Everyone needs a good filler game every now and then. A game that you can play in 15 to 20 minutes while waiting for someone to show up to your game night. The new dice rolling game Martian Dice from Tasty Minstrel Games fills that niche perfectly. Martian Dice is a press-your-luck dice game where each player is trying to attack the earth and collect cows, chickens, and humans. Can you abduct enough subjects before the tanks blow you out of the sky? Read on to find out!
Martian Dice is a press-your-luck dice game for 2-99 players that plays in about 10-15 minutes. Martian Dice plays best with 3-4 players.
In Martian Dice, you take on the role of an Martian coming to invade earth. You goal is to capture livestock and humans while avoiding the tanks trying to blast you out of the sky. Each turn you will roll and re-roll dice to further your abduction attempts. Each die has 5 different pictures on them: a cow, chicken, human, tank and 2 sides with space ships. Over the course of the game, you’ll be rolling the dice in a press-your-luck fashion to try and score points. The first player to score 25 points wins.
Martian Dice fits right in with the other similar games of its genre. Martian Dice comes in a small container (tube) of 13 custom dice. Each side of the die contains a unique image that corresponds to something in the game. The game is small and very portable. All-in-all I have no complaints with the components.
How to Play:
The rules for Martian Dice are really easy and you can learn in about 3 minutes. On their turn, a player first rolls all 13 dice. They then immediately set aside any dice showing tanks (those are bad). After that, a player chooses on face of the remaining dice (chickens, cows, humans or space ships) and sets them all aside to be scored. Once done, roll the remaining again.
After this new roll, once again, set aside any tanks with the ones you set aside on the first roll. Then, a player must choose another set of dice to set aside. However, you can’t set things aside twice. If you kept chickens last round, you can’t do it again. The only exception to that rule are space ships. You can always keep those. You want a good amount of space ships as that’s how you defend against the tanks. At the end of your turn, if you have more tanks than space ships, you score nothing for the turn. The mean soldiers have chased you off.
You can choose to stop rolling after any set of rolls and keep what you’ve scored so far and add the points to your running total. If, after any roll, you can’t set aside anything (because you already had in a previous roll) then you lose everything you’ve score that round and get a zero. That’s all there is to the rules. The first player to score 25 points wins. Simple enough.
Martian Dice came onto the scene at the start of the die rolling craze. This type of game was made popular, in my opinion, with the popular game Zombie Dice. Both are good games in my opinion and have enough differences that they each have their own personality.
Press-your-luck dice games are rarely deep game play experiences and Martian Dice is no different. Martian Dice is a great beer and pretzels type of game. We played it, as evidenced in these photos, at an outdoor BBQ. It was the perfect game for this kind of situation. People could drink, chat and only had to half pay attention. And that’s where when Martian Dice really shines. When you can just sit back, relax and sling some dice. Anyone looking for depth of strategy will be sorely disappointed.
While the game isn’t deep, players turns are filled with some tough, albeit brief, decisions to make. Which dice you keep on a turn can be a challenging decision with the right rolls. Unfortunately, that also means you are at the mercy of the dice, and the dice can be a fickle mistress. Martian Dice is all about the luck of the roll and if that bothers you, then you’ll hate this game. But if you can take those bad rolls in stride, I think you’ll have a fun time with Martian Dice. For those times when you just want to shut your brain off and have a little fun, Martian Dice is an excellent choice.
Simple, fun, and low time investment required. That’s Martian Dice in a nutshell for you. If you are looking for an evening of depth and strategy, look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a nice filler game, then you’ve found what you are looking for. Martian Dice is perfect to play in between heavier games, or with friends and family who might be new to the hobby. Like I mentioned earlier, Martian Dice makes for a great game at parties or BBQs. And you don’t have to worry about someone spilling beer on your components.
The rules take less than 2 minutes to explain and the turns go by quickly. I wouldn’t play with more than half a dozen people as it would get pretty long between turns. Although, theoretically, you could play with 50 or 60 people if everyone was patient enough. If you are looking for a game to pull out at your next back yard BBQ or with your family after Christmas dinner, Martian Dice is worth checking out.
If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself, it’s about $15 .
Final Score: 3 Stars –Fun, quick and easy, especially for the type of game it is.
• Game play is not super deep
• Too many people will make it too long between turns
• Need to provide own score keeping system