Dicey Dungeons, from Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV and Super Hexagon fame, is a roguelike deck-building dungeon crawler framed as a recreation present introduced by host Lady Luck. You play as one of many present’s six cute contestants, all of whom are anthropomorphic cube, as a result of this recreation actually is all-in on loving cube. But whereas the sport’s intelligent mixture of playing cards and cube make for an entertaining gameplay system, it may well’t escape the occasional frustration that’s inherent to rolling a die.In every episode your chosen die heads right into a six-level dungeon to defeat enemies, opening chests and visiting shops whereas increase a deck of playing cards able to defeating an finish boss. The dungeons are introduced as a collection of nodes you’ll be able to transfer between, with retailers, health-restoring apples, and enemies positioned on a number of of them, and to progress you might want to struggle enemies and attain the node that options the entice door to the following ground.Each character can equip between three and 6 playing cards (you have got six slots in your stock display, and a few playing cards take up two of them), all of that are powered by cube. Each card requires one thing completely different; some are affected by how excessive the quantity on the die is, or have most or minimal numbers, or will solely take odds or evens. Still others would possibly introduce results or buffs. A card would possibly “shock” your opponent, as an example, that means that one in all their playing cards might be locked subsequent flip except they spend a die to unlock it, or induce a “freeze” impact that reduces their highest cube roll right down to a 1. deck will allow you to be adaptable relying on what you roll, however there’s not an enormous variety of playing cards and enemies within the recreation, that means that the identical ones will pop up frequently–10 hours in I might nonetheless sometimes encounter one thing new, however not as usually as I might have favored.An enthralling artwork model works wonders in glossing over this sense of repetition, nonetheless, with every character having a particular character regardless of the sport being gentle on dialogue. And though their animations are restricted, the enemies are charming, too. The character designs and poses are persistently pleasant, so you will at all times really feel somewhat unhealthy taking down a direwolf pet due to the massive grin on their face. The gameshow motif would not stretch that far, however the upbeat soundtrack and the little check-in scenes with Lady Luck earlier than every journey is an efficient method of supplying you with a way of goal.The six characters every have a singular playstyle, which helps to provide the sport some sense of selection. The thief copies one in all its opponents’ playing cards in every match, as an example, and the inventor will at all times sacrifice one in all their playing cards on the finish of every struggle in favor of a brand new means for the following spherical, which could be activated simply by clicking on it without having to fret about cube. Some get extra radical nonetheless, just like the witch, who assaults utilizing a “spell book”–when you roll a die you’ll be able to both spend it on one of many 4 spells you have got chosen in your display, or you’ll be able to throw it on the spell e-book in lieu of utilizing a capability and get whichever spell is assigned to that cube quantity. It’s an ideal system as a result of every character feels fully completely different, and whereas the central fight system of laying cube onto playing cards would not change, the mechanics by which you purchase these cube and playing cards do.For the primary few hours, as you are shifting via the preliminary dungeons for every character and attending to grips with how they play, Dicey Dungeons is a delight, albeit one which’s gentle on problem. But as soon as you’ve got performed a spherical as every of the primary 5 characters and unlock every character’s tougher episodes, there is a steep issue curve to beat. Each one introduces modifiers that make the sport extra challenging–you would possibly lose well being as a substitute of gaining it each time you degree up, duplicate cube would possibly instantly disappear, otherwise you’ll solely roll 1s in your first roll of a struggle, 2s on the second, and so forth.These episodes are the place you will actually begin to be taught the completely different methods and combos which might be important to mastering Dicey Dungeons. Using your Limit Break means (a character-and-episode particular means that’s usable solely after you’ve got taken a sure degree of harm) and ensuring that you just’re making good use of buffs and/or debuffs are important to success. After some time, you begin to determine which talents work greatest in opposition to which enemies–freeze is especially helpful in opposition to creatures that may solely roll a single die, as an example, whereas shock is beneficial if an opponent has few playing cards. Some enemies are additionally weak to specific components, so when you see an enemy in your degree who you understand is weak to shock assaults, you’ll be able to plan accordingly. You’ll want to recollect these particulars your self, although, as the sport is not going to remind you of an enemies’ talents and weaknesses till you are truly within the battle.Whether or not Dicey Dungeons turns into too tough after the preliminary episodes will rely in your endurance and your willingness to play via the identical eventualities repeatedly. It can really feel like butting your head in opposition to a wall at occasions, although, as a result of if a single episode takes you a number of makes an attempt to beat (and lots of of them will), you’re going to finish up rolling via the identical enemies a number of occasions. You would possibly check out completely different card mixtures, however it will be from the identical small pool of potential playing cards and going through off principally in opposition to the identical enemies that received the higher of you final time. A loss can typically really feel out of your arms, too, if an early enemy simply rolls too many sixes or the ultimate boss simply occurs to be proof against the debuff you constructed your deck round.But this additionally signifies that determining and implementing a profitable technique could be very satisfying. It took me six makes an attempt to beat the second episode for the Warrior (the best character), however as soon as I constructed a deck that was excessive on freeze playing cards I used to be in a position to take care of the later enemies simply sufficient, even when the tip boss who was proof against freezing nearly tripped me up (in the end I received fortunate on cube rolls). In a recreation so closely themed round cube there’s at all times going to be a component of luck, which could be gratifying or exhausting relying on whether or not it goes your method or not.The appeal of Dicey Dungeons can begin to put on skinny once you’re caught, however once you bypass an episode that was supplying you with grief, it feels nice. I discovered myself steadily quitting out of the sport, pacing round my home, and returning to it once more 10 minutes later for one more go. No matter how irritated I’d get, it is by no means tough to come back again to Dicey Dungeons, and the challenges by no means really feel insurmountable–it’s at all times believable that your subsequent try might be the one the place you crack it. Dicey Dungeons is a captivating and infrequently rewarding recreation, so long as you be taught to just accept that typically the cube will not roll your method.