More and more, tabletop gaming and electronic innovation are colliding, in an attempt to create a new niche in the tabletop gaming market.
And that brings us to today's preview: Boogie Dice, along with the game Bots Battleground, both currently on Kickstarter...
Boogie Dice are--get this--self-rolling dice! They're activated by loud sounds (snapping fingers or clapping hands), and Bots Battleground is the first game designed to take advantage of this new technology.
So what did I (Jeremiah) think of this new contrivance? Best keep reading to find out!
Seeing as this is a prototype, it's important to point out that nothing in this preview is near its final stage. The Kickstarter campaign is being run (successfully already!) to fund a better-produced Boogie die, and as well as manufacture the Bots Battleground game.
I was sent one pipped die, as well as a deck of Bots Batleground cards to play with. The charger I got is also very Frankenstein-ish but the finished one will have a nice charger than (once you're done charging) circles back on itself in order to create an area where the dice will roll without jumping off the table!
The cards are shuffled and then each player draws four cards. You'll also prepare the Boogie Dice for game play. Then you're just about ready to...roll!
The game is played in rounds, and a round starts when a player claps their hands, activating the die. When that happens the player who clapped their hands chooses a target and plays a card in front of the target (defender). After just 2 seconds the die stops rolling and glows red which is the defender's chance to play a card in defense.
At any time both players engaged in the battle can switch out their card before the round ends, but you must pick up the one in play before playing another one. If you have more than one card on the table at any time you lose the round. (Although there are exceptions!)
After 10-20 seconds the die will start rolling again giving you a 2 second warning that the round is almost over, once it stops, glows red, and then blinks blue, the round is over and you can no longer place/swap cards.
Once the round is over you compare attack vs. defense, and whoever wins gets 2 tokens (which will be included in the final version), and the loser loses 1 token.
So why does the die roll on its own anyway? The die roll determines the conditions of the round. For instance if it lands on a 1 after the first roll, the round is a normal round. If it rolls a 2, the lower total wins instead of the higher. And a 3 means players can play 2 cards instead of 1. And so on.
The first player to collect 10 tokens is the winner!
The Kickstarter is rocking and rolling, so we're going to see this project get finished. And the electronic dice are quite cool. There will be some regular dice with pips, and also custom dice that will have icons for Bots Battleground available. There's also a set of audio cues that are available, that will allow you to program different parameters for the dice, such as how long to roll, how long to wait in between rolls, etc.
The game itself is still under development, and what I described above appears to be a somewhat skeletal structure that's going to be fleshed out as the project progresses--at this point it feels a bit sparse. Although with the rapid pace of the game play it doesn't lend itself to super complex cards with deep synergy and complexity. Remember, you're still at the whim of a self-rolling d6!
I wouldn't mind seeing the deck split into factions that players choose from, instead of a singular deck, which would allow players to create some strategy around the cards they hold and those that could come up in the deck.
This is definitely a campaign that is pushing the envelope on gaming accessories. I think these new components are going to open up many doors for game designers everywhere! The dice can operate as timed randomizers, sound detection for dexterity type games, a randomized foe for cooperative games, and countless other uses.
The Final Verdict
This is a campaign worth taking a look at. I'm holding off on judging Bots Battleground until the rules are refined, but the Boogie Dice are super slick, and I can't wait to see what can become of them as the future unfolds!
We'd like to thank Saar Shai for sending Jeremiah a prototype of Boogie Dice. This in no way affected his opinion of the game.
Thanks for reading!