Dizzle: Dice Drafting with a Bang
Over the past few years roll and write games have gained popularity, probably due to their quick learning curve, portability, and short playtime. Dizzle is a recent entry into the genre from Stronghold Games, who have also published popular games such as Wolfgang Warsch’s Ganz Shon Clever.
Dizzle comes loaded with sheets for four different levels of gameplay. Select a level and distribute the appropriate sheet to each player, along with a marker. The more players, the more dice you’ll use for the game (eight for single player, thirteen dice for four players). The youngest player starts the first round.
Dizzle‘s game length varies by the number of players: only three rounds for four players, up to ten rounds for a solo game. Each round consists of a number of turns where each player will have a chance to roll the dice and select first. To start, the first player rolls all the dice and marks off the round one box on their score sheet. Next, they select a die and place on their sheet according to the following placement rules.
- Dice can only go on unused fields (no X) with matching pip numbers; ie. place a three on a three, but not a five on a two.
- The first die placed in a round must go next to an X on the sheet.
- The next die placed by a player must be placed next to a die that is already on a field. This creates dice clusters.
- Players must take and place a die if possible.
Closed yourself in?
Occasionally players box themselves in, and can no longer legally place a die. Fear not, when this occurs you can jump to another valid field next to a X on the sheet.
Can’t place a die?
Should a player get into a jam and can’t legally place a die, they may roll again or drop out. If rolling again, the player re-rolls all remaining dice and selects one to place. If they still cannot place, they must return one die from their sheet to the center and take a penalty.
When player decides to drop out, they can no longer take dice this round.
Wrapping up a round
In clockwise order, players continue selecting and placing dice on their sheets. Once all players are done, they mark their sheets. Simply remove dice from the sheet one by one, and write an X in the square each die was on. The next player in clockwise order starts a new round: roll all the dice and start placing again.
So far, we’ve just talked about the basic fields on the score sheet, but there are a bunch of special fields that make Dizzle a blast. Some fields may have effects during game play and others at scoring.
Cross off a key to be able to place on a lock field. Get to a bomb first to cause all other players to lose points. Get a rocket to allow travel to an otherwise-unreachable planet (and also immediately end this round). Get the checkered flag to reserve the highest bonus points (other players can still get to the flag, but they’ll get fewer points).
You can also increase points with gems or matched pairs of puzzle pieces. Completely fill a row or column next to an arrow, or fill the outlined 4-Square for bonus points at the end of the game. But avoid the “brown piles” that will subtract points from your total.
End Game Scoring
Once all players have played some number of rounds (based on player count), use the handy scoring area on the right side of your sheet to tally up points. Whoever has the highest score wins!
I loved that Dizzle included four different levels of game play in the box. Level 1 eases players into the game with simpler choices, and the later levels offer more scoring options and player interactions.
The clever design makes your die draft not only important for your own placement, but your opponent’s as well. Bomb fields cause other players to lose points. Racing to mark off checkered flag points first adds excitement and tension.
When the dice pool isn’t particularly right for your cluster, choosing to reroll can be a blessing or a curse. Who doesn’t like a little tension in a game with dice? You’ll lose a die if you can’t place at least one: risk and reward at its finest. In Level 4, brown pile fields give you negative points, but could grant you access to rockets and flags more quickly.
Dizzle can be played over and over again without feeling the same, due to the randomness of die rolls and the various layouts of the score sheets. Each level has a different layout that plays to the special fields included. While the box comes loaded with a thick stack of double-sided sheets, I laminated mine immediately.
Dizzle definitely delivers on a fun and challenging solo experience. In solo play, you roll two extra dice that will quickly cause you to whittle down your dice pool. Dizzle’s solo mode is perfect for a quick and compact lunch hour game.
Find Dizzle on Amazon or at your friendly local game store for around $15.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Dizzle from Stronghold Games for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 1-4
Playtime: 20 minutes