Developer: BitStern
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Even without the temptation of cash prizes, gambling classics like poker and blackjack are just well-crafted games in their own right. That’s why they’ve stood the test of time. 21 Dice has a hook that’s nearly as strong as those games, but it’s buried underneath such a sloppy presentation it’s almost hard to notice.

dice 21 1dice 21 221 Dice is a bit like blackjack, but with dice instead of cards. And for good measure, throw in some Threes!, too. Players swipe dice together to get to 21 without going over. They have three spots to combine in, along with an extra slot to store a single die if they don’t like the one they’ve been given. Once a spot reaches 21 it resets, and players can start adding to it again. However, every time it resets its base number goes up by one, giving players less room to work with. The goal is to form as many 21s as possible, but going over causes a spot to go bust and vanish. Lose all three spots and the game ends. It’s fast, addictive, and deftly balances skill and chance. It’s a fun gambling game.

dice 21 3dice 21 4Unfortunately, that fun is given to players in the laziest way possible. The three modes – time attack, classic, and arcade – are virtually identical. There’s no music, almost no sound effects, and the game mutes any music that players may have previously been listening. But by far the biggest offenders are the visuals. 21 Dice‘s fuzzy graphics are flat and dull, full of basic, clashing colors and “straight” lines that look inexplicably rough and jagged. None of this has a severe negative impact on the gameplay, but simply having to stare at something so lifeless for so long simply gets tiring.

21 Dice is like a pretty good diamond surrounded by a mountain of rough. It all just depends on how hard players are willing to dig to hit the jackpot.

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