by Gary Sonnenberg
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
Want a light, fast game to play with your kids or in between heavier, longer games? Check out DiceAFARI.
The game and gameplay
DiceAFARI is a quick (roughly 15 minutes to play) tactical game with an African theme. You use 5 specialized dice and 3 types of tiles to play.
Four of the dice have faces that match the six types of terrain. The fifth (bonus) die shows three 2s, two 3s, and one 4.
There are large terrain tiles – mountain, desert, jungle, savanna, scrubland, and marsh – used to randomly create a playing area. Said area can approximate the shape of a lion, gorilla, elephant, or flamingo (as suggested in the rules), or you can arrange them as you like. I would suggest using one of the 4 animal shapes provided since they’ve been tested for suitability.
Wherever the borders of two of those terrain tiles meet, you randomly place an animal tile – lions, gorillas, elephants, and giraffes. Each player takes a supply of jeep tiles – red, blue, yellow, or green. To determine the start player, it is suggested that each rolls the dice and the player with the most mountains begins.
On your turn, roll all five dice. Set the bonus die aside as it cannot be re-rolled. You may roll the terrain dice up to three times total, keeping any you wish along the way.
When you’re satisfied with your roll, you place jeep dice on terrain tiles matching the dice with this restriction: The terrain tiles must be 2, 3, or 4 adjacent tiles in a row or column or they must form a square.
If you place jeeps matching the number on the bonus die, you may place one more jeep on any free space. You may use any tiles to make your play, even if they already have a jeep on them – either yours or an opponent’s. In general, it’s a good thing to try to replace opposing jeeps with your own. It results in more options and points for you and less for your opponents.
After jeep placement, you get to take one photograph (i.e. animal tile) located between any two tiles on which you have jeeps. Sets of animal tiles score points at the end of the game. The game ends when jeeps occupy all the terrain tiles.
If you collect a set of all four animals, you get 7 points. Sets of three of the same type of animal count 5 points; two count 3; and one counts 1. In addition, each jeep tile still on the board counts 1 point. As you might expect, the player with the most points wins.
DiceAFARI is simple fun with a fun theme. Children should especially like the animals, and adults will enjoy the light competition. This could easily be used as a true filler game to be played while waiting for others to finish a longer game at a game night. It’s easy to set up and take down as well as easy to explain (five minutes tops), if needed.
Pros and cons
The attractive theme is carried out well throughout the game.
The rules are very easy to understand.
Children and adult should enjoy playing this together.
There’s a nice balance of randomness and simple strategy.
DiceAFARI is an enjoyable, fast game accessible to just about everyone. The African (non-Egyptian) animal theme is a welcome change not often seen. It’s one of the best choices of easy dice games for families. If you like a little dice randomness in your set collection game, then DiceAFARI is for you.
If you’ve played DiceAFARI, please leave a rating and comments using the link below.