Ratzzia Review


Nice dice for mice

Solidarity between vermin is important, especially if you want to reach the highest shelves of goodies in the kitchen. Sadly though, just like their primary domestic nemeses, they are a little difficult to herd.

And that’s because these rats are dice. You roll them, you reroll them, and then you place them on the (lovely, double layered) board so that they can reach the top of the shelf and get the delicious prize. There are other treats on the way (usually wonderful sausage tokens) but the prize is at the top of each row. The thing is, you’re not the only rat pack in town, and your opponents may use your furry six-sided bodies to scamper up to the higher rungs of the ladder and grab those treats you were diligently working your way towards.

Every time you place a dice-rat you commit them to that slot, making the number of dice your roll next time fewer, and your chances of completing the stack lower. It’s an interesting kind of commitment to make as it helps your opponent directly by reducing your chances and then by also putting them a little closer to the best snacks. In this there’s a general negative feeling to a lot of your actions, which also comes through in the inventive interruptions that can be inflicted. There’s the stealing mechanic, where you swipe a pile of unsecured goodies from another player, and a way to alert the cat, which returns all the of the players dice. The latter involves adding a numbered dice to the cat area and any matching rolled by other players, robbing them of a dice and pushing the game closer to the cat being alerted. It’s a fun mechanic, but one that feels like a stall, which is the best you can hope for in a lot of situations.

Other little bits of fun are wildcard candy dice (not edible, sadly), and the strange accountant mouse who levels out the unsecured scores on the doors. Players are working to gather up enough sausages, cheese and crackers to make it worth committing dice to the storage row, which allows them to keep their bounty safe from others. It should be a good mechanic with a feeling of risk about it, but there’s a sense that you’re always waiting to see if you’re about to lose out when it’s not your turn. With that, and the negative feelings around the actions you can take, the game doesn’t feel like it imbues you with much in the way of agency. Or at least, agency in actions you want to take. 

PLAY IT? MAYBE

It’s a risk-reward dice game, with really nice components and a lot of good ideas which felt a bit flat after a while. For those happy with the amount of randomness and points snatching it’ll be a winner. 

TRY THIS IF YOU LIKED The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game…

While this is a roll and write, fans of chucking some dice to build up to a pay-off might find a bit of joy in Ratzzia

Christopher John Eggett

Designer: Sophia Wagner

Publisher: Devir Games

Time: 30 minutes

People: 2-5

Age: 8+

Price: £30

WHATS IN THE BOX

45 Sausage tokens

35 Dice (7 per player)

7 Cracker tokens

7 Cheese tokens

5 Little sacks

2 Candy dice

1 Game board

7 Game board setup pieces


This review originally appeared in Issue 44 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.

Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products

WHATS IN THE BOX

  • 45 Sausage tokens
  • 35 Dice (7 per player)
  • 7 Cracker tokens
  • 7 Cheese tokens
  • 5 Little sacks
  • 2 Candy dice
  • 1 Game board
  • 7 Game board setup pieces

This review originally appeared in Issue 44 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.

Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products

Comments

No comments