Dice Manor is a recent addition to the game library. WiscoDice was given this game to review from Arcane Wonders. In Dice Manor, you play as a developer who is building a lavish manor. You start with just a foyer, build your manor up, market it, and give people tours through this ever-growing manor. Those who manage to build the finest manor, gather the best rooms, and provide first-rate marketing for their manor, will be the victors of this dice-rolling game with a bidding mechanic. Do you have what it takes to build a fantastic manor?
- Players: 2-4
- Playtime: 30-45 minutes
- Genre: Dice
- Mechanics: Dice Rolling, Bidding/Auction
- Publisher: Arcane Wonders
- Designer: Garrett Herdter
- Artist: Damien Mammoliti
The components of this game are very well made. The game and scoreboards are created from nice, thick, chipboard with recessed areas to keep trackers from inadvertently sliding. The rooms are also solid and created from the same chipboard, unlike some thinner cardstock, look like they will hold steady and straight through many plays. The inside of the box has a very nice layout which lets you put all of the components in place. This helps with getting the setup complete quickly, no having to spend 10-15 minutes sorting everything out before you start playing.
The dice for this game have a nice, weighty, feel and roll smoothly. While I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the colors (orange, teal, grey, and black), they went with the very colorful focus of this game.
Dice Manor plays over a series of four rounds where you focus on building out your manor and one final Grand Opening round where you show people around the fabulous manor you built to earn final points and ensure your manor will be voted the best of the bunch.
On your turn, you roll all of your unplaced dice. You sort them by the numbers rolled and then select one set of the numbers and place all of the dice in various locations. You can bid on rooms by matching the dice value. This is further complicated by trying to get a mix of all six types of rooms, getting a set of numbers on the room that let you easily run tours in your manor, and finally getting a mix of colors (themes) in your manor to build toward end game scoring.
The second place you can bid is for advertising space. By putting multiple dice of the same number on the advertising track you earn victory points and work toward unlocking additional dice to help build out your manor.
The final place you can place your dice is to take people on a tour of your manor. As your manor builds out you want to take people on a tour through the rooms of your manor. By using dice, you try to lead them through the maze of rooms. The more matching dice you can place in your manor in one go, the more points you earn.
Theme and Immersion
Overall, Dice Manor doesn’t have a super deep theme. Placing dice isn’t like building, but if you think of the dice a bit like a limited pool of workers, it has a similar feel to some worker placements. Odds are, at the end of the game, your manor will feel a bit more like the Winchester Mansion than a super fancy luxury mansion.
The artwork adds to the theme well. The rooms’ colors all follow a similar theme, for instance blue has an underwater theme and green has an outdoor nature theme. My kids were particularly fond of the various themes of the rooms and were actively competing to get certain rooms.
The game moves quickly, and even with four players, you won’t be sitting still for long. This helps keep players interested and focused in the game.
The Dice Manor game is quick to set up making it a great filler game. There is a depth of strategy that allows you to replay it, but it isn’t a deep euro experience, if you are looking for something in that vein. I found the game, at two players, to be a lot more predictable on who would win versus playing at higher player counts. I preferred it at higher player counts. as we played it at both two- and four-player games. Four players added a lot more competition for rooms and it was more difficult to swipe a cheap room, like in two players.
The bulk of the point scoring in Dice Manor game comes at the end of the game. It is great to see how your points add up in the final round if you have been building carefully. This allows someone who may have appeared to be lagging behind may overtake everyone at the end.
Dice Manor is a great, light game to fill the gaps in your play on long game days. It also is a good, quick game for the evening, if you want something light and fast to play. There is a bit of strategy that can go into picking the right rooms and building the right path through your sprawling manor.
This game has a high potential for some competitive play. For players that like a game with some one-upmanship, it provides the opportunity to be aggressive and swoop in at the last minute and deny their opponent that vital bathroom for their mansion.
It is a game to consider adding to your collection if you enjoy rolling dice. If you’re cursed when it comes to rolling dice, you might want to think twice. Overall it was a fun, lightweight game.
WiscoDice would like to thank Arcane Wonders for providing us this copy to review.