Developer: KRISTANIX STUDIOS
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.02
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Can we designate a new sub-genre of iPad apps as stopgaps or placeholders? You know the kind of app I mean. It serves a purpose, is workmanlike in its execution, and will be utterly forgotten once a larger company releases its “take” on the app. Maxi Dice is one such app.

Maxi Dice is currently one of a handful of Yahtzee clones on the iPad app store (they call the game “Yatzy”, just in case you’re not sure what kind of game you are playing). No, there’s no official Hasbro Yahtzee release at this point, though with their iPhone Yahtzee Adventures app already out, it’s a fair bet that it’s only a matter of time. Until then, though, if you are just jonesing for a game of Yahtzee, either solitaire or against a human or AI opponent, Maxi Dice is one of the few options available.

To call Maxi Dice workmanlike is probably doing the app an injustice. For a small-scale app from an equally small developer, the game does show some potential and some polish. The interface is clean and simple and it’s easy to jump right into the game, even if, like me, it has been years and years since you last played a game of Yahtzee. The background images used during the game are pleasant and peaceful, and the music is relatively innocuous (it does get old and repetitive so be advised that you probably will turn it off soon after playing a game or two). It would be nice to be able to customize the look and feel of the game with backgrounds taken from your photos or music pulled from your iTunes library, but there’s no facility to do that yet. Perhaps in a future iteration of the game?

Gameplay is…well, it’s Yahtzee, plain and simple. In the basic game, you roll five dice and try to maximize your points using semi-poker lingo like full house or four of a kind. Maxi Dice includes another version of the game called – you guessed it – Maxi Yatzy, where you have six dice and a few more dice rolls each turn. You can play against up to three human opponents using the same iPad (no online multiplayer available) or against up to three computer-controlled opponents. The AI isn’t stellar, but it is serviceable. There’s also a solitaire version of the game included, if you are so inclined.

Is Maxi Dice a great game? No. Does it play a decent, easy to control game of Yahtzee? Yes. The real issue then is the price of this app. $4.99 is simply too much to pay for a simple app like this, and one that will soon be replaced by a vastly superior version from a major company. Were this a $0.99 app (or $1.99 universal app), I’d recommend it without pause. But $4.99 seems like an attempt to cash in before Hasbro gets their game out. If you just HAVE to play Yahtzee on your iPad right now, then I guess you could do worse than Maxi Dice, but, really, is there anyone who is that obsessed with Yahtzee?

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,