming grating after only a short time of exposure.
More Isn’t Always Better
There are so many moving parts in Dicetiny that it’s hard to focus on just one misstep in the sum total of the experience. While the game is in early access with the promise of more card varieties and levels to come, I fear that the core gameplay is too congested to be fun.
Adding a multiplayer option could help to alleviate the boring AI, and with a larger variety of card types, this could be a fun experience, but as it is right now, Dicetiny fails to capitalize on any of its inspirations.
The referential humor and meme-inspired art that should grab a player’s interest actively pushed me away from enjoying the game. With all of the already well-established strategy card and board games already available, Dicetiny doesn’t iterate or charm enough to be recommended.
Dicetiny is available in Early Access via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Dicetiny: The Lord of the Dice below: