Knot Dice - A Double-Take Review

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Today we're taking a look at Knot Dice, the new project from Matthew O'Malley. You can check out the Kickstarter campaign right here

Knot Dice is a set of Celtic-patterned custom dice that includes rules for several different games you can play with the dice. These games range from 1-3 players. But you can add more players with another set of dice. The dice are a great pearly green with each side featuring a different piece of a pattern that interconnects with other pieces of the pattern.

Here's how the games work!

Kells - This is a co-op game for 1-3 players in which players are trying to create the largest design possible. Each player is handed two dice, which are then rolled to randomize how they start. A turn consists of a player taking one of the remaining dice, rolling it, and then attempting to add it or one of their previously rolled dice to the design in the center, making sure they all connect properly (no lines running into the edge of another die that doesn't have a matching edge to continue the lines). If you can't add to the design you have to discard a die. The game ends when you run out of dice, or when players collectively discard three dice. And then you score depending on how many dice are in your design.

Kells, The Book - This is very similar to Kells, except instead of creating one big design players are creating several designs. You can't discard dice in this one though; the game ends when there are no more dice available.

Knot So Fast - This is a competitive game for 2 players in which each player starts with four dice, and then you place another nine dice in the center of the table. Players don't take turns: This game happens in real time as players try to create a design with no open ends out of all of the dice they are rolling. If they complete a design, everyone stops to check it. If they've done it correctly, they take a die from the center of the table and another round is begun. This time that player has an extra die to complete their pattern with. Once a player removes the last die from the center of the table the game is over and the player with the most dice wins!

 Completed Patterns

Completed Patterns

Knot So Fast Too - This is a version of Knot So Fast for 3-4 players, but each round is a competition between two players. You keep score as players win, and once the last die is added, the player with the most points wins.

Distance - This is an interesting variant in which four dice are set in a line with their "X" sides up. Then two markers are taken by the players and placed at a starting point along side one of the starting dice. As dice are added, players move one of their tokens along the path that is created. The object is to make your token travel the farthest distance.

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Puzzles - Lastly the game includes puzzles that have preset configurations for the dice. It's the players' job to complete the pattern. Depending on the level of the puzzle, on your turn you can swap the locations of two dice without changing their orientation, take an entire line and move it to the opposite side without changing orientation, rotate the top face of an outside die by 90 degrees, or rotate a die by 90 degrees vertically. 

There are also Creation Puzzles where you get a set of dice with certain configurations, and you have to construct a vertically and horizontally symmetrical Celtic knot.

The Verdict

Jeremiah--The first thing you'll notice (even with the prototype) is that the dice are REALLY cool! They're a good size, with hard edges that butt up against each other well in order to create patterns.

Firestone--They're seriously beautiful. Even if you never played this as a game, these are something you could have out on a table for guests to mess around with, admire, and use to start a conversation about games. "Oh, you like those dice? Well I have 612 board games down in the basement. Wanna see?!"

Jeremiah--I both love and hate the fact that there are so many options/games to play with these! The replay value is super high because if you get a little tired of one game, you can move on to something else. But it's hard to choose where to jump in first. I've so far gravitated towards Kells, because my group enjoys co-ops.

Firestone--I think I like Kells best, too. I'm awful at real-time games, so Knot So Fast just stresses me out. Distance is a surprising way to use the dice, and I really like it. The puzzles are a cool little exercise to do while watching TV or kill a few minutes. 

Jeremiah's Final Verdict--I love that this isn't just a standard press your luck dice game, the visual aesthetic is great and ultimately the gameplay options are different enough to spice things up!  

Firestone's Final Verdict--We've seen plenty of campaigns for beautiful dice, but these are beautiful AND they have neat little games behind them. If you're a fan of stunning dice, and puzzles, check out Knot Dice. I think you'll Knot be disappointed.

Thanks for reading! Check the campaign out over on Kickstarter!