Don’t let Dice Legacy fool you, just like me. It is not a ruthless city builder, with some weird performance characteristics and new roguelike elements. No, this is a fierce battle for survival, letting your adventurous tribe compete with rival settlements. You are not (just) building a cute medieval town-you are building a machine to defeat your enemies, others.
need to know
What is it? An eccentric city builder, secretly a ruthless real-time strategy game
Estimated payment: 20 USD/16 GBP
Developer: Bit of destiny
Publisher: Ravenscourt, Maple Whispering Limited
Comment time: Intel Core i7-10750H, 16GB RAM, GeForce RTX 2060
multiplayer game? Do not
go out: now
Considering the composure at the beginning of Dice Legacy, your thoughts are forgivable. Park your boat on the edge of a seemingly unclaimed land, and you will soon begin to deal with the usual colonial work: building houses and assigning workers to perform basic tasks. The peasantry needs to hunt for food, gather wood, mine stone and iron. But here, these workers are represented by thick colored dice.
Developing the land involves matching the face of the dice with various icons in the environment. Tool icons can be found in forests, mines, grasslands, and hunting lodges (these are already there when you reach the world), and extracting them is as easy as placing a dice with the same icon on top of each resource. When the generated timer runs out, the dice will be exhausted and need to be rerolled before they can be used again. But you never know which of the six sides of the dice will fall on.
With luck, in the early stages of the game, you may get multiple tool surfaces that allow you to collect wood, food, herbs, and stones at once. However, the next time you scroll, you might get five compass faces, which are much more narrowly useful. So, why not rethrow for better results?
The core tension of Dice Legacy lies in the durability of its dice. It will be lowered every time you scroll, and if it goes below zero, they will die. You are always weighing the need to recast and the need to maintain durability, and this can only be recovered by throwing a dice with a little food in the kitchen.
But there are other hazards. The dice can be injured and killed in battle. They may be infected with the infectious plague. Moreover, when winter comes, they may be frozen, rendering them useless until you cure them or the season ends. Few dice disappear directly, which is why I initially thought it was a leisurely game. When you know what you are doing, it will not be too painful even in winter.
When the cold hits, your wheat field will be unusable, and every dice is at risk of freezing during use. You can keep out the cold by building a steam generator, or heat frozen dice with a glass of beer in a tavern. I love that the cold never kills your dice directly—it feels too punishing—the game instead finds a creative punishment that better interacts with the central rolling mechanism.
Because these dice are not just for performance. Dice Legacy has extended this type to suit its unique premises. Usually, the results are a bit strange. For example, this is an unusual city builder, you only need a house. Moreover, it is entirely used for, ah, fertility. Yes, you put two dice in the house-a more accurate name might be Lover Hotel-and three dice roll out of the door.
Although you can never completely eliminate the randomness of scrolling, you can “gave” the face of death to make it more effective when it appears. You can also fuse the dice into a more powerful form, although your population is not very keen on experimenting. Those who join the peasant class are citizens, soldiers, merchants, and monks. Each class plays a different role. If you don’t make them happy, riots will occur. There are many things to learn, but the tutorial is very good, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to participate in some of the dice types and buildings.
What are you will All you need to do is fight against aggressive settler cities on the other side of the world, who gradually make their presence known as you build the town. The only way to stop their increasingly powerful attacks on your buildings is to smash their city center into pieces.
Oh, and it’s easy to reach the said city-just scale up, and end up with a fairly compact map-but maintaining your territory is another matter. Your outpost will be destroyed, your dice will be lost, and your resources will be wasted. The clever and annoying twist is that you should always be preparing for this hidden battle.
After two frustrating Sisyphean attempts (no manual saves, so if you get stuck in a vicious circle, it’s best to restart the game), I lowered the difficulty to the easiest setting and started again. Here, other people will not attack until you poke them first, giving you enough time to support your defense and upgrade your fighters. When I finally launched the attack, the enemy responded slowly with their initial trivial attacker, so this was a short and slightly shameful victory in my favor.
This may not be the expected Dice Legacy experience, but I need to see the end of it, in part to know what many lock modes must provide. There is no other free mode, but if you want to make your experience harder, you can play in permanent winter, on bureaucratic land, or on a map with fewer resources to clean up. After defeating the main game, alternative rulers can also be unlocked. Each ruler has a different type of dice.
There is always some overlap between city builders and real-time strategy games, but Dice Legacy opens up an awkward niche in the middle. Yes, this is a game about building a colony, but all your efforts should be devoted to overcoming its cliff-like final battle. This is an engine, and the fuel is colored dice. I appreciate its focus, even after I hunched over and played one of the most frustrating games of my life.