Pocket Sports Baseball – Americas Favorite Pastime

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Hey there sports fans, and welcome to the final edition of A Roll of The Dice reviews with me, Adam! That’s right, this will be my goodbye game, as I have moved onto amazing things thanks to the lovely people at The Comic Hunter (Moncton) and The Meeple Mechanic (For more board game reviews), but also The Comic Hunter and Impulse Gamer (For comic reviews). I hate having to make the decision to say goodbye, but I need to make sure I am the best reviewer I can be, which involves working my tail off for the three companies who believed in me enough to give me a shot!

That all being said, holy mans. Our final review will be of Pocket Sports Baseball. We have done other reviews for their Football (Soccer) and Basketball games, so I am very familiar with this company and their games. I knew what to expect out of the game, but what I didn’t expect is what surprised me the most.

The game is a dice rolling game, in which you will be playing baseball. Wait, but how is that even possible. It makes no sense, and you are scaring us! Well, fear not. Not only is it possible, but it is really a good interpretation of chance probabilities, mixed with good game play. Let’s walk through a brief overview of how to play.

GAME PLAY

Pitching – So of course, as with any game of baseball, you need to pitch to the batter. The pitching die gives you a 1/6 chance of nailing a strike, a 1/6 chance of getting a ball, and a 4/6 chance of getting different type of pitch, which requires the batter to try and hit it. The pitcher is the red die.

Batting – There are two separate dice used for batting. You can either aim for the infield (for a base or two, but easier to get the hit) or you can swing for the fences, nailing a home run (harder to hit, easier to get an out). The two batting dice are Orange (Infield) and Blue (Outfield).

Fielding – Next you have a chance to try and field the hits that do not go straight out of the park. You do this by the pitcher rolling the infield and outfield defense dice. Catches, throws, errors, and more are on the dice. Green for an outfield and brown for an infield fielding option.

There are other rules as well for stealing bases, power plays, and whether you are safe or out. You’ll need to pick it up to get all the rules, but it makes the game play interesting.

There you have it, now lets get into the real meat and potatoes, the thoughts behind the game.

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DESIGN -­ 8

The game has the same design aspects of their whole line, which is fun and easy to learn. They always have a few extra rules for those of us who would be hardcore gamers, but keep it light so you can pick it up anytime.

The extremely portable game design is always catchy with me, because it takes up no room in travelling. I can pack it as a just in case, and pull it out on the train, car, plane, or hotel room once I get there. Not to mention the dice case it comes in is well designed, and very durable. It is a game that is meant to survive the elements.

My only qualm is that I really didn’t have any qualms. I tried, I really did, to find a design flaw. There was none to be found, and for that I was impressed.

REPLAY VALUE ­- 8

As with any dice game, there is a big hit of random with each roll, which can easily change everything you’ve done so far. This game does have a lot of options for rolling, for hitting, for catching, etc. so it is a clean mixture with multiple dynamics. There is literally thousands of ways the game can go, all with nothing more than seven dice. Add in the fact that the game is ultra portable, and you get a game that is simple to pull out anywhere you are for a play.

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FUN FACTOR – 6

Comparing this one to the others, I do want to say it has the most potential. It has a lot of game dynamics that make sense, and does give you the feeling of playing baseball. However, my only real issue with the game is that there is actually too much rolling on every turn. If you are following standard baseball rules (9 innings) as we did, it turns from a quick and simple game, into one that takes up most of your board game day (almost 2 hours when we played) and the score was absolutely ridiculous. It was somewhere around 27 to 18 by the end, which is nothing like baseball.

Overall though, I was impressed with the game. Combine that with the cool case, the rocking dice, and the awesome creator, and this one is really easy to give our seal of approval for!

Head on over to their website and order all of their awesome variants. Also, coming soon : HOCKEY! The whole nation of Canada is weeping with joy.

 

Well ladies and gentlemen, it has been a wild ride, and super fun. Please feel free to follow my other works at :

http://www.impulsegamer.com/

http://comichunter.net/

http://meeplemechanic.com/

 

Stay Tuned, game fans, and may the Dice roll ever in your favor.

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How Many Points Can You Score? – Pocket Sports Basketball

Photo thanks to famousgames.com

Photo thanks to famousgames.com

Welcome back to another edition of A Roll of the Dice. This week we are going over a game which really does get decided by the Luck of the Dice. A few weeks ago, we did a review on Pocket Sports Football (Soccer) and it did well, so why don’t we see how this one stacks up!

In this version, you are playing Basketball, so the point is to outscore your opponent, and okay defence when needed. By rolling the dice, you will attempt to take shots, lay-ups, and slam dunks. Even though it is with dice, it is still fun to Jam the ball down on your opponent.

GAME PLAY

The game revolves around the use of 8 multicolored dice which do the following :

Green – Small Forward, Orange – Shooting Guard, Yellow – Center, Red – Point Guard, Blue – Power Forward, Black – Scoring Level, White – Referee, and Brown – Defence.

Using these dice each team takes turns trying to score as many points as they can. You use the offensive dice to pass, shoot, and do some super moves to get that ball into the basket. Along the way the defense will be trying to stop you, but it is your job to score anyways.

There is rules for passing, dribbling, shooting, fouls, free throws, and stealing just to name a few of them, so it is a majorly dynamic way to try and play Basketball. Let’s take a minute and see what we thought of the game.

DESIGN – 5

This does have a slightly lower rating than the last game, even though it is the same style of game. The dice are made with the same design, and look really good. They work to play the game, and are actually even better than the dice with the Football set as they make a lot of sense with the sport. The bag is really nice, and can be used for so many things, and the rules are fairly good as well.

The reason for the slightly lower score, is while the game itself has the same dynamics, it is a bit more difficult to play. The scoring itself just doesn’t feel as immersive as it did when playing the football game. Still has a good design though.

REPLAY VALUE – 6

As with most dice game, this one has a ton of replay value. That is because the different styles you can play, and the fact that you can shorten or lengthen a game to meet your standards. This truly is a game that can completely change based on the roll you get. The dice will make or break you, but they are still fun to play with and the game itself changes a lot.

It brings true meaning to A Roll of The Dice!

FUN FACTOR – 5

With our new rating scheme, this is a decent game which will be played again on our travels. It is not one that will be in my regular rotation for board game days, but is a good game to bring with me in a pinch. I would have to say that half the fun to this game is knowing about the sport. If you are not fully aware of the rules to basketball, than it will not be the easiest thing in the world to understand fully, but the rules do a really great job of breaking it down.

Playing with others is a fun time, I wish you could find a way to make it work in a group, but it is made to be a 1V1 style game, which is one of the main reasons I have to lower the score. With so many 1 on 1 games, you need to be perfect to get high marks. It is definitely worth a play though, so give it a shot and see what you think.

 

Thanks again for the read, and for the games! If there is any game you want to see reviewed, you should contact us at arotdreviews@gmail.com. Until then, I wish you all a lucky Roll of The Dice!

Pocket Sports – Football (Soccer for us who are not as refined)

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Hey there game fans, and welcome to another Roll of the Dice with your game master Adam. This time I am reviewing one of the travel games I have gotten to do, and am really excited to be able to give my thoughts on it. This is one of the three games I have gotten, and will review each one separately. The other two are Baseball and Basketball!

Pocket Sports Football is a dice based game with the rules of Football. The whole goal is to beat your opponent by scoring goals and defending your own net for the time limit. Each position on the field has its own dice, which is a really interesting dynamic, and the dice are really nice, which adds to the gameplay.

Let’s jump into this and see what comes from it!

DESIGN -­ 9

This game is a dice based game with a little rule book in the bag as well. There isn’t any graphics per se, but on each dice there is a different colour and text to define the different positions on the field. The rule book is clean, crisp, and honestly is just really easy to read (Which I can not say for every rule book I’ve come across).

