UK Games Expo: Dice Forge First Look

Dice forge uk games expo review

If I was to simply say Dice Forge is Dominion but with dice,  this will not only convey the whole gist of Dice Forge, but also everything that may get you excited or worried about Libellud's upcoming release. Asmodee and Esdevium were showing off a late prototype of the game at the UK Games Expo 2017 and I got myself a seat to grab a game, well actually my wife saw the game loved the artwork and quickly jumped at the two empty places to give Dice Forge a go.

Just like your the classic deck builder, Dice Forge's mechanics are really simple. During each player's turn you will roll your two dice, collecting the resources from the die faces; gold, gems or victory points. During your turn you can either use the gems to buy a card, either granting an instant bonus or an effect that can be triggered each turn, or you can spend gold to change the face of a die. And that last effect is really fricking cool as the die faces are removed and replaced like Lego pieces.

Your dice will start with some simple low point faces but as the game progresses you can alter the faces to suit your strategy; aiming for larger resources, special effects or simply victory points. Combining these with the card effects means that there is the opportunity for some interesting little chain reactions.

There's a lot to like about Dice Forge; it's very pretty, the dice rolling means you are always involved even during someone else's turn and there are loads of different ways in which you can alter your strategy. It’s fun and light and aiming for that entry level lighter gamer level.

Dice forge first look review

But I have to admit, I do have a few concerns for the longevity of the game. Being a convention demo, I wasn't sure what variety was available in the card options. The different dice faces are the same in every game and if the cards on offer where also the same I can see Dice Forge getting stale very quick. There is of course the opportunity for future expansions, and as long is the product is commercially viable I can foresee Dice Forge receiving regular updates.

The other thing that some people are going to have an issue with is the depth. In essence Dice Forge is a twist on the classic deck builder, and whereas Dominion has spawned a variety of deeper games, or games that use the deck building mechanic as a springboard to other things, Dice Forge is at the same level as your standard Dominion.

Dice Forge early review

For me this is not a problem, I love Dominion for its simplicity and I would even go so far as to say that Dice Forge is easier to pick up as rolling dice is more straight forward than the deck drawing mechanic while maintaining the same level of strategy (the amount of new gamers that I have seen struggle with Dominion's basic discard and draw system has been an eye opener, and a lesson on how something that appears straight forward to us seasoned gamers can be bewildering to someone new to the hobby).

Dice Forge card selection

I love Dominion, and so does my wife, and this new twist on an old favourite means that Dice Forge is already a hit in our house and suffice to say I am already under strict instruction to pre-order it!

Dice Forge from Libellud will be available soon.
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