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Review: Mars Attacks The Dice Game

The following is a review of Mars Attacks: The Dice Game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Fun, but the theme may be an acquired taste

Being a fan of the Mars Attacks movie, I was interested in just how well a dice game based upon it would be.

The game actually puts you into the role of the Martians, and does not really tie into the movie. This is quite honestly a wise decision on their part, since personally I like playing the bad guys sometimes.

Game play consists of putting out a few piles of cards with various locations. Each player will then role dice in an attempt to control each location until one of the stacks has been depleted.

While it sounds relatively easy, since you must pick a location you're going for, and each die has three different symbols, one of which can end your turn early, it actually turns into a slightly challenging game, as you must often decide whether you want to keep rolling dice, or quit when you're ahead.

The downside to this game is that the theme appears to turn some people off, or at least doesn't appeal to them. I've brought this to a few sessions and it usually gets turned down for other games instead. The rules also take a little while to understand (I'd recommend readying them beforehand and maybe trying a mock game). However, once you do get a game going, and understand the rules, you'll probably have a fun time conquering the world.

Fortunately, while the game recommends 3-6 players, I was able to play a couple games with only two players, as long as you play with the three player rules for card counts. You could probably also get a solo variant going with nukes perhaps having some impact on the locations you can conquer.

Finally, the quality of the actual game is pretty high. The long box is already starting to show wear with bending on the top, but the actual cards, dice, and tokens are of a good quality.

Overall I give Mars Attacks: The Dice Game four stars. I had a lot of fun playing it, despite it being primarily dice based. I really wish I was able to get more people to play with me.

Tags: dice game, review

Categories: gaming, review

(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Review: Karma Card Game

The following is a review of the Karma Card Game, provided to me by the Amazon Vine program.

Simple enough for kids, but fun for all

A number of years ago I was introduced to the SET Card Game by a former co-worker. SET is fairly basic game that requires a deal of thinking, and is something I really enjoyed playing. So when I saw the SET name on the box for the Karma Card Game I knew I had to request a copy. Having now played a few games of it, I'm glad I did.

Karma is a pretty basic game, similar to the game Shithead, but with additional cards. Basically you and up to 5 other players take a set of cards, some of which are in front of you face down, some of which are face up, and some of which are in your hand. Each turn you either need to lay a card higher than the last card played, or pick up the stack. If you do play a card and have less than a certain number of cards, you draw a replacement card(s), with the goal to have no remaining cards.

If you've played one of the other variants you'll find the inclusion of the Karma cards to be a nice variant. These can be played against any card and have effects ranging from requiring a card below a certain value to be played, a card higher in value than the bottom card, or for someone to pick up the entire stack.

Play initially starts slow as you run through the main desk, especially since unlike other variants there's not really a good way to clear the play pile (a variant I play has a set of 4 cards in a row clear the pile). Because of this game length varied from 25 to 35 minutes.

We did generally agree that the game would be great for playing with kids, although the number of cards you need to manage when you pick up a large play pile can be a bit overwhelming. Since there's nothing more than a small stack of cards required, it's also very portable (I played a couple games waiting for food at a restaurant).

The price is a little unfortunate, as when I told people how much it was (list price $13, Amazon for a little over $10) they were expecting something around $7 or $8 instead, especially since this could easily fit into a smaller package. With the exception of the Karma cards, you can also play one of the standard variants with a normal pack of playing cards. The numbering these cards use, however, does seem like it would be better for younger players.

Ultimately it's still a very fun game, and is highly recommended. However, I have to give the Karma Card Game only 4 of 5 stars, since while fun, a normal pack of cards would be fine for most older players.

Tags: card game, review

Categories: gaming, review

(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Review: SET Dice Game

The following is a review of the SET Dice Game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

A pleasant twist on the SET card game

I was introduced to the SET card game a little over four years ago by a former co-worker. Having more experience than I, she kicked my butt every time we played together, but it was enjoyable, and I still did sufficiently good at the single player variant. So when I saw the SET Dice Game available for review I snapped up the chance.

First, the game itself comes in a very nice box. The top of the box is already starting to sag a bit, after less than two weeks of ownership, but the sides still seem sturdy. It's not too much of an issue since the box does include a nice bag for the dice. The dice are each very large (almost an inch square) and there are 42 in the set. They definitely seem like they're going to last.

The unfortunate bit about the game is the game board, which is only used in one of the three game variants. While it's a nice board, it has some difficulty staying flat, given the size and folding (it wants to fold closed). But, it's a very minor issue.

Moving on, there are instructions for three variants of SET. If you've played the card game before then the base rules of what makes a SET haven't changed. Each variant states that it will last 20 minutes, although these could easily go longer or shorter, based upon the skill of the players and the roll of the dice.

Scramble SET is much like the SET card game in that a number of dice are rolled and each person can call SETs as they see them. In this variant all 42 dice are rolled at once. This has a solo variant which is enjoyable.

Crossword SET is like Bananagrams in that each player gets a number of tiles. They then use those tiles to build a crossword-like grid of their tiles, optionally taking another from the bag if they're unable to use all their dice. This too has a solo variant which is enjoyable enough, although I think I'd rather play Scramble SET.

The final variant (technically first in the instructions) is SET Cubed, and is the only one that doesn't have a solo variant, and is the only one to use the game board. This is also the most complex, having more instructions associated with it than the other two variants combined, due primarily with the instructions. This variant allows players to build upon SETs others have played on the game board for added points, and is like Crossword SET but with a single grid. The complexity of this variant turned me off of this, so we ended up playing one of the other variants instead.

Overall the SET Dice Game easily gets a full five of five stars. They've successfully taken an enjoyable thinking game and added fun variants. The quality of the game definitely makes it worth the price of the package, especially given the high replay value of this game. Highly recommended.

Tags: board game, dice game, logic, review, set

Categories: gaming, review

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