KDice Trainer is an iDevice game for an online strategy battle phenomenon called KDice. The game pits you against bots with a chance to rise or fall through their rankings. While you can use it to prepare yourself for the online experience as it was intended, there are enough bots for a strategy addict to be satisfied. Though KDice Trainer may be an intriguing haven of endless strategy, its minimalist approach and design may render it inaccessible to more casual gamers.
The game opens to a simple black and white list, with “You” (literally, that is your name) listed at number 100. Above you on the list are 99 bots, all cleverly named like they would be in an online chat room — from GronamOx to gator2000. The “Help” guide is essential, introducing you to the game and its elements.
Once you know the rules, the game is easy to pick up. Pick up to six players at or below your level whom you wish to challenge and enter the battle screen. Here, a plot of land is divided up into provinces, the size and number depending on the number of players. On each province is a stack of dice, anywhere from 1 to 8 of them. The goal is to capture a majority of the provinces by pitting your stacks of dice against other stacks in neighboring provinces. Connecting provinces determines how many dice you receive on the next turn, which is essential for victory. Provinces are distributed randomly, so they may not spawn where you need them the most.
To take a province, you select one of your own, and then select a bordering enemy province. A fast dice roll ensues, the result being influenced by how many dice are in each stack. Win, you take the province. Lose, and you get knocked down to one die, making it harder to defend your own province. Otherwise, your only options are flagging, which is a type of strategic surrender, and then just waiting and strategizing.
There is no plot and no representation of people or armies — just stacks of dice warring against each other. Fans of strategy and KDice itself may be able to handle this bare-bones approach, but its lack of flash and style leave it undesirable for outsiders to the genre or even casual strategy players.