The highlight feature to me though is the bag that the game is stored in. I absolutely love it, and am excited to use it for other games/DND etc as well as this game. It is the perfect little package to be able to bring along on trips, whether it is a car ride, or a camping trip, it will take no room at all in your luggage. Smart design!

REPLAY VALUE ­- 9

This game does have a lot of replay value, as the game all comes down to luck of the dice. Every roll you make changes the game itself, and I can guarantee you will never play a game that is the same an another. Might have the same score, or the same time limit, but not exactly the same.

There is also the choosing of time limits for the “halves”. We played two 5 minute halves which actually flew by, and ended in a shoot-out. Another couple did two 10 minute halves and it was a complete blow-out. All of us had fun playing though, I would say the shorter halves made it more in depth. The longer started to drag on.

FUN FACTOR -­ 7

I do find that this is an amazingly fun concept, the only downside I had (and it may just have been luck) is that like in real Football (Soccer) there is not a lot of action. We played a few times, and most games were lucky if there was 1-2 goals scored. Most ended with a 0-0 or 1-0 score.

Now this actually makes the game a bit more accurate, which to major enthusiasts is an amazing thing, but to us just made the game feel like it was dragging on a bit. It is still worth a grab, and definitely worth bringing on a trip with you. Overall it was fun, just a bit slow.

 

1) Where did the idea for the game come from?
We first made Pocket Cricket with a spin on an old game called Owzthat. It only had 2 dice (rollers) so introducing other dice / positions on the field made it our own fresh spin on a cricket game played with dice. After that, we tackled Aussie Rules which was a different mechanic of moving the ball between positions. Using this, we made the Football version.
All our games have grown from the previous, using similar or new mechanics depending on the sport and how best to translate that into a simple dice game.
2) What are you top three favourite games? (That you didn’t create)
Don’t think I’m weird now…..I don’t play other games! RISK was a game I enjoyed so much, I made a variant with some friends while living in China. I have a theory about not playing other games as it may influence my creative process. I don’t want to replicate or try to over complicate the Pocket Sports method….although the newer games being released in August do have extra additions in the form of cards and cubes!
3) Describe the game in 1 Sentence.
Pocket Sports – little dice games, big sporting moments
4) Where can people get more information OR buy the game?
All info can be found on our website, along with our store.
5) Anything else you feel the reader should know?
The games are light, competitive dice games. No need to stress out over the word ‘strategy’. Dice rolling, luck, tension, some decision making, in your face, fast, fun and furious sports action is what you get!

Eat The Villagers

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a Dragon? I know I always have, and in Eat The Villagers, you get to find out. As the dragon, you will be eating those pesky villagers, fighting off knights, and dodging magic attacks from wizards. Seriously, how cool does this game sound? Well, let’s dive in and find out!

Mid Roll!

Adam in mid roll!

So as usual, I will judge the game on 3 things, Design, Replay Value, and Fun Factor. Added from now on, will be a personal interview with each creator! It gives you a feel for them as well as the game. Let’s start this out with a bang.

Brief explanation of the game

Eat The Villagers is a dice based game, in which you try to be the first person to eat 16 villagers. How is this done? Well by rolling the villagers of course! Be careful though, because the pesky wizards and knights want to slay you before you hit your goal.

Prototype Colours - Real design is black dice with coloured icons.

Prototype Colours – Real design is black dice with coloured icons.

The game contains 16 basic dice, with two dragon dice, and two wizard dice. Each die has two knights, two barricades, and two of the special characters (wizard, dragon, or villager). So in one roll, you could easily win, lose, or get shot out of the sky.

Here’s how it works. You start by taking five dice out of the bag at random, so you could get a dragon or wizard as well. You roll the dice, and eat the villagers you roll. Now if you roll knights, then you put them aside as well, as five knights in total will down the Dragon, or rolling a wizard with two knights will also kill you. The wizard needs those two knights to protect him to kill the Dragon as well, if there isn’t two knights, then the wizard gets eaten. Lastly, the barricades are re-rolled when you draw new dice. Sound confusing? I swear it seemed it, but after my very first roll it was super simple and SO MUCH FUN!

