Game Review: Scurvy Dice

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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# of Players: 2-4
Time: 15-30 Minutes
Age: 8+
Gamer Type: Casual
Game Type: Dice/Strategy
Complexity: 5 (Standard)

Pirates and Gaming go hand in hand. It is something which has been an axiom in gaming since the idea of gaming began. While games have evolved from deck games (games played on a ship deck) to games about pirates, there will always be pirates in gaming. Scurvy Dice is an offering from Flintlock Games that is a fun, fast-paced game you can play without devoting hours to the game (or hours to learning the game). This is a great game anyone should have for quick gaming sessions.

Story

Starting with the story of the game, you are a pirate captain outfitting a ship to find the treasure of Parrot Island. You have the opportunity to build a sturdy, fast ship with cannons, crew, and your trusty parrot. However, on the horizon, there are several other captains going after your treasure! In Scurvy Dice you have to balance speed, power, and crew. Everyone’s ultimate goal is being the first to Parrot Island to collect the gold. This is a great little story and it gives the players purpose in the game. This earns Scurvy Dice a 6 out of 10 for the story.

Artwork

The artwork of the game is very cool. Beyond the little ships, cannons, swords, and parrots on the dice, the real gem of the game is the cloth playing map guiding the way to Parrot Island. There are also cards with pirates on them which lists their accompanying skills. The characters are well thought out and masterfully drawn for this advanced game. The wooden ships are the cherry on the top. This artwork is nice and really adds to the game giving Scurvy Dice a score of 6 out of 10 for the artwork.

Mechanics and Strategy

When it comes to mechanics, the game is a dice roller. What gold is available to loot and what ships you have to loot the gold is dictated by the dice. This ties strategy in tightly with the mechanics, which are highly dependent on the dice rolls. This means you can’t really enter into the game with a strong plan. That being said, each dice roll causes you to make the choice of what you are going to do. This leads to fast thinking and fast-acting play. During the playtests, we found a balanced strategy works well, but loading up with cannons or crew can be effective too if you do it at the right time. This results in a great mechanics score of 7 of 10 (which is one of the strongest we have seen for a pure dice game) and a strategy score of 5 out of 10.

Novelty

As for novelty, pirate games have been around for a long time. This means Firelock was trying to break into a genre that is already saturated with games. They were successful though. Scurvy Dice is a great game anyone can play. Even kids who are not yet using strategy can get a good roll and win a round if not the entire game. It all comes down to what you do and when you do it. This fun little game earns a 6 out of 10 for novelty as they are using new mechanics in a traditional genre.

Perfect for the Collector or Anyone New to Gaming

With a total score of 32 out of 50, Scurvy Dice is a great game for collectors and those who are just entering the market. The game is a little more complex than a gateway game, but don’t let that scare you off if you are a Settlers of Catan player. Once you understand the rules, this game is a not only a breeze, but a blast, to play. With each roll of the dice, you can find yourself closer to treasure or closer to the Isla De Muerta and catching Scurvy. This game gets a good recommendation as a great game to have on your shelf.

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer is a writer for NRN and an adjunct professor at both Penn State University and the University of South Florida. He is the author of several books, most recently “A Criminal History of the Democrat Party” which is available on Amazon and via the publisher, Elite Exclusivity. Follow on Twitter at @Acriminalhisto1

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