Add new comment | Casual Game Revolution

Add new comment

Dicey Peaks

There are yetis and avalanches, oxygen to manage and perilous heights, and you don’t even know where the summit is. Will you beat the others in a race to the top or be left behind?

Calliope’s press-your-luck game puts you in the role of a mountain climber in this casual dice game about overcoming the odds and the mountain.

Gameplay

Each character takes a mountain climber figure and an oxygen game board. Your oxygen begins at nine, which is the highest possible. You create the mountain randomly by mixing up tiles and placing the correct number on the table as dictated by the rules.

On your turn you roll four dice. There are thirteen dice in total: four white, four light blue, and four dark blue. Dark blue is more likely to roll tent symbols, white is more likely to roll pickaxes, and light blue has an equal chance for both results. You may choose which color dice make up the four you roll at the start of your turn. After your first roll, you announce if you are resting or climbing. If you are resting, you set aside all tent symbols that you rolled. If you are climbing, you set aside all pickaxe and avalanche symbols that you roll. Whether resting or climbing, you always set aside any yeti symbols.

After you announce if you are resting or climbing, you can either end your turn or roll any three dice that have not been set aside. After you roll the three dice, you set aside dice according to the same rules. You keep choosing to roll three dice or end your turn until you either bust or run out of dice.

If you chose to rest, you bust if you roll three yeti symbols or if you roll enough tent symbols to take you over your max of nine oxygen points. Once your turn ends, if you didn’t bust, you gain one point of oxygen for each tent symbol you rolled. Each tile on the mountain has a number on it ranging from 6 to 0, with the numbers shrinking the higher you move up the mountain. This number represents the maximum amount of oxygen you can gain on a single turn while resting.

If you chose to climb, you bust if you roll three avalanche symbols or if you roll more pickaxes than you have oxygen. If your turn ends without busting, you move one space along the mountain for each pickaxe you rolled, moving your oxygen level down one point for each pickaxe. If you move onto a tile that has already been flipped, you take the action shown on the tile. If you land on an unflipped tile, you flip it and take the action shown. Actions can include things such as moving an additional space backwards or forward, gaining or losing oxygen, or flipping over any two tiles on the mountain.

Anytime you roll a yeti during the game, any players behind you on the mountain move up one space at the end of your turn. They only move one space no matter how many yetis were rolled.

When you move on the mountain you always move left to right. When you reach one end of the mountain, you move up to the next level and place your character on the far left side of it. The top three tiles of mountain all are marked 0, which means you cannot rest while on them, so if you run out of oxygen at the top, you are out of the game. One of these three tiles is the winning tile; the other two are false summits. When you would move onto the top of the mountain you can choose which of these three tiles to land on. If it is the winning tile, you win the game, otherwise you will have to roll again on your next turn and try again. The first player to find the winning summit wins the game.

Dicey Peaks Components

Review

Dicey Peaks has a lot of fun push your luck elements that blend together nicely. You are not just pushing your luck with dice, but each time you have to flip over a tile. The risk of running out of oxygen at the top of the mountain, with no way of getting it back, also means you have to make tough choices about when to search for the winning tile and when to continue resting, knowing that any roll of a yeti will move the players behind you forward one space.

The randomization in the mountain setup adds variety between games and gives the game a nice sense of exploration as you make your way up the mountain. You never know what you’re going to get!

There’s a nice balance to the game that keeps everyone in the running as the game progresses. It’s extremely rare that anyone will fall behind too far, since players start moving slower as they climb higher and their rests become less effective. This does mean, however, that the game does slow down near the end, right when you want it to be at its most tense.

The rules of Dicey Peaks are easy to learn and uncomplicated but the need to manage your oxygen adds an extra element to the gameplay without losing that simplicity. This allows it to fill a gap in your collection that not many dice games can do. It’s simple but has more weight to the decision making process.

From a fun theme to some clever rules, Dicey Peaks is a great fit for fans of dice games, and a good meeting point for players who enjoy something extremely light and those that are looking for a little more heft.

Pros: Randomization of the mountain, oxygen management adds something new to the push-your-luck mechanics

Cons: Slows down too much at the end

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.