Video games often exist as digital expressions of physical games. Like Hearthstone to Magic: The Gathering, the overlap between the worlds is pretty apparently. Enter Dicetiny, a self described Card-Boiled RPG Under the Influence. Of what? Monopoly and dozens of pop culture references, mostly.
Equal parts Milton Bradley board game and Fantasy Flight Deck Buidling game, Dicetiny tasks players with bringing justice to evil-doers by running around a square board and wearing the enemy down. It's mostly a game of attrition, as each space is either a special event zone (like a shop or for drawing event cards) or a monster to be slain or hired. When you kill the monsters you land on, you sometimes gain rewards, but for the most part they are strictly there to slowly tick away at your enemy's life total. They start out neutral, but when you land on a space and opt to hire a creature instead of kill it, the monster will only do damage to enemies that land on it. When a space is emptied, you can play cards from your hand that fill it with loyal minions. These monsters can be powered up with certain cards or hero abilities as time goes on, making the pressure and fear of landing on the space more and more daunting, not unlike buying houses and hotels on Monopoly properties. Passive on their own, but everyone knows that the threat to their wallet grows with every passing turn.
The events spice action up in interesting ways. Sometimes a card just gives you more money, while other times it lets you dash directly to the enemy and deal your hero's power in damage to every monster on the way. Events are what elevate the game to a higher level of entertaining chaos. You never really know what's going to happen next and how it can affect you. Since movement is random (with a roll of a pair of d6s) most of the game is spent waiting for your plans to come to fruition. This can be very intense in some respects, when you have that 10 strength monster just waiting to be tripped over by your opponent. But sometimes it's just a lot of sitting and waiting. Events really spice things up and keep you engaged.
Additionally, this game's pretty on point with its sense of humor. Almost immediately, Dicetiny evokes as many sci-fi and fantasy tropes it can to stress the point that its creators, Fake Dice, are nerds and fully aware of how ridiculous some of the things they love truly are. Your main hero is a muscle bound, cleft chin mega hunk that is in every way a Conan clone. The game shamelessly mimics the iconic floating font of Star Wars in its intro, and the main story calls up Lord of the Rings on multiple occasions. It's very much a love letter to these franchises, as well as a sobering mirror for them to gaze into.
It's in early access now, so only the first level of the story scenarios is playable. You can tinker with the deck building functionality as well, but right now much of what the game has to offer is limited to what is available here. That said, there's plenty of potential. I encourage old school board game enthusiasts looking for a fun and casual romp to check out this genre bending adventure. Check out our Official Dicetiny Wiki first, they tweet us @CurseGamepedia and tells us what you think.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.