Packaging - ***
The starter sets show off four of the six included figures, with two 'hidden
bonus figures' included inside. They are always the same figures
though, so after reading this review you'll know what you're getting.
The packages are eye catching, but not large or wasteful. It calls
Battle Dice a "Fast action collectible figure game", which is
quite a mouthful.
Game Play - **1/2
There are several ways of playing of course, and I'll give you the brief
lowdown on each.
No matter what mode of play, there are some general instructions.
Each figure has a set of numbers on the bottom, each for a particular
skill. The usual skills are represented, such as Fighting, Speed,
Strength, etc. These are color coded, but you'll memorize them pretty
Below these numbers is the characters name, along with a number in the
dead center that simply indicates their number in the overall scheme of 60 figures
available in the first wave. Plans are afoot for a total of 190
characters to be developed. There's also a symbol indicating the 'team'
he or she is from, which allows you to look them up on an included
sheet. Obviously there are good guys and bad guys, but they are also
broken into more specific character teams like X-men or Fantastic Four.
The only other important information on the bottom of the figure is the
Power Symbols. These powers are coded to a particular skill, and
can enhance that skill in specific ways during battle. More on that
The dice are actually unique as well. There are 23 different
dice in total, always in one of three colors. Each die has an
instruction on the inside lid that can also improve the performance of the
character within in certain situations, allowing the player to improve a
figure by the placement in a particular die.
So let's start with 'basic' play. You buy a starter set, and play
one other person in this mode. You secretly place your three figures inside
your three die, while the other player does the same. As you get
better at the game, you'll pick particular die for particular characters in
an attempt to improve your odds, but it will take a little play time before
you have all that figured out.
Then each player selects and rolls one of their die. The hidden
figures will be the two that are actually battling it out. Whomever
rolls a higher number selects the skill that will be used in this particular
battle. For example, Bob rolls a six and Sue rolls a 4. That
mean Sue gets to pick the particular skill that will be the main determining
force in this particular battle. Let's say she picks
Now both players pop open their dice to reveal who's fighting who.
The number assigned to their character is added to the number they rolled,
and then this is added to or subtracted from based on the Power Symbols on
the bottom of each figure.
These symbols are very common in games such as these, and operate on the
base score in a very traditional way. For example, they might have an
Invisibility Power Symbol on the base. If it is blue - the color of
the Strength skill selected for this round - then all other players would
have to subtract 2 from their current score, improving your odds of
Now you have a total score - whomever's is bigger, wins. The other
player turns over his figure (just for the purposes of the game, not permanently),
and play continues until one player has won three figures from the other.
As you might imagine, this basic version gets pretty damn dull pretty
damn quick. I call that the "PDDPDQ" effect.
Fortunately, that's not really the intended way to play the game long term,
but is a good way to get kids indoctrinated into the basic rules.
The "Standard" play format involves buying up booster packs,
and having multiple players added to the game. Rather than characters
fighting one on one, it increases to 3 on 3 or more. Each player has
at least 6
figures in his army, not 3, and you can have as many players as you'd like.
Even with the additions to the game though, it's still fairly quick, and
tends to lean in favor of the person winning the roll. Giving the
person with the lower score the chance to choose the skill helps offset that
somewhat, but in the short time I've played it still tends to lean toward
the person with the highest roll. The only real chance you have is in
the power symbols of your character. There's also the effects of the
die, but you have to play for awhile to get the hang of using them
While writing this out might sound complicated, once you've played it a
couple times you'll find that it isn't. It really is geared for
younger kids, I'd say in the 8 - 10 age range, more than older
players. And while it might be quicker for a younger player to catch
on, it might also become boring to them a little too soon. If you find
that longer, drawn out, more complicated games tax your attention span, then
this might be more suited to your personality.
Characters - ***
These figures are very small, Heroclix size. We're talking in the
1" range, and in that scale, the sculpt and paint are actually pretty
There's a nice large number to collect in this initial wave, and an easy
checklist to follow. There are common, uncommon and rare figures as
well of course, but unlike some other games, these aren't merely repaints of
existing figures, but entirely different characters.
Scale is one thing that does bug me though. Not the small scale of
the overall line, but the lack of consistent scale within. Because
everyone has to fit within the confines of the die, the general design of
the character can mean they end up much smaller or much larger than other
For example, since Magneto's wide stance and arms take up a lot of space,
his actual body is much smaller than Spider-man, a character who is in a
tighter pose. This lack of scale in relation to each other will be
something that will bug me when I have a whole bunch displayed together.
Ultron and Magneto are the 'hidden' figures inside the package. My
Ultron was jammed up pretty good inside his cube, and has a permanent leg
disability because of it. Hopefully yours will fair better.
These are not articulated btw, and there are no additional accessories
outside of the basic game pieces.
Fun Factor - **1/2
Keep in mind that I'm grading this from a perspective of a player in the 12
and up range. I suspect that it won't have the complexity or longevity
for them that it might for younger players. If I were grading for kids
in the 6 - 10 range, I'd bump this up another half star. Hey, I had to
pick an audience to use to judge, and since most of my readers are of the
older variety, that made more sense. However, I wanted to be sure to
point out that for younger kids, this would be a better game.
Value - ***
This value is based on the price of the starter pack - if you're talking
about the boosters, you need to drop these a bit.
The starter packs have 6 figures, dice, and carrying case, all for about
ten bucks. It's not an amazing deal, but it's certainly better than
some of the prices we've seen on both this style of game AND miniature
figures in recent times.
The booster packs, at $8 for just three figures, are more in line with
the currently inflated prices on similar toys.
Things to watch out for -
In this category, there's just a note to be careful when putting the figures
in the die and then closing it. You can crush them or damage them if
they're not lined up right, but the odds of that are pretty small if you're
Overall - **1/2
I'm reviewing this game for my readers, who are predominately
older. That's part of the design of the game though - it's pretty
clear that they were going for a younger audience here. The figures
are very cool, especially for the scale, but the scale across the line is
always going to bug me. Of course, the same is true at times with
Heroclix, their biggest competition.
Also in the spirit of full disclosure, I want to point out that I've only
been able to play the game a couple times at this point, and only in basic
mode since I don't know anyone else yet with the starter set or booster
Forbeck is currently working on a DC version of Battle Dice as well, and
as you might expect if you know me well enough, I'll have to pick up a few
of those once they hit.
Packaging - ***
Game Play - **1/2
Character Figures - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - **1/2
Where to Buy -
These are popping up at Targets right now, but I suspect stores like Wal-mart
and Toys R Us will be getting them soon. Expect to pay around $10 for
the starter set, and $8 for the booster sets.
I don't have any reviews that really make sense, but you should check out
the designer's web site, Matt Forbeck.
This guy has a very impressive record in the gaming industry, and is working
on some very interesting stuff!