At the beginning of this month I read this article by a chap who’d just released his first board (dice) game and the challenges he faced doing it: http://b.jonw.com/post/46853309918/making-a-physical-product
It was a very good read, and the game looked fun, so I bought it. Woohoo!
Today I got together with 5 friends and colleagues to play it. I’m afraid we didn’t even finish the first game.
To be blunt: The game is terrible. It’s very similar to Zombie Dice (push your luck die rolling game) but with extra rules governing when you can score and allowing you to ‘attack’ other players to reduce their score.
Both of these additions are detrimental. First, the extra scoring rules make it much more difficult to score. It’s too easy to reach the turnover requirement (3 ‘Black Holes’) before you score more than a point or two.
Second, taking points away from others. Thematically it works (‘Space Debris’ crashes into their planets, destroying them) but practically all it does is prolong a game that already drags on.
Even worse, there’s a small chance that you can roll a ‘Supernova’, which simply resets the entire game for everyone. It’s awful, and we instantly decided to ignore it.
Ultimately, the thing I like about Zombie Dice is its simplicity. Space Dice tries to spice things up with a theme but it throws off the balance in the process. It’s a shame, because I admire the effort put into creating the game. It’s something I aspire to do myself one day.
Don’t buy Space Dice. If someone wants to play it, decline. It’s a terrible game.