There are strategy games, there are games of luck, and then there are strange combinations of the two like Dice Tower. It’s not a skill-based building game like Tower Bloxx Deluxe 3D. Instead, Dice Tower requires you to use your noodle to beat the odds and construct a tower higher than anyone else on OpenFeint.
To play the game, you must lay down a series of dice to form a tower. The first floor can be of any dice you like. Dice are then placed in alternating rows of four and five, with each die touching one or two beneath it. To place a die on the top floor, it must equal the sum or difference of the two dice below it.
Construction begins on Yahtzee Tower.
It’s kind of a weird concept, but it’s easy enough to comprehend with a bit of practice. For example, placing a four and a one together means that you can either place a three (four minus one) or a five (four plus one) on top. If you put a six and a four together, you can only place a two on top of them, because six plus four is ten, and the highest number possible on these dice is six.
The strategy comes from anticipating which dice you’ll need to place in the future, holding on to them on the side, and rolling for more dice only when necessary. There’s a great deal of luck involved, since you might not get the dice you need and fail a level as a result. Multipliers and bonus dice also get thrown into the mix, with a disorienting effect.
Care to play dice with the universe?
While the rule-set seems a little complicated at first, in no time you’ll be experimenting with Dice Tower’s three different variations, including an unlimited mode and a timed mode. OpenFeint high scores will encourage you to keep playing, since a top placement tells the world that you’re smart and lucky.
In addition to the complex gameplay, we also enjoyed Dice Tower’s jazzy soundtrack and crisp graphics, and the touch controls worked well despite the dice being a bit tiny. Dice Tower is a refreshingly unique puzzle game, but just be aware that losing to bad luck can be a frustrating setback.