Dicey Curves is a dice based car racing game with a deck of cards serving as pieces of the track. You can set up a Mystery Rally by shuffling the deck and adding random cards to your track or you can create your own custom track by setting out the cards in any shape you’d like.
8 Race Car Pawns – You use these to move around the track and they come in eight different colors.
10 Dice – 5 white dice and 5 green dice
40 Control Chips – These are used as game modifiers. You spend these to do special actions such as re-rolling dice, adding new dice to a roll and a few other moves including some that mess with your opponents.
36 Track Cards – These are what you’ll be using to create the actual track where the race takes place.
1 Drawstring Bag – This is the handy green sack that stores all the furious fastness.
Players are going to be rolling dice to form “combos” in order for them to move their cars along the track. Combos are formed with dice that have a matching face value as well as dice that are sequential. You move your car on the track equal to the number of dice there are in a combo. So if I have three dice with a face value of two I can group them together in a combo and move my car three spots. The face value is only used in creating combos, after that only the number of dice in a combo is used to move your car(s). On some of the track cards there are gates with numbers on them. When moving your car, regardless of how many dice you have in a combo, you must stop in the spot right before a gate. To advance past a gate you must use a combo equal to the number on the gate.
You can use as many combos as you want on a turn and you only have to pass to the next player when you use a single die (non combo) for movement. You start by using only the white dice but if you roll any 6’s you create “Exploding Dice”. In an Exploding Dice situation you add one green die for every 6 you roll on a particular die, you then roll the 6 and the new green die together. The green dice act the same as the white dice when rolled but if you keep rolling 6’s you just keep adding green dice and re-rolling the 6’s until you have all ten dice rolled and ready to combo. The game can end as soon as one player crosses the finish line but you can continue until everyone finishes if you’d like. There are modes where a player can control two or more vehicles and in that case the race is scored using all the cars and their finishing positions.
Dicey Curves is a light game that is very easy to teach. I was able to play a few games one weekend with my mom and even though she rarely ever shows interest in my board games she thought Dicey Curves looked pretty neat and then she proceeded to leave me in the dust with her clever dice play. I won’t lie to you, the game looks fairly plain and it’s not going to impress those into fancy graphics in their games. I’m not terribly concerned with how a game looks though. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate a nice looking game but I am also one of the few that felt the art in the original Glory to Rome was just fine. So that tells you a lot about me right there.
Dicey Curves main appeal is the neat way it uses dice. You don’t just roll and move you actually have to create combos and use them effectively. It feels as if creating the most efficient combos IS the game. If you’re the type of player that can take a roll and squeeze out a few extra combos besides the obvious ones you’re going to speed past your opponents. Luck is a factor but with the Control Chips in Dicey Curves you can actually use them to take some of the luck out of the game. I would probably compare this game to some of the most popular in the genre like Zombie Dice and other similar dice based fillers. Dicey Curves is different though in that there are actual decisions to make on a turn. It’s not just a push your luck and pass type of game.
In my opinion Dicey Curves is a really neat little filler from an up and coming game designer named Matt Worden who also made the underground hit Jump Gate. I think Dicey Curves could be that small game you take to work and family gatherings with your non gamer relatives. It won’t fill you up but it’s a nice appetizer.