Game of Dice
Game of Dice is a mobile strategy board game where players assume the role of a character and roll dice to capture a variety of properties scattered around the board. Beautiful anime graphics and a variety of characters combine for an accessible board game on the go.
|Publisher: Joycity Games
Type: Mobile Strategy Game
Release Date: October 14, 2015
Pros: +High quality anime graphics. +Quality sound and music design +Easy to pick up and play.
Cons: -Repetitive gameplay. -Pay-to-win aspects.
Game of Dice Overview
Game of Dice is a highly popular free-to-play real-time pvp strategy board game MMO developed by Joycity, the company behind the Freestyle Street Basketball series and a variety of other mobile games. It's a board game where players roll dice to capture a variety of properties, featuring a Monopoly-esque game with gambling and card game features that addictively blend skill and luck elements with beautiful anime graphics and high quality sound design. Collect and upgrade characters, skill cards and dice as you play against people from all over the world to climb your way to the top of the leaderboards and become a Game of Dice grandmaster.
Game of Dice Key Features:
- High Quality Anime-Style Graphics – Gorgeous anime-style graphics and animations that’ll have you looking collect every character, skill card and dice possible.
- Real-time PVP Gameplay – Player versus player core gameplay that involved real-time decisions and an emote system you can use to communicate with your teammates and opponents.
- Collectible, Customizable Cards, and Characters – that directly impact your performance and serve to tailor your particular play style as desired.
- Catchy Music and Sound Design – Music and sound design that doesn’t get old even after
hundreds of hours of repetitive gameplay.
Game of Dice Screenshots
Game of Dice Featured Video
Game of Dice Review
By, Fletcher Martin
Game of Dice is a free-to-play mobile MMO on Android and iOS created by Joycity Games, the company behind Freestyle Street Basketball, Warship Battle and a variety of other mobile and non-mobile MMOs you probably haven’t heard of. It’s a dice-based game—go figure—where you play individual game sessions versus other people and work to unlock better items and characters as you make your way up the leaderboards.
Graphically the game is gorgeous. Like many mobile MMOs it requires a bit of extra download time after you grab the game from your app store of choice. However while downloading you’re introduced to the game’s backstory—which will never be spoken of again—through an anime video that gives you a sort of glimpse into the high quality anime graphics and art style you can expect while playing Game of Dice.
Of course, presentation isn’t everything. There are plenty of mobile games with anime graphics and pleasant sound design. We’re here to primarily discuss how the game plays and if it’s worth your time.
A Dicey Form of Monopoly
If you’re familiar with the board game Monopoly then you’ll quickly recognize the game’s most basic core mechanics. You and two other players roll dice and make your way around a Monopoly-like board made up of color-coded cities, four separate vacation spots, and a few areas of chance.
Whenever you land on an empty city you gain control of it, and a little house shaded in with your player color appears. As you complete your journey around the board, and essentially pass Go, all the houses or cities you own level up until they reach the max level of 4. Anytime someone else lands on your cities they have to pay taxes to you equal to the house level and corresponding city value. Should you own all the cities in a given color the game declares you have a monopoly and the taxes for those cities are doubled.
Each player starts with a finite amount of Joy—Game of Dice’s primary in-game currency, derived from the player’s main bankroll. When a player becomes bankrupt, i.e. they run out of Joy, they lose. The player can then choose whether they want to buy back into the game once for a small amount of Joy and chance a come from behind victory —risking more of their overall bankroll in the process—or concede defeat and move on to a new game. The last player standing wins.
Vacations are essentially the game’s version of Monopoly’s railroads. The more you own, the more people get taxed whenever they land on one of your vacation spots. However, vacations don’t receive houses like the standard cities found around the board, and their taxes don’t multiply even if you own all four —making them scale poorly in comparison to the rest of the board unless you’re able to easily obtain all four vacation spots.
Dice Control and Takeovers
It all sounds simplistic and easy until you’re introduced to the various game mechanics involved. The first twist being that you can somewhat control your dice roll outcome. Want to better your chances of landing on a spot 6 spaces away? Hold the roll button and release when the charge-o-meter is on the 5 – 7 option. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll roll within that range but it does seem to better your chances. If you do manage to land within the range, the game satisfyingly lets the rest of the players know you meant to do that by proclaiming “Dice Control” on screen for all to see.
Each player also gets to start with Takeover items, which allow you to take control of cities from other players after you land on the city and pay the associated taxes. The catch is that you have a finite number of takeovers. Deciding whether or not to ruin an opponent’s monopoly on a cheap color city or hold out until you land on a more expensive city can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Players can put together a deck of cards to play with before they sign up for a match. You choose which 3 cards to start the game with, then you randomly receive one of the other six cards in your deck every 4 turns.
The cards have their own rarity, ranked between 2 to 5 stars with 5 being the rarest. The higher a card’s rarity, the better it is. This quickly differentiates the “haves” from the “have-nots,” and players with rarer cards are much more likely to win against beginners with standard 2 star decks.
You can try combining duplicate cards you don’t want/need to acquire rarer cards, but don’t hold your breath while waiting to turn 2 star cards into 3 star cards—let alone get anything worthwhile. Your best bet is, of course, to spend some real money on gems—the game’s premium currency—and try your hand at gem-based card draws, which randomly give you cards of varying rarities.
