What do you get when you mix classic board games, RPGs (Role Playing Games), and popular culture? The answer is simple: Dicetiny. In this genre smash-up of the classic board-game-RPG-meets-CCGs (Collectible Card Games), you are on a quest to save a world known as “Middle Board” from an evil entity called “Dead Serious”. Never before have there been so many pop culture references, parodies, and jokes contained in a game of this genre… Until now!
Make your way around a square board in a Monopoly fashion whilst trying to literally beat your opponent into a pulp with Hearthstone-like character cards. Fight your way through minions, random events, and chance encounters in order to emerge victorious. I take a look at the Steam Early Access Beta to experience this twisted and ingenious game.
Is there a good game beneath all the comedy? Read on to find out…
Let’s start with the simple stuff. Dicetiny is played on a square board which your hero will make laps around whilst trying to beat the enemy hero by reducing their health to zero. On the board will be neutral minions that you can either battle or buy during the course of gameplay. Think of this as a similar mechanic to buying up properties in Monopoly.
Each turn you can perform any number of actions using AP (Action Points). These can include summoning friendly minions, casting spells, or using your hero’s special abilities. All of the heroes appear to be parodies of famous pop culture celebrities and characters. My own hero looked a lot like Conan the Barbarian!
All heroes come with several base stats that can be altered during gameplay. When you begin the game you can improve these straight away from a choice of three. I usually opted for the increase in AP as it would give me more options on my first turn. Many of your cards or your own abilities can alter these statistics. You’re not limited to using one ability per turn either. As long as you can afford the costs you can use as many or as few as you like.
I love the fact that there is no definitive order to a turn. You’re not restricted by phases and can perform actions, move, cast spells, or summon minions when you want. To move you roll two dice and move the number of spaces indicated. The only exception to this is if you come across the shop. You can stop short and visit it in order to buy a card. This is a fantastically useful feature and reduces the unfair advantage one would have if they were able to land on the shop more frequently than others.
Dicetiny has a clever hand management system. You can hold a maximum of five cards in your hand at any time and if you get a new card the first card in your hand will go back to the deck to be drawn later. This means you don’t have to discard unwanted cards only to regret it later.
The cards you play have a similar template to that of Hearthstone. The cost of the card is on the top left, and minion cards also have a level which is basically their attack and health value combined. If a minion suffers damage that does not kill it, the number decreases. The minions that start on the board have the same level value, but require no summoning costs when you purchase them – only Gold.
As you defeat minions and complete laps around the board, you will earn Gold. You can use the Gold during the course of the game to buy neutral minions, draw a card from your deck, receive a blessing, or purchase items in the shop. There are more uses for Gold than this, but you will need to uncover these from the Random or Event tiles placed on the board.
There are a number of different minions and spells that you can play from your deck of 15 cards. A lot of these have art that can be a meme, celebrity parody, or pop culture reference. You’ll have a lot of fun trying to see how many you can spot – I know I did! Use the Legendary Sword with a Nokia phone tied to it, perform the Chicken Run meme, or a Triple Lariat – Zangief style!
It is currently unknown how many different modes or features will be in Dicetiny. The current beta has a single campaign story with different battles that are fun to play. There will be a number of different encounters, each with their own comic book style twist and popular culture references. I would expect to possibly see harder dungeon runs or daily missions to earn more cards and other rewards. I cannot say for certain, but these are just some of the features I would expect to see from a title like this.
There is a comprehensive deckbuilder already featured within the beta. It is a very similar deckbuilding tool that we have seen in plenty of other popular CCGs. Click your cards in and out with relative ease. Filter the type of cards you want by Spell, Minion, or cost. It is very easy to get distracted by the deckbuilder as this is where you’ll spend the most time trying to identify the meme or pop culture references!
Dicetiny is an ingenious idea that, if pulled off right, will become a viral success all of its own. Using popular culture, memes, and comedy is a stroke of brilliance. It’s almost as if we have the whole internet in one game! Merging gameplay from two of the world’s most loved games of all time, Monopoly and Hearthstone, is only going to bolster that chance at success.
Don’t be surprised if you become strangely addicted to Dicetiny if you decide to purchase it upon its release in 2016 (or in the current Beta, available immediately as an Early Access title on Steam). The current release date is tentatively set for early-mid 2016. I sincerely hope we’re looking at the earlier part of the year, but there are still a few kinks to work out. Some of the battle animations cause some strange interactions between the cards and the game needs a little more polish overall.
Dicetiny could easily be the surprise hit of 2016 and become an internet sensation. The game has the perfect balance of fun, humor, and great game mechanics. All that is left for me to say is… Dicetiny: such dice, many fun, so wow!
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