Dice Legacy is a City Builder I Wasn’t Expecting and That is Awesome

Dice Legacy Preview

Dice Legacy is a doozy to describe. It’s a survivor game in a fantasy setting. Okay, that’s easy enough. It’s a city builder! Okay, I know what that is. Also, it’s a rogue-like. Neat. Oh, and you’re on a ringworld that is covered in a fog of war. All right… still with me? Finally, you use dice to do everything. And the dice need to be cared for. Because your dice can die.

Taking a step back, Dice Legacy is a board game taking place on a beautiful world that feels immediately like one of Halo’s rings but set in medieval fantasy times. The first scenario I had access to has you washing up on a beach and deploying a team of dice with limited usage to harvest resources and then to build up your city.

As you build up your city, you gradually progress through the map, revealing areas you can use your dice to explore. This exploration sometimes leads to rewards or danger. In order to do any action, you must roll a die to the correct matching face needed for that action. So for instance to grow wheat, you’ll need two dice that are displaying the cog symbols, and once you roll two of them you can dedicate them to the task of making wheat. This will take the dice out of your hand, so to speak, locking them into the task for a duration of time, usually under a minute.

When the dice are done (and if not hurt by the environment, or other hazards), they return to your hand to be rolled again. Each roll decreases your dices’ stamina. If that stamina reaches zero, your dice are dead. You can then mitigate this by ensuring different dice are dedicated to tasks in between rolls so you’re not re-rolling the entire set all the time. Now not only can your dice die from exhaustion, they can be frozen, or even wounded. If a die needs to regenerate then it’ll need to eat. So you’ll have to seat it at the cooking hut, load it with some food, and give your little die a timeout to regain its strength.

It’s wild.

Head-Scratcher Mechanics

But it’s also a bit obtuse and despite my many attempts so far, unclear how each system fits together. It’s one of those games where you know there must be an optimal path forward, or a way to grow dice into a formidable force. But to do so, you’ll have to suffer through the surprises and curveballs that get thrown at you in each run. That’s where the rogue-like mechanic comes in, sometimes I knew I was defeated before I was actually defeated because I didn’t plan for winter, for example. Or if I didn’t plan against injuries of the dice. This caused me to restart the run again and again. There are also other classes of dice, some called out as Ascended that you can deploy on future runs to get ahead.

What offsets some of this dice-related brutality is Dice Legacy’s superb presentation. The game world feels alive but also immediately miniature in a way that pulls you in. Tiny people who move about your town add to the ambiance of your city growing as it moves through the different seasons.

So if you like city builders, but have felt the genre was stuck in a rut, you’ll be well inclined to check out Dice Legacy when it releases on September 9th. It’s something different. And it scratches the brain in ways that I know I’m curious to dig into more. While elements of Dice Legacy can seem familiar, I’m hard pressed to say there is any other game out there quite like this. The sum of its parts is wholly unique and worth the price to simply see how this machine works.

***Preview code provided by the publisher***

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