Dicetown

dicetown bank
Players:
2-4
Multiplayer:No
AI:Yes; 20 opponents with 5 levels of difficulty, though most are locked
Universal App:Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)
Purchase for iPhone:Use link below to purchase universal app
Purchase for iPad:
Dice Town Mobile
Price: $3.99
User rating:
GD Star Rating
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Dicetown, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Between Bang: The Dice Game, Roll For the Galaxy, and even King of New York, dice games are hot right now. Dicetown dusts off an older Bruno Cathala design that puts an Old West flavor on poker dice. Are you all in?

Gameplay

Dicetown has you competing with up to 3 opponents to amass the most victory points. This is done, as in all good Wild West games, by obtaining gold, land, and good ole’ greenbacks.

dicetown gameplay 1

Each turn, each player will roll their own cup of 5 standard poker dice – D6s marked with a 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. Each roll you claim one die for free; you can pay a dollar per to either gain extra dice as well, or to gain nothing. You then roll all remaining dice until one player has a hand of 5 locked in. Once that happens, the other players get one more roll, and are stuck with whatever comes up.

dicetown bank

You then pay a visit to the town. Whoever has the most of any given value gets the reward associated with that value – the player with the most 9s, for example, gets one gold nugget for each 9 rolled, the player with the most 10s takes money from the bank, and so on. The player with the strongest poker hand then receives a land card, drawing an extra card for each Ace they rolled. If you manage to not win any awards at all, you can visit Doc Badluck, and cash in what you rolled for various minor effects.

dicetown game over

The game ends all scorable items have been distributed. Whoever has the most points wins.

Implementation

Dicetown, like an unsuccessful old west homestead, just doesn’t come together. It has most of the relevant pieces you’d expect in an iPad app, but the whole never achieves that mythical “greater than the sum of its parts” status.

dicetown tutorial

There is, for example, an interactive tutorial, of sorts. The tutorial focuses solely on strategy – it offers no rules explanation whatsoever, and the interface information it offers happens only by example. If you rely on the tutorial for an explanation of basic gameplay before or without reading the rules, you will get lost quickly.

dicetown card

Critical gameplay information is also displayed inconsistently. For instance, you can find out the effects of various game cards you can win as a reward either in the instructions (which cannot be accessed during gameplay) or by calling up information about them once they’re in your hand. However, at the most critical point at which you’d need that information – the card selection screen itself – the description of a card’s effects is nowhere to be found. It’s also worth noting that the Brute card doesn’t do what the rules say it should; we’re not clear if this is a fault in the rules or the programming.

dicetown setup

The game offers 20 AI opponents – 2 are unlocked initially – and they’ll have to do, because there is no option whatsoever to utilize multiplay. Given the quick nature of turns in this game it’s almost understandable why online multiplay wouldn’t be ideally suited, but the inability to play against human opponents via either pass n play or local network connection hurts it quite a bit. Note also that some report that in-progress games get lost if the app is closed; we didn’t encounter this, but your mileage may vary.

Verdict

Ultimately, Dicetown is poker dice with additional scoring conditions and a pasted on western theme. If you like poker dice and the Olde West, you’ll probably like this game. This app, unfortunately, is not ready for prime time – it lacks critical features one would expect in a modern game, most notably the ability to play against actual intelligence as opposed to artificial. The production values are slick, but if the game appeals, the analog version may be a better value.



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