It seems that dice rolling games are a bit of a rage right now. There are quite a few entries in the market to fill just about any interest you might have. If you are into Zombies, Martians, Egyptian gods or even the Island of Catan, there is a dice game for you. So with no shortage of dice games already available, this week we take a look at the newest entry into the market: Skyline. Does Skyline build on the foundation other dice games have brought to the market or does it need to be scheduled for immediate demolition? Read on to find out!
Skyline is a dice rolling, press-your-luck style game for 1-4 players. Skyline has a play time of about 15 minutes and is best played with 2-3 players.
Skyline is a press-your-luck style of game involving set collection. On a players turn, they will roll dice of up to 3 different type, trying to construct buildings using the results of their rolls. Unlike previous dice rolling games, Skyline players build on their previous turns successes as they try and increase the size of their buildings. The game is usually played over the course of 9 rounds, with the winner being the player with the most victory points.
The first thing you will notice about skyline is the massive amount of dice you get. While Martian Dice may come with 13 dice and a convenient cup, Skyline comes with 60 dice and a small play board. This heavy box makes you feel like you’re getting your moneys worth when you purchase it.
The dice come in 3 different varieties: ground floor, mid-level and high rise. Each of those dice, in turn, will have 3 different buildings them. So when you roll in your turn, you never know which building option you will have.
The game also comes with a number of building tiles, to be used for scoring during the game. I was pleasantly surpassed with the artwork in Skyline. The artwork is very colorful and somewhat comic. The artist did a great job of capturing the spirit of the game.
I should also mention that I was a little disappointed with the rule book. There were a few typos that I feel should have been easily caught before printing, especially a glaring one during the explanation of scoring. Other parts of the rule book didn’t explain the game thoroughly enough and I ended up watching a video online to learn how to play. But don’t let that deter you from trying out Skyline. The rules are actually quite easy and once you get an understanding of how to play, the game flow fairly quickly.
How to Play:
The game turn in Skyline is easy enough. A player chooses 3 dice from the above selection options (or all the dice in the abandoned district) and rolls them. A player must then use at least one action with a die before they can re-roll the remaining dice.
Available actions are:
Build – Take a die and add it to your skyline in an appropriate spot.
Abandon – Take a die and dump it in the abandoned district.
Demolish – Take a die and return it to the construction yard (where you originally pick dice from), along with one of your buildings or partially completed buildings.
My first question, while reading the rules was, “why would I ever want to demolish a building?” The answer is that a player has the option of taking all dice from the abandoned district on their turn instead of from the construction yard. So if you abandoned a die on your turn, you opponent will be getting more dice to roll on their turn. In this game, an extra die can make a big difference.
Turns continue in this manner as players skyline slowly gets built up. The higher the building a player constructs, the more points their worth. While a player will get many more points from a high-rise building, it will also take them more turns too complete.
Once you’ve finished a building, you score it and return the dice back to the construction yard. In its place, you take a VP building tile and add it back to your skyline. Play continues until round 9 is finished, and everyone counts up their victory points. The game can also end early if someone builds the largest 6-die building.
It took us a couple of rounds to get the feel for the game, but once we did, we really enjoyed it. I think Skyline is best compared to other press-your-luck dice games, and it’s better than all of them. One thing that I really like it about Skyline is your turns are not self-contained. In Zombie Dice, you may score 5 points on one turn and 2 on the next, but nothing on turn 1 will influence turn 2.
In Skyline, you only get, at most, 9 turns. So planning ahead can help. You need to think about your dice selection, which ones to build with on a roll and when to stop constructing building and score it. This leads to many different decisions to make during a game, which we loved. In one game, a player built a lot of the 2 point, low-rise buildings and we called her skyline the slums. In another game, a player tried to get as many high point buildings as possible, ignoring the easy to build low-rises.
The different decisions you have to make on your turn are what help set Skyline aside from other dice rollers. No longer is it just deciding when to stop rolling or to roll again. Now it’s strategic decisions on what yo do with your dice. You have to pick the right dice at the start of your turn, and choose your actions carefully with each die. I think Skyline will be a great game for anyone who is looking for a bit more strategy in their filler games.
Even though Skyline is a luck-based, strategic game (sounds weird to me too), you don’t have to treat it as such. I’ve found you can just roll each turn and hope for the best. It should be noted, that with most dice rollers, Skyline is luck based. While it would be awesome to always roll the high-rise building options on your turn, sometimes that just wont happen and you’ll have to make do. This may be a turn off for some, but it wasn’t an issue for us. We went into this game knowing what it was. If you are looking for some deep, strategic game play, you’ll be disappointed. But if you just want to have some fun in a quick game, you’ve found a good choice. The easy to learn rules make Skyline accessible to just about anyone. You can bring it along to a family game night and people can jump right in with little rule explanation. Skyline plays in about 15 minutes, so it’s not uncommon to play a few games in a row.
All-in-all if you are a looking for a little more from a dice game, Skyline is worth checking out.
Every since I first played Sim City, I’ve enjoyed a good urban planning game. While Skyline won’t be winning any awards for its in-depth strategy, as a filler dice game it’s one of the better ones. Fun theme, accessible rules and easy game play make Skyline a great choice for something to get the game night rolling (pun intended).
While it does have a higher price point than other similar dice games, Skyline gives you a whole lot for your money. I don’t feel that Skyline is overpriced. Just feel the weight of the box and you’ll understand. Tasty Minstrel Games did a lot right with Skyline and it ended up being one of my favorite dice rollers. Give Skyline a try today and see how big your cityscape can be.
If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself, it’s about $24
Final Score: 3 Stars– A dice rolling filler game, but Skyline has much more depth the other offerings in the same tier.
• Quick, easy to learn game play
• Lots of high quality components
• Somewhat strategic game play for a dice roller
• Heavily luck based might be a turn off for some
• Rule book typos