Gacha games are all about that feel good moment when you know you are about to open up some loot in game. Idiocracy, Inc knows this and wants to hit you right in those feels with Dice Brawl: Captains League. Dice Brawl shares many characteristics of some games most of us are very familiar with, but it is ready to clash with the best of them. Sporting a more traditional tabletop style gameplay and a dash of random gameplay mechanics, Dice Brawl has a niche that suggests it will be able to compete without fully stepping on anyone’s toes too much.
Your main objective in Dice Brawl is to create a strong deck of cards and use it to defeat an opponent in an 8 round match building and attacking structures and trying to kill the other captain. This deck consists of one captain, one ship, and five crew member cards. These seven cards can be activated once per game each and have special effects that get better as you rank up the card. The end of the game is either triggered by the death of a captain or by the end of round 8. If both captains are alive then the winner is determined by who has the most fortresses built.
Once you get the basics of the game down, there are a number of subtle mechanics that are easy to miss that can really help you out by picking up on. One of the easiest ways to increase your power is by gaining extra hit points on your captain by increasing your card levels. While ranking up cards can be expensive, many times it results in increasing your life amount and this is extremely important especially early on when you will probably have less than 20 hit points. While you may get cards with flashy effects, just remember to weigh the cost of substituting a low rank card into your deck just for a single action. Dice roll influencing is also an unclear mechanic but basically the longer you hold down your dice, the higher you are telling the game you want to roll for movement. During combat you can aim for an even result which is statistically higher than a random result. Sometimes the game decides that it is going to give you a random result no matter what, but it lets you think you have a little bit of control, which I guess is nice.
Dice Brawl sits just under 250 megabytes on the harddrive ony my phone. The game runs Smooth enough and has little lag for a game that requires an internet connection. I mentioned in the preview that this game looks like a pirate themed Dragon’s Lair adventure, and boy the graphics and animations in this game have grown on me. Initially I was not hot on the way the still frames looked but in the context of the game and the way things move I am really loving the way the game looks. Some of the special cards and captain animations in particular are goofy and appropriate for a pirate themed board game.
The in-game shop offers the expected gem and coin packs, chests containing cards of various guaranteed qualities and amounts, but also special dice that all get a random effect when purchased from the store. On top of the random effect, there are some dice that will allow you greater control over your rolls which seem like a very distinct advantage over anyone that does not have that type of dice. The gacha-deck building genre is no stranger to purchases increasing in game power, but this is definitely an angle that we have not seen much of, a random element of the game that can be made less random with a shop store purchase with gems.
Once you master the elements of the game, the rest is up to you. Build your deck, increase your rating, unlock new boards and new cards and either wait for the slow trickle of resources or speed the wait up with purchases from the store. One big thing of note is that with Dice Brawl, it seems like you can just continually open more chests with badges you win from games. Instead of only being able to open a few chests that are locked behind real life timers, you can just keep opening new chests over and over which means there is no real limit to the amount you can grind in Dice Brawl which could be a big selling point for those frustrated with the timers attached to chests in other deck builders out there. No matter how many games you have played in a day, you are always just a win or two away from opening up more cards.
Ultimately what is going to sell you on Dice Brawl is not the rate at which you progress in the game or way you build your deck. There are, quite frankly, other more well established games that deliver the same exact experience in those regards. What you will come back for is the gameplay and the way this game looks. If you want to buy in to a pirate game, a board game, a game with a healthy dose of random chance, this could be the game you are looking for. On top of that, you will always be just moments away from your next item unlock, so ride that dopamine rush and pick up Dice Brawl: Captains League today.