You need to get 16 villagers in any number of turns, so if you have eaten seven and have four knights, you may want to stop there, and wait for your next turn. If you get killed by knights or the wizard, you lose all the villagers you’ve gained just for that turn. There is a few side rolls for the Dragon dice, but I do like leaving a bit of surprise for when you buy it.

Design Adam – 8, Jordan – 8, Alex – 8.5

I should start by saying that this is a dice based game, which contains 20 dice of different designs. The design of the icons on the dice is cool, I like the original icons used, and the different colours provided for different types as well. I am currently using the prototype dice, but have seen images of the finished product and honestly it is so crisp. I think using all black dice, with different colour designs is a great idea, because it really makes the colours stand out.

I am unsure at this time if there is plans for some sort of non see-through bag for the dice, but it would be an amazing addition as the ziploc bag I’m using makes it a bit difficult not to see which dice I am pulling out. Based on the idea behind the game I would keep an eye out for it though, the creators seem to be really behind this party style game. Honestly, it is one of the better designed dice only games I have ever had the joy of playing.

Replay Value – Adam – 8, Jordan – 8.5, Alex – 8

Eat The Villagers is an amazing game to play over and over again, because you can have too many outcomes to count. With all of the different roll combinations, it can be a quick game, but if you get greedy it can go on for awhile as well. I actually managed to blow a win by rolling that one more time then I should have. I still had a blast with my losses though, because it takes just as much guts and skill, as it does luck.

I would definitely recommend this game for anyone who would want to play a quick game, that is super portable, and honestly just a barrel of fun.

Jordan making his random choices!

Jordan making his random choices!

Fun Factor – Adam – 9, Jordan – 9, Alex – 9

What can I say, this game was by far one of the more fun games I have played in while. The rolls made for a laugh, the game dynamic made it fun for all of us playing, and the atmosphere the game made was pleasant. I have played this game at least 20 times in the two weeks I have had the joy of owning the game. I will say the main fun about it is the simple game dynamic, and the fact you get to be a Dragon. Eating villagers is pretty fun after all, using their tiny pitchforks for toothpicks, and watching the village burn to the ground. Sorry, got lost in the moment there… mmm villagers…

I decided to talk to the creators from now on, and ask the hard questions.

1) When did your love for gaming start?
We’ve been playing board games since we were kids and simply never stopped. In fact, we met playing cards at a mutual friend’s house 22 years ago. Now, we host board game nights and go to a monthly board game night. It’s good, wholesome fun with friends, and there’s a game for every taste and play style.
2) What made you decide to create this specific type of game?
Eat the Villagers is meant to be played while you wait for your food at a restaurant. We hate to see groups of friends and family members disconnected from one another and staring at their phones while together. We want to connect people again, get them talking and laughing. We knew the game had to be portable, easy to learn, fun, and brief. We created it for adults, but made sure it is also suitable for children. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a dragon?
3) What types of games do you normally play?
Autumn prefers party games and cooperative games. Dave prefers longer games involving strategy or deck building.
4) Where/when will we be able to get our hands on this game?
We plan to launch our Kickstarter in April, 2015. There will special items for Kickstarter backers that will not be made available thereafter. Make this Kickstarter a success and we will have an app of the game out a year later so you can play with friends far away; it is already in development! Follow us on social media for updates at Twitter.com/ButterKnifeLLC or Facebook.com/ButterKnifeConcepts.
5) Do you have plans for more games in the future?
Absolutely! Currently in the works are: a card game for preschoolers, a 2-player card battle game based on mythology, and a cooperative post-apocalyptic game.
Thanks so much,
Autumn & Dave Hahn
co-owner Butter Knife Concepts
Thanks Autumn and Dave for the bundles of fun in my small mail package. I appreciate you letting me get in on the ground level. If I can say anything at all for those who are thinking about whether this game is for you or not. If you are a fan of having fun, then yes, yes it is.