Day 05 - Lock'n'Roll and DiceWars 

Addictive gameplay ahead! I like boardgames and own a few of them, but what usually throws me off is when there is too much luck involved, mostly in form of dice. Yet, there can be discussed so much about a simple random number generator (a normal six-sided die isn't anything else as picking a random number between 1 and 6) and how it is used in games everywhere. Just pick a traditional RPG and you sometimes even might see strange weapon descriptions like "Damage: 1D+5", which is the short form of saying that the weapon makes the enemy lose health between 6 and 11 points.



Lock'n'Roll is a game about colored, four-sided dice and how to combine them in a simple 4x4 grid. Four similar-natured dice (e.g. same numbers or same colors) in a row, a 2x2-block or a diagonal line will give you points, and when the points are high enough, the dice will vanish and you can carry on. It's a simple game with a good portion of luck, but I really can't stop playing it when I want to distract myself.

Popular games are "easy to learn and hard to master", and Lock'n'Rolls is a bit lacking in the "easy to learn" department, as it isn't always clear how the score is calculated. But overall it's my number one time waster nowadays.



Another game that taught me about the virtue of simplification is DiceWars, and it's one of the first Flash games I played a lot, since a decade ago at least. The game is basically the popular board game "Risk", but without all the fancy stuff, like a background story. While any other game presents its entities as part of a story, for example "Giant Rat", "Soldier" or "Tim the Mighty Mage", in Dice Wars you play with dice only, on an abstract landscape. The dice are your 'soldiers' and your enemies, and thanks to the direct representation you always know how strong an entity is.

Of course, the game has its weak points, like a pretty dumb AI, but for a few plays it's quite fun. Other shortcomings, like a slow end game or the inevitable death when the AI got lucky with the distribution of the 'countries', are mostly the same in the physical counterpart "Risk". (They might be game design problems interesting enough for making a better version.)

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