Dicetiny: The Lord of the Dice
Steam Trading Cards: Yes
Controller Support : Not Yet (Developer Says It Will)
Retail Price: $7.99 (for now)
Music/Soundtrack: Suitably epic and foreboding. At this point in development there's not a lot of music, but it's long enough to not get annoying even though you hear that same music every game.
Story: Your favorite RPG stereotype go on an epic quest to find the One Die that can defeat Dead Serious and bring balance back to Middle Board. There's more to it than that, but you have to watch the opening Star Wars style scroll to see all of it.
Replay-ability: There are 4 characters in the game, and each one offers different cards and abilities, but the quest is the same every time.
Time Commitment: Unknown at this time. The game is still in Early Access. As it stands right now, there's a couple hours of game play. Each battle takes 10-15 minutes to play, and progress is saved after each battle.
Value: The price is currently $7.99. They have stated that as more content gets added, that price will go up, but that $7.99 is said to be 75% the full price, so it should end up at $9.99. At either price, as long as the additions are positive, this game will be worth the money.
Favorite Element: The game interface is one of the best I've seen.
Dicetiny: The Lord of the Dice is in Early Access. As usual: things may change.
If you read all of the promotional material the developers made, you'd think Dicetiny: The Lord of the Dice is one of the funniest games in history. In fact, the humor is kind of the thing they hinge the entire game on. Sadly, I believe they were less than successful in that endeavor. I don't find this game funny at all. You're fighting in Middle Board instead of Middle Earth (is that even a pun??)? The bad guy is Dead Serious (I'm guessing a Darth Sidious reference?)? HOWEVER, I believe the game underneath is strong enough (though incredibly derivative) that it survives the lack of laughs.
Dicetiny is a series of quests throughout a large overworld. Each stop on the map is a 1v1 battle between you and one of the assorted batch of bad guys the game offers. The map is the most confusing point in the game. When you look at the map, the first obvious step a big castle...which, you find out is Stage 2, not Stage 1. Then the next smaller stop on the map is Stage 1-2, then there's a 1-3 and so on before Stage 3. After Stage 3? You got it, back to Stage 1-xx. There is no actual Stage 1!!! I can't figure out if this is humor, or if they shuffled things around, and forgot to fix it.
On the complete other end of the spectrum, I will give the designers major props for making an extremely clear and functional game interface. Things you can do are highlighted in green. If you can play a card in a certain location, the board highlights exactly where you can play that card. I've never once said "Oh, I didn't know I could do that."
Dicetiny is an amalgamation of the digital card game juggernaut Hearthstone, and the classic Playstation 2 era video board game Culdcept. The card designs are strikingly similar to Hearthstone, and the way your hero slowly gains the energy to cast the cards turn after turn is identical to Hearthstone. There is a deck building element to Dicetiny as well that works fairly similarly to Hearthstone as well.
The basic game play of Dicetiny is a simplified version of Culdcept, which in itself has deep ties to Monopoly. The main action is rolling the dice, and moving around the board. If you land on a space with a creature, you go into battle. You may cast minions onto empty spaces, or use them to fight your opponent's minions for you. These minions will attack your opponent when he or she lands on them. They also give you a bit of a gold bonus should they survive you making it to the Lap Bonus space (Basically "Go"). Games go until one of the two main participants is defeated (no main characters die despite all the blood spilled, they simply go away with their pride wounded). To keep the game from dragging on (a common issue in Culdcept) after 10 rounds, both main characters start taking unavoidable damage every turn.
I hope the desire to force humor into the game doesn't sidetrack designers from the game play tweaks the game needs. That map screen needs major work. I've had a few minor freezes in game when the AI is making a move. I'd like more depth to the game. Maybe the ability to upgrade minions without having to carry a specific card? Perhaps some bonuses for grouping minions together (kind of fleshing out the Monopoly / Culdcept aspect of the game)? I feel like Dicetiny is very close to being a great game. I just hope the pop culture references don't get in the way.