A Dragon’s Review: Dice Hunter (Mobile)
Dice Hunter: Pros
Dice Hunter is, to no big surprise, a dice rolling game. At it’s core, the game is about rolling dice in order to get the symbols you want to progress. Even though it is a simple core, it can be so satisfying to play. Rolling dice satisfies that gamblers itch in you to push for that lucky roll, and Dice Hunter has managed to capitalize on that feeling in what can be called a nice simple format, but deep format.
Dice Hunter primary gameplay loop involves rolling 6 dice with 4 possible sides: attack, shield, star and lighting. The user is rolling these dice to defeat enemies and obstacles at the top of their screen. Attack sides do damage to enemies and barriers, shield sides prevent enemies from doing damage, star and lighting are used to remove obstacles, special monster effects and charging your own special dice effects. The user has 4 different actions they can take per turn: choosing which enemy/obstacle to target, using special dice abilities, saving any dice results for the next roll and finally rolling the dice. Choosing which enemy to target becomes an important decision as enemies have their own abilities that they use after a set number of turns. Users continue this loop until the end of each stage or until they lose all of their life.
I’ve found this game to be very addictive as a great way to pass a couple minutes as a toilet game or just to fill a gap in time. The game isn’t very complex, but feels very rewarding when you roll those dice and get just what you needed to defeat that last enemy about to kill you. Dice Hunter offers just enough choices to feel like you have some control over what’s happening while still keeping the element of randomness that makes it different and interesting each time. There’s also a rather diverse amount of enemies to defeat and obstacles to overcome which are introduced at a good rate. The cast of enemies and the combinations of them help keep each match interesting and challenging.
Dice Hunter: Cons
There are some parts of the game that did start to annoy me after playing for a time. Part of the game is picking which dice you want to use (each with their own set of powers), and thus what combination of sides, to bring into each match. The user unlocks new dice through what’s essentially a loot box system. Earning one of these boxes gives users a chance to get a new die, or to get dice shards to improve star rating. The higher the star is rated rated, the better the chance the die gives more stats which are used to determine health, shield values, and chance for an attack to count as two. Much like other mobile games earning these loot boxes are easy and plentiful in the beginning, but as you play gets much more difficult to achieve. This becomes a matter of frustration for the me as there’s no other way to earn new dice. While I enjoy the random elements in the matches, I find the randomness of earning new dice more annoying than fun. Getting dice shards for a die that you never use instead of a new exciting die gets old, especially when it could possibly take you hours of gameplay to earn that one chance.
The dice shard system itself leads to more frustration when you try to use it to improve your dice star rating. Earning dice shards are done in two primary ways. Players are to get them from the loot box system which is completely random whether you get shards for the die you want and how many shards you get. The second is by completing trial stages. These stages are themed to a type of die and changes that type per day. I normally wouldn’t mind this except the user is limited to one completion of a trail stage per day. This limitation is extremely irritating as it prevents the user from grinding for shards for a die they want to upgrade. The game already has a play limitation to it as it also uses an energy system, very like other mobiles games. I don’t understand why the game prevents the user from doing this kind of grind, other than it pushes users to pay for the loot boxes, and that’s not cool in my book.
My next gripe is a rather minor one. The game opens up with a story explaining why you use dice, your objectives of the game, and then never mentions the story ever again. The user plays through stage missions arranged in an order that looks like it would tell a story along side it, but never seems to tell that story or really a clear point to what you are doing. The stages just become tick boxes for the user to defeat. I would have very much liked to see the developers continue to explain the zones and introduction of enemies in a story format like how they started the game. It’s a minor gripe, but would have been a nice touch to keep players moving along the stages.
Dice Hunter: Conclusion
Overall I like Dice Hunter. It the game I like to pick up and play when I find I have a few minutes between doing other things. The risk/reward element of rolling dice is wrapped around a fun system of hedging your bets and defeating challenges. I feel the loot box system, and the unnecessary restriction on play makes the metagame hold the game back from giving the user more choice and freedom in how they play.
Rolling dice is fun
Diverse range of enemies
Can play around the randomness of dice with smart decisions
Long grind for new CHANCE to get dice
Can’t grind to evolve dice
Requires online connection