"Of all the places, in all the towns, on all the streets, in all of the Internet sites, you had to click on this one..."
- Something we just made up
Today Jeremiah is taking a preview look at the currently kickstarting dice roller: Private Die. It's case-cracking by way of dice-rolling for 1-6 players...
Let's take a look!
Disclaimer: As always our previews are of prototypes. So the rules, components, and artwork are most likely not final or complete.
So let's take a quick look at the components. The game features two different types of cards, there are Detective Cards and Witness cards. Each player gets one of the six Detective cards, it gives them a special ability to use throughout the game. The witness cards are used for each round of interrogations and have an effect that is applied during that round only.
There are a bunch of dice (d6), enough for each player to have 5, and a custom d12 which is called the Witness die, and a whole mess of red tiddly-winks, which are Clues. The goal is to collect 15 clues which will allow you to crack the case and win the game.
I was a little surprised to see that the tiddly winks are the intended final product for the clue tokens. Are they essentially just VP markers, and do they serve that purpose just fine? Yep. Would it have been just as easy to design a punch board token to use as a clue? Probably... Aside from that the artwork on the cards/card backs is very appropriate for the genre and works great. The dice are dice, and the d12 is custom because of its number values, and it's a great design concept that works for the game play (again more on that later).
So how does the game play? The game plays in rounds. One player will be the first player, who will flip over a Witness card, take into account the effect, and then roll the Witness die.
The Witness die sets a goal for that round, which is the "Interrogation" value. Each player then gets a chance to gain some clues from the witness. How do you do that? What a fantastic question! This is the unique twist to the press-your-luck of the game.
Each player states how many of their dice they want to use to try and reach the goal number. You get to roll once and then add up all of your dice. If it's under the interrogation value, you're still in it. If it's over, you busted out! If it's under, you can spend one of your clues to roll another die. Once everyone has rolled, the one who is closest to the Interrogation value without going over wins the round. If you win the round you get clues equal to the number of dice you rolled that round.
Then you do it all over again!
This is definitely a unique spin on a press-your-luck type of game, and I was a little surprised that for a dice-roller there's no way to re-roll or change your dice once you've rolled them. Which meant there were times when you would make your first roll, bust out, and that was that--you just have to wait until the next round. If you play it safe and roll under and try to work your way up by adding dice, you'll end up spending all of your VP's. So there's a lot of weight to the few decisions you have to make.
If there's one thing that seemed out of balance, it was the Detective cards. Some actually did allow you to re-roll a die to avoid busting, while others simply let you win with a few less VP's. And believe me, re-rolling was a HUGE advantage to whoever had that card! It looks like there will be other Detective cards added if certain stretch goals get unlocked, so hopefully there will be some balance added in with the new ones.
Overall my group had fun with this one. It's super easy to learn, and a unique dice-roller. Those typically go over well with us. If your group is into dice-rollers, you should definitely check out Private Die for a fun little twist on the genre!
Thanks for reading, and you can check out the campaign for more details and complete rules: right here!