01 January 2021
Build a sprawling city with just the roll of a few dice
AEG/Artipia Games | Dice/city building | £31.99 | 1-4 players | 60 minutes | www.alderac.com
Have you ever played the wonderful Machi Koro and thought ‘yeah, this is fun and everything… but wouldn’t it be better with more buildings… oh, and more dice… then perhaps some little cartoon pictures of orcs’? You have?! Well, that demonstrates two things: one, our telepathy skills are really coming along nicely and, secondly, Dice City might just be the game for you.
A little like Machi Koro, Dice City sees you buying various buildings – like lumber mills or a market place – and then rolling dice to activate them. However, unlike Machi Koro the buildings here generate resources (such as stone or wood) along with victory points and there are more dice (three more in fact) to roll on your turn.
The biggest difference here though is that your city is represented by a six by five grid with different buildings, like a small house or forest on each row. Along the side of the grid are five colours (white, yellow, red, blue and black) that correspond to specially coloured dice. Meanwhile, along the top are the numbers one to six that, you guessed it, are the numbers on the dice. On your go you roll all five dice and place them in the corresponding space on the board, e.g. if you get a six on the blue dice, you would pop it on the cave icon, while a two on the yellow gets put on the militia space.
Depending on the building/person your dice is placed on, it will generate the resource displayed clearly at the bottom. As you accumulate more resources you can use them to unlock better buildings for your grid, e.g. replacing the standard forest with a lumber mill, which gives you two pieces of wood, rather than one or what about the previously mentioned market place where you can trade resources. There are also some more interesting buildings, like the well, that allow you to re-roll any dice you’re not happy with. Choosing when, where and what to build is key to a successful strategy.
Alongside building, there’s also the option to attack using any soldiers your dice have landed on in your turn. Typically these soldiers will be used to attack orc bandits that are also represented by cards. The orc bandits have a defence value indicated on the card and if you’ve got a soldier value that’s equal or greater than the value shown, you can beat them and claim the victory points. If you fancy being more aggressive to your opponents, then you can send soldiers to deactivate their buildings for a turn.
However, the problem with Dice City is that even with this marginal element of player interaction there’s simply too much downtime between the turns, as individual players, roll dice, choose what to do, perhaps build something and then maybe send off some soldiers to combat. Although you can play with four people, the pace slows to a crawl, whereas with two you’re quickly zipping between turns, which is far more enjoyable.
There’s no denying that Dice City’s dice rolling/city building mechanic is enjoyable, however as a multiplayer experience there’s too much downtime. The four player game takes far too long but the two-player or even the solitaire variants flow far more smoothly and are great fun.
IF YOU LIKE MACHI KORO TRY DICE CITY
City building, dice rolling, lovely illustrations… if that all sounds familiar to you, then Dice City is more certainly worth a look.
- Four player boards
- 20 coloured dice
- 149 cards
- 93 tokens
This feature originally appeared in Issue 4 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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