That being said, the game does give newbies some decent cards to start with, two of which even seasoned veterans still utilize after playing for dozens of hours.
Characters and Consistent Mechanics
Your chances of winning any particular game is largely determined before you ever press “Join a Table.”
It starts with your character card, the rarity of which ranges from 2 to 5 stars just like the aforementioned skill cards. The more stars your character card has, the higher his/her stats become as you Enhance them with in-game gold. These characters affect everything from the amount of Joy you start each game with to the chance of succeeding with Dice Control.
As with cards, players with rarer characters are at a distinct advantage with higher base stats. The difference is substantial, with the base stats of 5 star characters being higher than some max level 2 star characters.
Players can also acquire different types of dice which come with their own bonuses, rarities, and can be enhanced just like characters and skill cards. They animate on screen whenever you roll, often serving as a status symbol of sorts for players with rarer, more expensive dice variants.
The Various Forms of Currency
The game has three forms of currency:
- Joy – the primary in-game currency that serves as your account’s bankroll. It’s used to rank you against other players, buy into tables in order to play the game, and can be used to purchase Gold or premium tickets for rare characters and skill cards.
- Gold – a secondary in-game currency awarded through daily missions and various other means that can be used to enhance characters and dice as well as perform standard rolls for new characters, cards, and dice fragments.
- Gems – the game’s premium currency, which can be bought with real money and used to do/obtain just about everything in the best way possible.
All forms of currency, even gems, can be obtained through a variety of means—from leveling up to missions that require you to complete predetermined objectives, like winning two games throughout the day. This goes a long way to try to bridge the gap between free and paying players, but doesn’t do enough to prevent pay-to-win concerns.
Gambling Addiction at its Finest
As if everything we’ve already discussed weren’t enough, the game also uses a betting system to hook gambling addicts the world over. When you land on a city you already own you can choose to spend some of the Joy from your primary bankroll to multiply the taxes on your property. The bets from all players in any given game go into a pot that’s rewarded to the victor.
The amount required even for minimum bets aren’t small. Deciding whether or not to bet is often a crucial and difficult decision to make, especially in the small time allotment players are given to decide what to do.
However, should you bet the house and wind up with a bankroll of 0, you will get 1B Joy that you can use to buy your way into a Rookie level table and keep playing. The game has no stamina feature or play limiting device, allowing players to binge-play to their heart’s content.
Teams, Guilds and Friendship
The game follows the usual free-to-play model of friends being able to send little gifts to one another. These gifts come in the form of 10 GP every 24 hours. Players are able to exchange 150 GP for gift boxes that offer an assortment of items, ranging from premium character cards to Joy.
Unfortunately, guilds don’t serve much of a purpose beyond a means to make gold. Guild members check-in daily by pressing a button on the guild menu. The more people who check-in, the more gold everyone gets. Beyond also being able to talk to your members through messages of 50 characters or less on the guild’s bulletin board, being in a guild serves no tangible purpose that isn’t met by inviting strangers to be friends.
Team games are undoubtedly where Game of Dice shines, with 2v2 partners sharing cities to acquire color monopolies while also being able to bet on each other’s properties and use skill cards in tandem. The only problem is that teammates can only communicate in-game through predetermined emotes, making in-game collaboration impossible if you team up with a stranger instead of a friend you’re able to speak with in real life.
Is It Pay-to-Win?
Yes, but not insurmountably so. There is a fair amount of luck involved in the game, making it possible for free players to win against even the game’s wealthiest fat cats. For instance, on someone’s first turn they can land on the Fortune Road, hit the Conquer City square, obtain the most expensive city in the game with a fully leveled house and then knock out the other two competitors on their first turn around the board. As unlikely and complex as that may sound, I’ve seen it happen three times over the course of thirty games—luckily twice in my favor.
That being said, free players should expect to lose much more often than not to paying players. Paying players have a massive advantage, most of which comes in the form of Boost Items that give everything from a free city at the start of your first turn to an extra takeover item. Boost Items are purchasable with gold, but the currency is required so much and is so scarce that it’s impractical to buy 4,500 gold worth of Boost Items every single game unless you’re a paying player.
The Final Verdict – Good
The game is fun, flashy and addictive, but Game of Dice’s pay-to-win nature is hard to avoid. Coupled with the fact that Eastern audiences have received a substantial head-start, a lot of Western players—especially the free ones—will likely get frustrated and quit because they’re at a constant disadvantage. (The same disadvantage any new player is going to now face regardless of where they’re from.)
In the end it all comes down to how much you like Monopoly and your level of patience for losing due to sheer bad luck. And, of course, how much importance you place on quality graphics and sound design—which is largely why I’ve continued to masochistically play this game throughout the course of writing this review.
Game of Dice Videos
Game of Dice Links
Game of Dice System Requirements
Android 3.1 and up / iOS 7.1 or later
Game of Dice Music & Soundtrack
Game of Dice Additional Information
Developer: Joycity Games
Publisher: Joycity Games
Platforms: Android, iOS
Release Date: October 14, 2015
Development History / Background:
Game of Dice was developed by JoyCity Games, the same studio behind the Freestyle Street Basketball series and a variety of other mobile games. The board game MMO hit 1,000,000+ downloads on Android and iOS in less than two months after it was released. It’s one of Joycity’s most popular titles to date.