September 19, 2022 by
You could skip this review of Dice Versa entirely and just play it. This puzzle game that dropped practically out of nowhere is available now on the App Store for free. There's no ads, no in-app purchases, and it's pretty enjoyable for what it is.
Dice with the devil
Dice Versa is a game where you have to match dice on a game board. Each dice has a number and color value assigned to it and the trick of the game is that you can't place dice next to each other that don't match in color and/or number. Once you fill a row or column of four dice, they clear off the board and add to your overall score, which is tallied for the leaderboards once you've run out of viable moves to make.
It's pretty similar to a lot of other matching puzzle games, but there are some key nuances to Dice Versa that help it stand out. Over time, your dice pool gets larger, as do the numbers and color variety of dice. There are also "wild" dice that can match with any number of dice and a combo system for chaining multiple matches together at once, clearing rows or columns with single numbers/colors, and more.
Outside of simply score climbing (and an initial tutorial), Dice Versa doesn't have much to offer. This may come as no surprise if you understand Dice Versa's origins. The game started as an entry in the Game Makers' Toolkit 2022 Game Jam, and thanks to its popularity and selection as one of the event's winners, it got polished up just enough to be released.
This is all to say that Dice Versa doesn't have some of the other trimmings you might expect from other mobile puzzle games. There aren't unlocks, cosmetics, achievements, or any other frills to keep you playing beyond the core matching systems themselves. Generally speaking, I prefer my puzzle games this way, though I know that seems to go against current design trends for creating successful mobile titles.
For all that is included in Dice Versa, the finished product is quite nice and user friendly. The game board helpfully highlights where you can make valid plays and explains when you get a score multiplier and what it is for. It also has some accessibility features like a colorblind mode, haptic feedback, and screen shake toggles that you can adjust to your liking.
While all of these features are great, I did find myself wanting two key features that are noticeably absent from Dice Versa. The first is a way to resume play sessions if you step away from a run or restart your phone. The other is some kind of alternate control scheme, as I found myself sometimes dragging dice to slots I didn't intend to drop them in, which a tap-based input method would likely prevent.
The bottom line
Dice Versa is a neat little puzzle game that is both easy to and well worth checking out. It isn't swimming in bells and whistles, but it also doesn't really need to, especially considering the asking price.
Mid Atlantic Consulting, Inc.
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