Overall, I think the idea of this game is great. I love rolling dice and I enjoy math equations. There is a lot of potential to this game but that being said, the way the rules were laid out gave a lot of open interpretation on how to play.
Theme and What is it?
The Node protects some of the corporate worlds most valuable information, but a group of hackers has found a backdoor. Be the first to exploit this weakness and gain access to the treasures of the Node. Other hackers are hot on your heels, so you’ll have to bring all your talents to bear.
Each player in Dicehack is competing against the others. Games take 45-60 minutes, depending on the number of players. The player boards provide nearly all the reference information you’ll need to play. Game play is a combination of wagering resources, luck of the roll, and strategy in capturing, attacking, and defending. Players roll dice and try to add or multiply them to unlock a series of spaces in the Fibonacci Sequence. Math is not for everyone, but you can win at Dicehack using the calculator on your smartphone.
You’ll wager the number of dice you’ll need to open spaces on your board, to attack other players and set them back, to protect your own spaces from attack, and to allow you to change faces on other dice. You’ll choose your targets, use your number skills, and manage your resources. The first player that unlocks all eight spaces on their board wins the game.
Each turn, you will check your available resources, and decide which dice will be in your dice pool for the turn. There are three types of dice: Hack dice, Counter-hack dice, and Ingenuity dice. The Hack dice are used to hack the code on your board. You will use the Counter-hack dice to defend your spaces or attack your opponent’s spaces. The Ingenuity dice are used to manipulate the other dice. They can grant you bonuses for the turn that let you alter the dice.
The unique mechanic is that you must try to use all the dice you roll or you will lose resources for future rounds. To hack spaces, you must always add or multiply your Hack dice to reach the exact numbers on your player board. You can never subtract or divide.
Each player has eight spaces on their board for values 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 21. The amount of dice rolled each turn must be carefully decided depending on the space that you go for. If you are going for a higher space, more dice would need to be used. If you need a lower space, one die is probably best.
The Counter-hack dice work similarly but are used to defend your own spaces of that number or attack an opponent’s space to thwart their hacking.
The first player to hack all eight of their spaces, wins!
I love dice. Hacking sounded interesting. The box didn’t look exciting but you never choose a book…eh game…by it’s cover.
Game Build Quality
The dice are really tiny, but I enjoyed this. The cardboard punch outs are well made and the player boards are thick cardboard. No complaints on the components.
The rulebook, however, needs a lot of work. There were so many unanswered questions throughout our play and we just had to make up our own house rules that seemed logical. I could not find any errata or FAQ on BGG or anything. This made for a rather frustrating experience.
As I mentioned in the previous section, the rules were very frustrating. This took away from the overall experience. We enjoyed rolling dice and figuring out our hacks, but when it came down to counter-hacking, we were not sure who was first.
The game does not really play by turns, and everyone plays simultaneously. So, if my counter hack dice came to a 13 and one of my opponents did as well, who goes first? If they defend, and then I attack, nothing really happens. Or do we both decide to defend because we assume the other is attacking? The timing on this is all important. So, this part was very confusing. We finally just made a house rule that we would roll for who took initiative.
Age Range & Weight
The game is not overly difficult if you know basic math. Players would have to know multiplication so this can rule out a somewhat younger audience.
Overall, I think the idea of this game is great. I love rolling dice and I enjoy math equations. There is a lot of potential to this game but that being said, the way the rules were laid out gave a lot of open interpretation on how to play. This can be frustrating for any group. I don’t want to say that the game is bad because it wasn’t horrible. I enjoyed the general concept. Just the timing of how things are executed made it fall a little flat for us.
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