It has been a few months since I’ve done any gaming, whether it’s solo or with a group. I’ve added a few games over that time, but I just haven’t had the time to sit down and learn some of them.
After a long road trip for baseball, I realized I needed to get a few games in. And something light that I could play in about 20 minutes and solo is what I was seeking.
Enter OctoDice, a game published by AEG.
From the rule book:
As scientists and engineers on board of the underwater research station “AquaSphere”, you are facing a big crisis: your most important tools, the bots, have stopped working!
It is time to take matters into your own hands–but quickly! After all, you want to have a major scientific breakthrough before the competition does. In the short time you have, you must expand your labs, analyze crystals, dock new submarines, reactivate the bots, and catch octopods.
Be careful though! You never know whether the competition is spying on you…
The game is quick and dice-based, so already a good thing. The mechanics are pretty simple, too. Roll the six dice, set any two aside. Roll the remaining four and, again, set two aside. Then roll the final two.
You then have to decide how to use the dice and score points based on the actions you choose.
The thing with games like this, though, is you are playing against yourself and trying to get your highest point total possible. This game has some options on a direction to take. You can aim for one part of things to score, or spread yourself out. I like that because it makes it so the game doesn’t always feel the same. Now, I am not sure I’d want to play this 100 times in a row, but I do like how it plays and it’s quick enough to satisfy the want to play a solo game.
I did end up playing the game three times on the night I played it – scoring 24, 34, and 29 points, respectively. Each time I took a different path and liked how things played out.
Those points should be a little higher, however. During the rounds, if you get so many octopods during a turn, you score points. I had it several times in the third (which is solo only) round, but there’s no actual spot for it – so I figured it was a wasted turn. Well, it turns out you do get those points as a thread on BoardGameGeek.com showed it.
Good to know for the future.
I like the theme of the game and the scoresheets that come with the game are really nice. There are plenty of them, too. Though I have a hard time believing I’ll use them all any time soon, I do hope there is a way to order another one down the line – just in case. It will make life a lot easier if I can get one if it’s needed, that’s for sure.
The dice aren’t the vest of quality, though. I don’t think I’ll use them enough to ruin them, but I could see if you were playing multi-player games where they might get worn out a little.
Overall, the game was fun. I would like to try it with two players and then maybe 3-4, but if I keep it as just a solo game, I won’t be disappointed. It’s a fun little filler game and one I can see me playing when I am looking for a quick game to play.
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