Asteroid Dice Preview
I have a bit of a problem. When I talk about a game that takes a theme or a mechanism and transplants it into a space setting, I’m unable to do it without adding “in spaaaaaace!” afterwards. So let’s just get it out of the way right now. Asteroid Dice is best described as Throw Throw Burrito in spaaaaaace! But it’s also got a bit of bluffing thrown in and a natty, secondary throwing part to it which reminds me of Strike, despite being pretty different. If you’ve got a very specific set of criteria for a game which just so happens to match this description, this is your perfect game. For the rest of us, we’re just going to have a good time throwing stuff at our friends and loved ones.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is the collection of big, squishy dice. Asteroids? Diceteroids? Whatever, they’re squidgy, vibrant, and they look like they were made for giants with anger issues. They’re also incredibly tactile. I mean seriously, seriously good fun to play with. In the aforementioned burrito game, the titular burritos were also squishy, but not in a ‘toss up and down in your hand’, fiddly, juggley, kind of way, not like these asteroids. You’ll notice that the asteroids include all the standard dice types for a tabletop RPG. You’ve got a D6, D8, D10, D12, and a D20, which is really cool. Firm bouncy, and satisfying to play with, like so many of the best things in life. They might even be the gentle nudge you need to get your hardcore D&D friend to emerge from behind their GM screen and engage in some primal tomfoolery.
Playing the game is simple enough that the rules are printed on a three-fold sheet of paper. Everyone plays a card from their hand, face-down, and then they’re all revealed. Most show one of the dice on them, and there are a couple of special cards too. If yours is the only card showing a particular die – congratulations! – you just take it. If two or more of you play the same card, however, it’s battle stations. The players who matched scramble to grab that die and throw it at the other person. Imagine Cobra Paw, but you could throw the tile at the other people. If you hit the other person, you add the loser’s card to your score pile. If you miss, you can expect it to be picked up and returned with all the haste of a Happy Meal box full of turds.
When everybody has licked their wounds, and the losers take what’s left in the pool of unclaimed dice, you move on to the part where you score the majority of the points. The player with the die with the most sides throws it onto the table. Then the next biggest die, and so on. The trick here is to aim to knock the other dice to change their scores. There is nothing as satisfying as picking up your feeble D6, aiming at the D20 with an 18 or something ridiculous on it, and knocking it down to single figures. Even if you don’t win the round, there’s this delicious, spiteful part of your brain which is doused with dopamine when you prevent some smug git from winning. It’s a glorious feeling, and it abounds in Asteroid Dice.
Abounds, I tell you!
This was never going to be a big review. It’s a game about chucking squidgy things at your mates. I’ve just posted reviews of Skymines (here) and Beyond The Sun (here) which are space games that take themselves seriously, but Asteroid Dice is a stupid, raucous blast. Throwing stuff at people is fun, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. I’ll fight them with squidgy dice from 3ft.
The best advice I can give you if you’re thinking about backing the game, or picking it up if you’re reading this post-Kickstarter, is to consider two things. Firstly, who will you play it with, and secondly, where will you play it? If your answer is ‘With the elderly and toddlers in a china & knife warehouse”, then it’s not for you. In all seriousness though, some people don’t like any kind of conflict at all, so be mindful of who’s around the table, and what space you have to play it in.
Asteroid Dice is silly and funny, and I can see it getting plenty of play in the garden and at barbecues over the summer. It’s a great game for non-gamers too if they’re willing to give it a go. While I wouldn’t necessarily endorse my own house rules for playing with my oldest mates of ‘loser takes a drink’ and ‘headshots only’, we certainly had a blast with it. It’s a game which won’t take up a lot of space and packs a lot of fun into a few cards and squodgy blocks. I’m looking forward to seeing what Camden Games come up with next.
The Kickstarter campaign starts on May 23rd 2023, and you can find it right here.
Preview copy kindly provided by Camden Games. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Asteroid Dice (2023)
Publisher: Camden Games
Playing time: 15 mins