Dice Throne has become a tabletop favorite thanks to its fast-paced dice rolling gameplay, and now it's decided to team up with the beloved heroes and villains of the Marvel universe. Marvel Dice Throne, which is now live on Kickstarter, retains the streamlined ruleset, quickened pace, and moment-to-moment tactics of the original while also completely embracing the Marvel theme. Despite the unchanging core mechanics, each character feels unique and distinct from one another, and the game's stylish artwork makes the entire package feel as if it stepped right out of the Marvel comics universe, resulting in a game that every Marvel fan will enjoy.
So, what is Marvel Dice Throne exactly? The game has you choosing from one of several available Marvel characters, including Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Loki, Captain Marvel, Thor, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Scarlet Witch. All of the characters have eight different main abilities on their Player Board and three special status effects. You draw cards at the beginning of your turn and then roll the custom Hero Dice up to three times to try and roll the combination of symbols to activate the ability you need or want.
Each character features a custom ability board and playstyle, so you'll want to experiment to find the one that suits you. Spider-Man for instance comes with a Combo ability that allows him to roll into another turn, and his Venom Shockwave ultimate attack is pretty deadly. He also has two different Defense abilities, so he's especially good for new players. Comparatively, characters like Scarlet Witch are a bit more difficult to master but offer players a bounty of options and possible status effects, including Reality Warp, which takes one of your opponent's dice and swaps it out for your own, essentially knocking their options down considerably.
Scarlet Witch's playstyle feels completely different than Thor's or Captain Marvel's, who can hit incredibly hard if you can enable abilities like Barrel Roll or Aurora Wave, which lets her gain Cosmic Ray or Cosmic Flare status effects that make her already heavy damage even deadlier. Likewise, Thor can throw Mjolnir and affect other players, while Doctor Strange can mess with time if the dice roll his way.
What stood out to me most during my playthrough is just how welcoming Marvel Dice Throne is to new players. This was my first time with the game, and after two turns I already had a feel for the rhythm of the game and the main gameplay loop, and thus was able to start exploring the character's more in-depth abilities and having more fun with the risk and reward of it all. You get up to three dice rolls on your turn, and early on it can be easy to be a bit conservative, using the first ability you come across so as not to waste your turn. With more time in the system comes a willingness to push things and go for those big abilities, and it's an incredibly exhilarating feeling when your strategy pays off and the plan comes together.
Spider-Man and Captain Marvel were the two characters I played as during the demo (I know, big surprise there), and each one brought their own challenges and benefits. Scarlet Witch and Thor's abilities and combinations looked just as intriguing though, and I would've easily played for a few more hours to give every character a go. It doesn't hurt that the artwork is stellar across the board, giving all the characters a recognizable look with some modern flair.
If you're not a fan of random chance, this game is not for you. While the cards have significant effects on your turn, your abilities are still mainly dictated by dice rolls. That will be subjective of course, but outside of that personal preference flaw, I really can't find many other things to knock, and replayability is high thanks to the optional upgrades you can make to your abilities along the way.
Marvel Dice Throne completely hooked me, but perhaps more impressive is how quickly it did that. Dice Throne's mechanics and gameplay structure are perfect for newer players, allowing them to get up to speed in a matter of a few turns and get to the marvelously fun main gameplay loop that powers the franchise, though each character offers additional options and strategies for experienced players to dive into. Marvel Dice Throne is an easy recommendation for any tabletop fan, and if you happen to also be a Marvel fan, you're in for one amazing time.
Marvel Dice Throne is live now on Kickstarter.
Are you excited for Marvel Dice Throne? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Marvel and tabletop with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!