Designed by Trevor Benjamin, Brett J. Gilbert
Published by AEG
In Dice Heist, each player is a master thief about to take on the four major art museums of the world: The Hermitage, The Met, The British Museum, and the Louvre. There are famous paintings, jewels, and artifacts to snatch up but you’ve got to be skilled and bring in sidekicks to help you out.
The four museums are each given a dice rating from easy (The Hermitage with 2 pips) to the hardest (The Louvre with 5 pips). Each player starts with one black die and each turn has the option to roll for a heist or recruit a sidekick (a white die). There is a limited pool of sidekicks and once you claim one it is yours for the rest of the game. Each turn, a player draws a card and places that item under the matching museum. If you roll on a museum and succeed then you get every single treasure that has accumulated there. When you roll your dice you look for at least one that beats the target value on the museum.
At the end of the game you add up the values of your total paintings, first place gets 8 points and the second gets 5. For each artifact you get 2 points and each set of gems scores in an ascending order (first red gem is 1 point, second red gem is 2 points, third red gem is 3 points, etc).
The game was very fast paced and there was some strategy in which museums you wanted to target based on their target value and what treasures they held at the moment. This was a game I think would benefit from a third player just to increase the tension. An okay game, very simple and easy to learn, very light on strategy.
Welcome to the Dungeon
Designed by Masato Uesugi and Paul Mafayon
Published by iello
Welcome to the Dungeon is a game about a staple in tabletop gaming: heroes going into a dungeon and fighting monsters. The twist in this small card based game is that players all play the same hero. The first round of play is bidding which consists of pulling a monster card from the deck and either placing in the dungeon deck face down or keeping the card which allows you to take a piece of equipment from the hero. This mechanic does a couple things: the players are trying to make the dungeon as uninviting to the other players yet still beatable by themselves. There is the danger that you will think you are going to Pass and leave the dungeon in another’s lap only to have them drop out and leave you with a hellish dungeon.
Each successful run through the dungeon earns the player a Success card. The number of Success cards up for the getting varies depending on how many players you have. If you are killed in the dungeon you must flip an Aid card you individually have over to its red side. If you die again with this card on its red side you are out of the game entirely. To defeat the monsters you either expend a piece of relevant equipment (the Dragon Spear defeats the dragon for example) or be able to absorb the hit point damage based on the card value and your total armor added to your base HP.
While the game works with two players, the Bidding phase screamed out that it would work so much better with at least three. Bidding between two is a little lacking in the tension while adding a third would create some more variables. There are four different heroes to choose from at the start and we did only play once so with additional playthroughs some things might shine forward.