Full disclosure: A review copy of Dice Flick was provided by Pegasus Spiele.
Alright, we’re back with two things that I enjoy. Dice games and dexterity games! I’ve been a bit off the dexterity game train lately. I think that’s partially because I haven’t really been able to play a game with more than two people in a while (I occasionally get three), and also just that dexterity games have tended to be more fun with more players. So, kind of fell out of practice. But now we have a game that seems like it might work! Let’s test it out.
In Dice Flick, there’s … not really an overarching narrative, but there is a bowl that you can throw dice into! Or are they gladiators? Or is that a different game? Who cares. Anyways, the key thing here is where the dice end up and how, but there’s more than that! There are even special spaces that have bonus effects! Who will earn the most points?
Basically none! Set the box bottom in the center of the table:
Attach the four dice flick bases to the green spaces around the box bottom:
Set the dice into the included bag:
You should be ready to start!
This one’s a pretty straightforward game. Over ten rounds, you’ll try to get as many points as you can by, you guessed it, flicking dice!
To start a turn, draw dice out of the bag until you have three dice in front of you. From those three dice, choose two to flick, setting the other die aside until the next turn. Choose any of the four flick bases around the bottom of the box and flick one of the dice into the center! If it lands in a hole, it’ll stay until it gets scored (which might not be this turn). If it lands in the trench or outside the box, it gets returned to the bag immediately.
For scoring, you only score dice that are part of valid dice combinations. A dice combination is a collection of at least three adjacent dice of the same color. Certain spots on the board have “upgrade markers”, which are effectively dice with values of 2 of each color. Only orthogonally-adjacent dice count towards a valid combination, though. There are two exceptions: a die in the middle of the board doesn’t have to be part of a valid combination, and dice in a row targeted by a blast die don’t have to be, either. White dice count as any die color except pink.
The last space on the board is a bonus marker! It lets you immediately draw a die from the bag and choose one of your dice, flicking it into the play area as normal. This means you’ll flick three dice on your turn.
When scoring, you can score any and all valid dice combinations in any order, but each die can only count once. If scoring a Blast Die, you get to choose the row or column containing the Blast Die and score all dice in that row (you can score other dice combinations first). If the die in the center isn’t part of a dice combination, it still scores. Either way, the die in the center of the play area scores double, so that’s fun. Any dice used for scoring are returned to the bag immediately. Total your points and add them to the score sheet.
After ten rounds, the player with the most points wins!
Player Count Differences
I wouldn’t say that there are a … ton? There’s some slight variance around specifically which dice end up where at the end of each turn, but that variance may or may not work in your favor. More dice getting flicked into the center just means that there might be more waiting for you on your turn (giving you a better chance to score) or fewer open spots (meaning that you might end up in the trenches) or more opportunities for your opponents to score on their turn. The only particularly bad thing is that other players get to keep one die between turns, so more players means that you suddenly may not have access to certain dice, which isn’t terrible, but may not be great. It’s not a particularly big deal in the larger context of things, so I wouldn’t say it necessarily affects my opinion on the ideal player count. I’d say Dice Flick works with any number of players.
- Sometimes it’s best to rotate the box before taking your shot. Players tend to always shoot from the side of the box they start on, but rotating the box can give you a better shot, especially if there are already dice on the board in the color you’re shooting or you want to go after specific spots on the board. Just consider other flick stands around the box before you take the shot.
- Keep in mind that you can keep a die between turns. I usually try to keep the Blast Die until there are a lot of dice on the board so that I can try and rack up a huge turn, or I’ll shoot the Blast Die to turn a low-scoring turn into a decent-scoring turn. Sometimes it’s worth keeping a die just so your opponent has a lower chance of drawing one.
- Blast dice are pretty much always useful; even more so if you can get them into the center. The center doubles the value of a die, and Blast Dice let you clear either their row or their column, so they have a ton of utility.
