Game Review: Dice Stars

Check out this roll and write game from WizKids!

Dice continue to be one of my favorite components in gaming. There isn’t a die I don’t like, and when it makes its way into the central part of a game, my interest is often piqued. Today we are going to look at a quick to play and fun to roll game involving dice, score pads and your own quick wit!

Dice Stars is a game from WizKids that brings together creators Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc to produce this lighthearted, dice-rolling adventure. It plays anywhere from 1-4 players total and has a playtime of approximately 30 mins. At its core, this game is a roll and write game. These types of games have gained popularity in the last few years, and this is a prime example of the mechanics involved for it.

 

Components:

The game is a smaller box, easy enough to get out and set up without much hassle. Inside you will find 14 dice total:

5 yellow

4 blue

3 purple

2 black

You will also find a cloth bag, scorepad and instruction sheet.

Gameplay:

The game starts with each player talking their own score sheet for their own personal play area. All of the dice are then tossed into the bag and mixed up. Now you are ready to begin play!

To start, a player will draw and roll anywhere from 1 to 3 dice from the bag and place them into the middle of the table forming the reserve. Anytime the reserve is empty, a player must add 3 drawn and rolled dice. So the first player always starts the game off with a roll of 3 dice.

Next you determine out of the reserve which dice you are going to take. To do so, you must take all of the dice that match either the dice color, number or star symbols. You will take all of the dice that match one of those combinations to score on your score sheet. If you happen to draw dice that share color and numbers, you must pick one or the other.

Scoring the dice will vary based on what you pick. For example:

If you pick dice to score by color, you must pick the correct color column and mark it down with an “X” for each die you took except for the last column that will be marked with the total of all of the dice.

If you pick dice to score by number, you must pick the correct number row and mark each spot also with an “X” for each die you took except for the last spot whch will be marked with the total of all the dice also.

Finally, if you picked dice with stars on them, you must put an “X” in any of the yellow spots on the right side of the board, one for each die picked.

You will use the green spots for overcarry to the right when scoring as well.

Finally, scoring is completed when someone has to go into the overuse section or completes their entire white section, ending the game at that round.

To score:

Add up all of your numbers in each row and multiply that row by either a zero or two. You get no points if you have any open spaces in the yellow boxes in that row, and you get double the points if all the boxes are X’d in. Then add each row in the final column, subtract any penalty points you may have and that is your end score!

 

Things that are less than optimal:

-The game is simple. That’s not always a bad thing, but if you are looking for a deep game, this isn’t the one for you.

-Scorepad. I like games where you keep your own individual score like this one, but I am often turned off by a disposable scorepad. Because eventually you will need more. Would have preferred a different way to keep score somehow.

 

Things we liked:

-The game is simple. I like that because I can teach it quick, I can show it even quicker and that means less time explaining rules to someone and setting it up, and more time just playing the game. If you have a short time to play a game, this one may be just right for you.

-Strategy still exists. Don’t let the simple setup and gameplay fool you-this game is not easy to master. There are a few different decisions you must make and what order you make them in matters.

-It is portable. I am always looking for a fun game I can put in my pocket and go with should the time arise where we can play a game or two. Dice Stars fits that to a T, giving you a fun game packed with good gameplay that doesn’t become a table hog!

-Dice! I love dice games. I love the variability and the chance involved, and unique dice are my favorites for sure! This game will you give you that each time you play!

Overall:

Dice Stars from Wizkids Games is one of my new favorite roll and write games. It is simple, strategic and fun all mixed into one package. If you love rolling dice and exploring the press your luck aspects of a game, check out Dice Stars and have a blast chucking those dice!

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