Critical Review - Martian Dice

Martian Dice is a wonderful light game that everyone should own.  Yes, everyone.  I have racked my brain over the last few days of owning this game, and for the price, value, and fun, I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this game... unless you were abducted with your favorite chicken and cow and have terrible memories, then, stay away!


Martian Dice is made by TMG, Tasy Minstrel Games.  It is designed for 2+ players, and I do mean +, as you can play with pretty much as many people as you like and the game stays the same, if not, becomes more fun! It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for a 2-3 player game, and is well suited for anyone 4 and up.

Inside the brightly colored pink, purple and chaos colored tube, are thirteen little dice and an instruction book.  The rules are very easy to pick up, and all the dice are the same in terms of sides and icons.  Each die has the following on their sides:


2 x Green Martian Death Rays
1 x Red Human Tank
1 x Blue Human Being
1 x Yellow Chicken
1 x White Cow

Each turn you will roll all the dice, and then choose to "abduct" a species.  Once you have decided, you set aside all the Tanks you've rolled and any Death Rays you would like to keep, placing the remaining dice back into the tube to be re-rolled.  You keep "pressing your luck" in the hopes of abducting at least one of each species (Human Being, Cow, and Chicken) for a bonus 3 points, but you may stop at anytime to score 1 point for all abducted species... as long as you have as many, or more, Death Rays than Tanks!  If you roll more Tanks than you have, or can roll, of Death Rays, you score nothing as the earthlings repell your attack!


Play then passes to the next player, and they beging their turn.  Very much like Zombie Dice, this game has an element of egging on your opponent's to get them to roll when they perhaps shouldn't.  In fact I lost my first game personally by needing to roll anything by two Tanks on three dice... and of course, I rolled three Tanks.


Now, many people may compare these two games, and you honestly have to.  I mean, they both have their dice, their "press your luck" mechancis, but Martian Dice seems a bit different.  In Zombie Dice, you are essentially trying to get Brains and not get Shotgun Blasts, but at the same time, you prefer not to get the Runners with Yellow or Red dice, to risk re-rolling a Shotgun Blast.  In Martian Dice, you really have more of a "collector" mechanic with the three species and the known fact that there is a better chance to roll a Death Ray than a Tank on your rolls. That one mathmatical equation makes you press your luck more and more in this game, and in my opinion, makes it VERY fun!


As a variant, you can play the game in reverse, where you are attempting to "save" instead of "abduct" the species.  This is MUCH harder, as it requires you to basically reverse the rules for the Tanks and the Death Rays, which, with only one Tank and two Death Rays per die, is a lot harder, but is a fun variant we enjoyed.


We played with our four year old, and he got it and loved it!  We then played with our six year old, who is officialy 2-0 and loves it as well.  Adults find it light enough and entertaining enough to enjoy, so as I mentioned in my opening, I can't think of anyone, save for that lone abductee, who would be put off by this game.  At $14.95 retail, it's out of this world fun!



Martian Dice Critical Review Score (Crit, Hit, or Miss):

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