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Subject: OctoDice - a Great filler game rss

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Scott Mohnkern
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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OctoDice, a great pick up game

OctoDice is a "dice throwing" game for one to four players that takes approximately 30 minutes to play. I found it a great 'pick up" game to use as filler for any game night. If you are looking for a good gateway game, or a game to serve as filler between two heavier games, its definitely worth a slot on your shelf.

The Game
OctoDice is a dice throwing game where you are building and undersea world, with labs, while exploring the sea and discovering octopi.

Mechanics are fairly simple, on a player's turn, you roll six dice, "lock in" two, roll the remaining four, lock in two more, and roll the last two, then score two pairs of the three plus any octopuses you roll.

The dice have a combination of:

White vs. black dice
Numbers
Colors on the numbers,
images (Labs, crystals, bots, subs, and octopi)

You have a little sheet (like a Yahtzee sheet) where you score. There are several possibilities for scoring.

Plus you have mid round scoring as well.

There are also options to use other player's dice on their turn to score on your sheet.

You play a total of 6 rounds, in sets of 2, and then there's bonus scoring at the end.

Thoughts about the components

There are very few components to this game, there are:

Six dice - There are six custom printed dice, which are nice, the only downside I saw was that with respect to the black dice, sometimes the images are hard to read.
Score Sheets - There is a nice pad of scoring sheets (which you need) and they are double sided (you only use one side per game). Unfortunately, I haven't found the sheets for sale on the AEG web site. I expect when I get close to running out I'll make 4 copies, and laminate them and use dry erase markers.
Lab tiles - Also with these they are double sided, making for an efficient use of the components, and the variety of labs (18 total) creates a lot of variety in the game.
The rules - The rule book here is pretty good. There were a few things that I found a little confusing on the first go around, but nothing that with a little thought I couldn't get through.

The only thing I did find missing in the components were cheat sheet cards. In particular, with new players, I found that I had to explain each of the different ways of scoring (there are perhaps six of them) several times. Having a player reference card which explain how crystal scoring works, vs. gears, vs. bots, vs subs would be pretty useful.

Now the score sheets have iconography that explains it, but it isn't obvious.

All and all, the components do their job well, and its not a game like
Zombicide: Black Plague or Blood Rage that relies heavily upon pretty components. But it's also not a $100 game. The components are a good value for the price.

Thoughts about the game itself
This has become one of my favorite go to filler games, along with Port Royal. If you're looking for a gateway game for new players, it does a great job.

Its hard not to compare this to two other dice throwers: Yahtzee and Favor of the Pharaoh. Obviously Yahtzee is a game everyone played as a kid (well, maybe not any more), and I used to tell people that Favor was a great transition for people that like Yahtzee, and it still is. But OctoDice tends to "insert" more unusual stuff (like using other player's dice, mid round scoring etc) that lends itself more to transitioning someone to heavier games.

On the other hand Favor of the Pharaoh tends to be a lot easier for novice players to pick up on. But it's also a heavy box, and a lot more expensive.

The Theme
I'm a huge fan of themes, and I'll be honest, this theme feels a little pasted on. (Then again, almost every dice thrower I've played the theme feels pasted on). The throwing of the dice in no way makes you feel like you're engaged in building an undersea colony.

I'm not sure honestly it makes any difference, it is still fun, but if you're looking for a game where the theme is a motivating component of the game (take The Gallerist or Myserium as examples, you're probably going to be disappointed with OctoDice's theming.

Conclusions

Ultimately OctoDice is worth a slot on your shelf if you:

1. Find yourself playing games with novice board gamers,
2. Want a light game to play between heavier games,
3. Need something portable and light to play, or
4. Love dice throwing games.



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Matt Highfill
United States
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The Gallerist has theme?
 
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William Diehl
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I think the theme works if you imagine its a dice version of aquasphere. The black/white dice represent your researcher and engineer and together they improve the lab and take actions toward research. I love aquasphere and that's why I bought this, so perhaps it's easier for me to imagine the theme ;)
 
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Scott Mohnkern
United States
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willdieh wrote:
I think the theme works if you imagine its a dice version of aquasphere. The black/white dice represent your researcher and engineer and together they improve the lab and take actions toward research. I love aquasphere and that's why I bought this, so perhaps it's easier for me to imagine the theme


ok, I can kind of see that, but its a stretch.
 
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Scott Mohnkern
United States
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Matt62702 wrote:
The Gallerist has theme?


I've always seen the theme for the Gallerist as being the role of a museum curator.
 
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Denise Lockard
United States
Lincoln
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This is a great filler game. The solo game is good as well: I played it 24 times in a row one night! surprise
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"Landry" Lieve
Belgium
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This game deserves more love, thanks for adding a great review!
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Andrea Magini
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homtchr2013 wrote:
This is a great filler game. The solo game is good as well: I played it 24 times in a row one night! surprise


Best score? I'm curious, I've done 4 game and I'm stuck at 36 points.
 
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Tony Sanfilippo
United States
ISSAQUAH
Washington
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Fun game, crappy dice. The dice are bad enough that I would not get this fun little game for my collection. If a new printing comes out with better dice I would definitely get it
 
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