Dice Wars

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Title screen.

Dice Wars is a simple, but fun, strategy video game developed by Gamedesign and released in Flash in 2001. The game uses a combat system similar to that of the board game Risk, but on a randomly generated board with 2-8 players. It is a single-player-only game and uses AI opponents.

I don't remember how I came across this game, but it was no doubt on one of the various blogs I frequented in the early 2000s. It was either a direct link to this game, or through one of the many other Flash games developed by Gamedesign.

Status

This game is freely available online. I have beaten each opponent count.

Review

  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: Flash

Good

  • The game is attractive looking and the interface is well-designed.
  • The rapid-paced animation makes it clear what is going on as you play.
  • At the end of the game, you can watch the history of the entire game as a replay.

Bad

  • After playing the game for a little while you will learn how easy it is to exploit the AI.
  • There are no difficulty settings, so, once you understand how the AI plays, you can pretty much win every time you're given a fair starting position.
  • Rather than write a better AI, the designers have the opponents gang up on you once you control about half the board.
  • Due to the randomness of the game, and the increased likelihood of being picked last on the first turn, you will occasionally lose the game before you even get a chance to move when playing with a large number of opponents.
  • The game doesn't evenly distribute the dice at the beginning of the game, usually some of the colors will have fewer dice than the others, and be in worse positions.
  • Though it may be confirmation bias, the dice rolls feel like they're weighted against the player. I've had massive leads lost by a long run of low rolls followed by high rolls from my opponents, but I rarely notice such runs in my favor.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Gallery

Links