- Use the layout of the board to your advantage! If your opponent leaves a bunch of dice on the board for you, try to hit towards them! See if you can score a big combination. You also don’t particularly want dice to be left on the board between turns, since your opponent(s) can similarly take advantage of them.
- As with a number of these types of games, it’s hard to give too many pieces of strategic advice for a highly-variable dexterity dice game. At some point it’s just “hit the die into the center and see what happens”, and that’s kind of how things work. Try not to overthink it; it’s a quick game.
Pros, Mehs, and Cons
- This is a very easy game to learn, which is nice. The most complicated thing about the game is the Blast Dice, and you can explain those in a few seconds.
- I always appreciate games that are played inside of the game box. It’s fun. It makes the game feel compact, in some way, like the old travel games I grew up with. It’s a bit goofy, but I appreciate it.
- The dice colors are particularly nice; the Blast dice are an intense, glittering pink, which is entertaining. It’s just a fun, bright set of dice colors. The white dice are a bit boring, but they’re supposed to be, so it’s fine.
- I like the printed stickers being able to be used to form combinations. I like that there are essentially starting dice of a value of 2 of each color on the board. I think that’s fun, and it makes scoring on your turn possible even if there are no other dice on the board, which is good. I particularly like accidentally shooting a die of the same color but a lower value into that spot and just making that space objectively worse.
- Short turns are very nice, as well. It’s a very quick game to play, turn-to-turn. You just flick two dice (sometimes three) and you’re done.
- I like the kind of goofy trench. It’s a bit weird! It’s essentially a moat, but also a gutter? It seems like a silly thing to make a formal trench for, but I guess it’s to make it hard for dice to bounce out of it and back into the board? I’m not sure why it’s got the ribbing on it, but whatever; it gives the trench character.
- It’s been a minute since I’ve played a good dexterity game! I’ve missed it. It’s fun to try and plan around how you’re going to flick the die like that’s going to matter. Sometimes you make the perfect shot and it’s thrilling, and sometimes you just shoot wildly because, at the end of the day, you’re flicking dice into a box. It’s goofy and marvelous.
- It almost would be nice to have more spots on the board with various effects, just because a non-scoring turn is kind of a bummer. The three Upgrade Markers are nice, but having a few different effects in other spots on the board might have made things a bit more … frenetic, I suppose? Some turns can just be a bit underwhelming if someone doesn’t score at all. It’s even worse for players who just kind of consistently hit into the trenches, but that’s similar to bowling. For players that are having a bit of a rough time hitting consistently, you can just institute a bumper rule where, for them, the trench is a reshoot.
- The rulebook translation is just okay; it feels like things could have been clearer. There are a few word choices that are odd? I think there was just a flow issue in the rulebook, which surprised me a bit. Not terrible, but there are some places where the word “respectively” is just kind of thrown into the middle of a sentence, which is confusing.
Overall: 7.5 / 10
Overall, I found Dice Flick to be entertaining! I think since it’s a bit abstract, I was hoping that there would be some more energy to its dexterity elements to drive past the lack of a theme of any kind, but even without that, it’s still pretty enjoyable. I think that one of the things I like is just that there’s not much to it. You can kind of just set it down, set it up, and you’re pretty much good to go. Most of the fun is trying to convince yourself that you’re any good at aiming for specific spots in the board and then realizing that maybe, just maybe, you are? It can be exciting, even if it’s another player making a really good shot. I think that the joy of a lot of dexterity games is that you can see how difficult making a certain shot work is, so even if someone else gets it, all you can do is cheer for them. Also, the Blast Die is pink and glittery, which is fun. You don’t see that in a lot of dice in games. It may not be my favorite dexterity game ever, but I think Dice Flick is a solid game that I think would be a fun way to get people excited about trying games that they haven’t before. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, or you just want to try and see how good you are at flicking dice, give it a try! You might enjoy it; I certainly had fun.
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