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Lightning Dice

I came across “Lightning Dice” and instantly had two thoughts.  The first one involved lightning bolts shooting from the sky made of dice instead of electricity (wouldn’t that be fun?) while the second revolved around the idea of a fast and furious dice rolling game.  Imagine my surprise when the latter turned out the be true…though while hazardous, bolts made of lightning would save me from ever having to buy dice again.  In “Lightning Dice”, players will be furiously rolling dice to try and match the flipped card in order to score points, though they’ll be able to give themselves a bonus or their opponents a penalty if they roll particular combinations.  Special thanks to Brian from Wild East Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

 

Lightning Dice: 2-6 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 10-20 Minutes

Lightning Dice: 2-6 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 10-20 Minutes

 

Components

The game includes 50 Lightning Dice cards, 6 colored pawns, 36 colored dice and printed instructions.

Setup & Gameplay

Each player gets a pawn and dice of matching colors, with the former going on the “Start” space on the score track.  Each player is assigned a player number (1, 2, etc.) which will come into play later on for scoring purposes.  The cards are shuffled and placed face-down.

When players are ready to begin, the first card is flipped.  Everyone, at the same time, will roll their dice with the intent on matching the combination listed on the card.  Players may roll any number of dice they want with each roll and there are no turns, so roll quickly!  The first to meet the card’s requirements scores two points and moves their marker up the score track.  A new card is drawn and the process repeats.

If you happen to roll all the same number and it happens to be your player number, you get a bonus point and will then continue to try and meet the requirements on the card as normal.  If you happen to roll all the same number and it happens to be an opponent’s player number, they lose a point and then you’ll continue to try and meet the requirements on the card as normal.

The first player to reach twenty points wins the game!

Alternatively, players can play without the board & pawns.  The first player to meet the card’s requirements takes the card.  When the deck runs out, the player with the most cards wins the game.

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

 

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The Review

There’s a reason why “Roll For It!”, another game I reviewed last year, was so popular in my household…it’s fun and easy to play.  I’m pleased to report that “Lightning Dice” was equally as well received.  I’m personally not a fan of games that force you to rush against other players, so I decided to modify the rules a bit so that everyone took a dice roll in turn (like in “Roll For It!”).  This kept things less messy, less competitive, and less stressful…three things I look for in a family-friendly game.  Sure, the frantic dice rolling might bode well with some people…I just prefer a more relaxed atmosphere because I’m slowing down in my old age and take longer to process things.  Taking turns, I find, also makes the game slightly more strategic as you’ll really have to pick and choose which dice to reroll and which ones to keep.

I did like the added mechanic of either gaining a bonus or applying a penalty to an opponent upon rolling all the same number.  It gave me a few options when I wasn’t rolling particularly well to meet the card’s requirements.  Speaking of which, the cards were both pleasant to look at and easy to read, which is a plus.  In fact, everything about the game looked sharp.  My only real concern here is the $29.95 price tag featured on the game’s official website.  It’s a bit much, I feel, for how simple the game is…$19.99 would have been a bit more realistic.  Then again, I’ve been told countless times that manufacturing costs sometimes force developers to set the price tag higher than they’d like.  Still, as a consumer, I think twenty bucks is a bit more reasonable and on par with other dice games on the market.

If the price tag doesn’t concern you and dice rolling games are a family favorite, then by all means give “Lightning Dice” a spin.

Final Verdict: 7/10

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