Pirates War - The Dice King review
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Pirates War - The Dice King review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on October 13th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BOARD GAME BOOTY
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This pirate-themed board game combines deck-building and Monopoly.

Developer: Idiocracy, Inc.

Price: Free
Version: 1.4.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

When anyone mentions board games, one of the most common ones that comes to mind is Monopoly. Love it or hate it, it's a game that has firmly cemented its rules and concepts into most people's minds. Pirates War - The Dice King is a game that capitalizes on these commonly-known concepts and turns them on their head, making for an interesting deck-based variant of Monopoly (with pirates!).

Lord of the seize

Just like many other classic board games, The Dice King has players roll dice to move around the game board. Spaces on the board include versions of the familiar property, chance, and jail spots from Monopoly and a few unique locations like a star chart, fortune teller, and more.

Each game has a turn limit, with the winner being whoever finishes with the most gold. The game can also be won prematurely by the first player to monopolize two property areas.

Monopoly mutiny

Since you are playing as pirates, it would be a little weird if property ownership was as cut-and-dry as it is in Monopoly. Luckily, The Dice King layers on a ton of pirate-appropriate mechanics that make the game a lot more interesting than it might be otherwise.

In The Dice King, if you want a property that another player owns, you can attack it. Each player has their own attack and defense stats which allow them to both take over occupied properties and defend their own. These stats are determined by the makeup of your pirate crew, which you collect as cards between rounds. Not only can your crew members bolster your stats, but they can also grant you bonus abilities like setting traps if you pick your crew right.

Combine this with storms that can erupt on the board to alter movement, a space dedicated to jailing your crew, and upgradable captains and boats with their own abilities, and it's safe to say that The Dice King has a lot more going on in it than a typical board game.

Troubled waters

The Dice King has both a single- and three player online mode, but always demands a network connection no matter which mode you play.

This is presumably because of its free-to-play structure, which is one of the most intricate combinations of currencies I've seen in a game. There's stamina, bolt potions, coins, and gems which gate your ability to play, spin a random prize wheel, level up cards, and open chests respectively. The management of all of these currencies is so cumbersome that it could take an entire play session just to sort everything out.

The bottom line

The Dice King is a really neat take on Monopoly. I'm not sure if the additional customization elements add a super deep strategic element to the game, but they do keep things interesting and pirate-y. If you're looking for a board game on mobile that is pretty and less intense than something like Agricola, The Dice King might be good for you.

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