By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Why are board games so awesome to do, but hard to find on the Internet? There isn’t really a major board game popular online that comes to mind even if I stop to think about it. Surely by now someone must have found a successful way of making this happen? Remember the good old times as a kid playing just a simple board game with your family on a Sunday afternoon? Everyone enjoyed that, and luckily you no longer need a real board to play these games. I recently tried out Dice Venture, a board game that follows the Monopoly formula but shortens the game to fit into a casual play session rather than the typical Monopoly marathon.
A squared sized board where players loop around endlessly buying places and cities? Boy that seems familiar. In fact, almost every element of Dice Venture comes directly from the Monopoly board game. So what made CJ Global think they could find a market for this online when Hasbro still hadn't? Well they knew a cheap copy wouldn't be enough to break into the PC world. That's why they brought their title to both the PC and mobile audience to provide the endless entertainment of this board game to audiences on the go. This combined with a persistent currency and account ranking system appealed to me.
Just like in Monopoly, you start at the starting square. On every ‘lane’ or street as you know it you can buy houses, villa’s, hotels and landmarks to upgrade them and make you earn more money if a poor soul stumbles on one. Unfortunately in my first game I was the poor soul that was too unlucky with throwing the dice and as a result I stayed at every city that all the other three players owned. When you come onto these owned cities, islands or other landmarks you’re going to have a bad time and pay toll. Also note that cities with a Landmark cannot be taken over, so placing a landmark in your city is a must if you want to establish your lane. Luckily there is no Jail in Dice Venture but there is something even worse, a Deserted Island, where you will be stuck for three turns. Fortunately you can also walk on the World Cup dice that will boost your toll prices for the selected cities. And then there is also the World Travel dice that will make you travel anywhere on the map. And if you go through start, even with the world travel option, you will attain the 300k Cash you always earn when you pass Start.
The game is a little different and definitely a lot faster paced than a normal game of Monopoly. Especially if you’re as unlucky as me because I always seem to be unlucky when walking around the board. Somehow I always manage to pay the highest tolls, and be the most unlucky with fortune cards. Fortune cards are also a way to mess around with the other players. You can either earn a lot of money with them, get a useful card that can help you out later in the game, or you can attack someone and let him pay for it. Luckily you get six turns in total with messing around with your dice rolls. You can influence the roll three times to get both an even and odd number for your rolls. As you can imagine, this can help you out in tricky situations where you may have to dodge a few cities that are in prime position to end you in bankruptcy.
Since the game is a lot faster, you will definitely have to play with your first walk around the board. You should buy as much as possible right away, since people can lose a lot of income if they cannot buy anything at all and have to buy your cities. And if they do buy your cities, that money goes straight to you rather than the bank. So to deny them any profit at all, you should expand your empire in the first lap around the board, even if it puts you into dangerously low savings. If you do find yourself on the wrong side of the blank ink, bankruptcy gives you three choices. Sell your properties, get a loan or accept defeat. So always gauge your extra purchases on what you expect to pay and earn on any given turn before busting out the credit card willy nilly. If you are as unlucky as me, you will unfortunately have a bad time and even lose winning games. I have always been horrible with any game of chance involving dice. It turns out even with Dice Venture's ability to impact the luck of the roll, my fate to lose games of chance was never stronger while playing.
Monopoly errrrr, Dice Venture brings the fun without reinventing the wheel. It's easy to pick up and learn for even those odd people that were born post-Internet and never touched a board game. Games can take literally hours if you wish, and you really can have a lot of fun playing with friends or patient complete strangers. As I said, it is strange to see board games have yet to find their niche in the gaming crowd, and Dice Venture has the fun factor to change this. I personally had a lot of fun playing within a team or all by myself in this simple yet nostalgic board game!