Sixis by Jason McIntosh is an iPad implementation of the physical dice scoring title by Asmadi Games. A competitive game of chance and pushing your luck, it has enough originality and flair to stand out from its nearest competitors and provide an enjoyable challenge.
A game of Sixis consists of a number of rounds against one to three opponents. A random selection of cards is dealt onto a table: each one has a scoring condition printed on it, such as ‘double twos’ or ‘run: 1-2-3′. On the flipside of each card, there is a higher-scoring variation (e.g. ‘four twos’ or ‘run: 1-2-3-4-5′). In the centre, giving the game its name, is the Sixis card: single-sided, it gives big points for six dice of a kind.
Players take it in turns to roll a hand of six dice. After rolling, they are given the option of picking one of the available cards (assuming their roll matches the scoring condition), or ‘flipping’ the card to reveal the harder-to-get option. If they take the card, the points are added to their total; if they flip the card, no points are awarded, but the higher-scoring card enters play and is up for grabs for all players.
Whether taking or flipping a card, players then choose a number of dice to ‘lock': these dice will be held and not re-rolled on the player’s next turn, giving them the chance to try and get high-scoring hands.
And of course, the other players are all doing the same: going for the same number of cards, holding dice and aiming to get the highest score by the time the game ends. This makes Sixis a good mix of chance and tactics, with players able to grab low-scoring cards to avoid opponents racking up the points; or holding onto good hands in an attempt to bring the game to a quick close by taking the Sixis card.
McIntosh’s implementation stays true to the physical game Sixis is based on. The cards are identical to their real-world counterparts (although this does make the small text printed on them quite hard to decipher at times). A card table-style playing surface and some perfunctory dice-rolling and card-dealing sounds are also present and correct: and although the game doesn’t break any boundaries in implementation, neither does it offend.
Options are good, with support for up to three human or AI-controlled opponents, as well as games lasting one, three or five rounds (or when one player scores 600 or over). A team mode is also available for four-player games, allowing human players to collaborate on their tactics, but to be honest this doesn’t alter the gameplay mechanic too much.
With a good balance between luck and tactics and a solid implemetation, Sixis rolls its way comfortably into place in the iPad’s library of dice games worth checking out.