Review: Space Invaders Dice!


In 1978, a simplistic and addictive video game would take the arcade world by storm. Space Invaders had you shooting waves of aliens in order to aim for the most points possible. Now, Turn One Gaming Supplies lets you experience a similar mechanic in dice form with Space Invaders Dice! You have the option to play one of two solo modes or go head to head against up to three opponents. With 8 attack dice, can you save the planet and amass an impressive amount of points?

Original poster for Space Invaders arcade game
SETUP
The setup to Space Invaders Dice! is quick. In less than a minute, you’re ready to go. So what’s involved? Opening the box, removing the contents, finding a pencil, and that is it. That’s simple
enough, right?

Attack and laser dice

GAMEPLAY
One of the surprising aspects of the game is how closely it resembles the arcade version. Your goal is to clear lower enemies to reach the upper-level enemies. And in doing that, you have the opportunity to shoot down a UFO. At the beginning of each round, you’ll roll 3 laser dice to place on the scorecard. These laser dice represent the blockades you can’t shoot through, which means you can’t shoot in that column until the next round or you roll an icon to remove it.

You start with 8 attack dice with various color ships, a blockade icon, and an ‘X’. You use the colored ships on the dice to cross out the corresponding aliens on the score card. However, you can only shoot in a column not blocked and only at aliens above those crossed out (or the first row). To shoot a UFO, you must clear out all the aliens under it; you then use the UFO dice to give it a point value if you can shoot at it. If you’re unable to use a dice, then you can re-reroll and press your luck, but penalties are doubled. If you choose not to re-reroll, then each dice you don’t use and any “X”’s cost you a life. If you re-reroll, any dice you can’t use or any “X”’s are worth 2 lives. You have a total of 18 lives. But one word of note: losing your lives can go fast!

After you go through the attack dice, you’ll cross out a UFO, making it unavailable to shoot in subsequent rounds. Next, you’ll remove an attack dice for every 2 columns you clear. Re-roll the laser dice for new blocked columns, and repeat the process again. It’s a fun way to progress through the rounds, with enough strategy in your dice rolls to figure out how to knock out aliens in the best way each round.

SOLO PLAY
There are two modes of solo play. The first is Standard, which is no different than playing the game with opponents. Shoot as many aliens to clear the scorepad or before you lose all your lives. The other solo mode is Marathon, where after the first game, you’ll always start with 2 penalties on the dice. Your goal is to beat 15 levels (games) before all your lives are lost. Hopefully, the re-rolls won’t mess you up!

Scorepad full of aliens!
FINAL THOUGHTS
Space Invaders Dice! is an easy game to learn and excellent game to play in less than 10 minutes. The footprint is extremely small (HINT: use the box to roll your dice in), so it’s perfect for traveling. What’s nice is the gameplay feels like you’re using a joystick and button to bring down the aliens. It might just conjure up some nostalgia for the arcade version. Plus, you’ll save some quarters. 

SCORE
4 out of 5 Solos

PROS
  Games take less than 10 minutes
  Very small footprint
  Mechanics resemble the actual arcade game
  Two ways to play solo

CONS
  Multiplayer not as fun as solo
  Print on white dice could fade with lots of use



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Gregory Gregory Author