(Editor’s Note: Depending on the demographics of our audience, that might be a severely bad reference. Either way, it’s a bit of a stretch, I admit.)
I went to Wal*Mart a couple of days ago. By itself, that isn’t newsworthy. I go to Wal*Mart several times a week. Sometimes I go there twice or three times in the same day. In fact, I think that I’ve been to “Big Blue” at least once a day for the past week. The trips aren’t usually worth mentioning. During this trip, I checked their game aisle. Again, not really out of the ordinary. I check the aisle almost every time I’m there, even though it rarely changes in any significant way. However, I went there for Aiden and Quinn, who had $10 each of birthday money burning a hole in their pockets. Aiden wanted Pokemon cards and Quinn wanted a Pokeball with a miniature Pokemon. I found both things, but initially nothing for me. I had just bought 15 packs of Magic a couple of days earlier, so you can argue that I didn’t need anything. Then again, does anyone ever “need” more collectibles?
So, why am I wasting your time with this story about my trip to Wal*Mart? You must be new here. In that case, welcome! (If not, skip to the next paragraph.) I hope you enjoy the page and podcast. I do things a bit less conventionally than other gaming sites. I wander off on tangents. I abuse parenthetical phrases. Luckily, I often warn you when I lose focus and I (almost) always wind up back on topic eventually.
Oh, what’s this? I notice that Wal*Mart now carries Dice Masters. I’ve heard of the game through my research into Heroclix. Also, for some reason, I am in a Dice Masters community on Google+. Yeah, I know, but I don’t have a phone and it lets me text using my tablet. I never considered the game–not seriously, at least–until Free Comic Book Day.
The actual day turned out to be less about free comics and more about riding bikes, but that’s okay. The best days are often those that do go according to plan. We eventually made it to the store for the books, but it was too late and there wasn’t much of a selection. As he often does, since he is under the impression that money is limitless, Aiden asked me to buy him everything from new Pokemon cards to a keychain for keys that he doesn’t own. While dodging his persistent demands, I saw that the store offered Dice Masters.
“That’s a fun game”. The store owner offered. Unsure whether he meant it or was just trying to make a sale, I forced a nod, pretended to admire the packaging a little longer, and escaped with my uninspiring free comics and unmolested wallet. That’s how I learned about Dice Masters.
The story does not end there, loyal readers! Oh, no! As I have said, our main mission at 2 Guys Gaming is to make games fun. Part of that fun is discovering new games. Another part of that fun, for me, is playing those new games with my sons. You can, of course, see where this incredibly obvious plot twist is taking us. Please, though, no spoilers. Allow this frustrated story teller a moment of intrigue and surprise.
The shop owner’s comment stayed with me. I mentioned it to Chris, who showed some interest in playing. I put the game on our tentative schedule for discussion on the podcast later in the year. I let the comment “That’s a fun game” marinate in my brain stew until it reached the proper level of roasted succulence. Well, now, that was a weird metaphor. I must be hungry.
No matter how I ended up in the gaming aisle at the local Wal*Mart looking at the Dice Masters and thinking back on my brief history with the game, there I was. It didn’t take long to make the decision to get the Avengers v. X-Men Starter Pack. They also had the DC Justice League Starter, but I am an unabashed Marvel zombie.
I brought the boys home their spoils. Aiden immediately broke open his packs and they have gotten him back into the Pokemon mood. We played two games this afternoon and he kicked my butt severely. I got away from my comfort zone of darkness and psychic type and tried to build a fighting and water deck. Unfortunately, Quinn got a hold of my deck and the Blastoise EX never made it back. The replacement EX got buried in my prize cards and he handled my Pokemon pretty well with one of his. After I KO’d his first Pokemon, he used a great strategy to get a strong one off of his bench to destroy me.
Quinn, since he is 4, absolutely loved his Pokeball and Pokemon. I found the other figures that they previously owned and he played with them for a day or two. It now sits forgotten somewhere in the house. Sad and lonely, it waits to be played again. Hopefully, Quinn finds it before something drastic happens. I will spare you the dark depths of my mind and tales of toy suicide. Just pray with me for the poor Dusk Ball. It has a family (possibly) and friends (presumably) that love and care about it.
Well, despite my better intentions, that got dark. Let’s get back to having fun. After giving them their stuff, I sat at the dining room table to learn the game. Christine made fun of me for playing with myself. That one is for you, perverts. I wanted to make sure that I understood the game before trying to teach the boys.
The starter set rule book illustrated a very helpful tutorial game. I played through that solo and got a much better grasp of the game than I have even for Heroclix after playing a full game. That might have more to do with Heroclix being a more complex game, but it was nice to have the tutorial as an introduction. They also wrote a more complication explanation of a turn, but I didn’t read that. I don’t have infinite time. The tutorial is more than enough to learn the basics of the game and it is not nearly as complex as Magic or Heroclix. There is still strategy and decision making, but it is an easy game to pick up and play right away. I taught both of the boys how to play in less than a half an hour total.
They both took to the game like a fish in water. Is that even a saying? Probably not, but they did love the game. We had plans for Memorial Day weekend with the in-laws and they asked to bring the game to the cookout. We played many more games over the next few days. It has gotten busy with school, Tae Kwon Do, field trips, and soccer, so we haven’t played much recently.
Even so, I ended up buying the Justice League starter set, too. While the one starter offers a wide variety of teams and games possible, I also wanted to play as Batman and maybe Superman. Little did I know that Aiden would discover Deathstroke as one of the most OP characters we’ve played. I want to keep expanding into other sets and buy more dice for the sets that we have. While each game has been different due to the variety, you can never have too many cards or dice. My wife, of course, would disagree, but I don’t take her advice in these matters.
The game is fun to play. It is easy to pick up and learn strategy as you play. My kids, especially Aiden, love it. Even with a limited collection (one starter set for around 15 dollars) the games are virtually limitless in their possibilities. Booster packs are cheaper than Magic or Heroclix. The game isn’t as collectible as those other games, but that’s a minor consideration. I would definitely recommend this game to any gamer who is looking to expand into something new, fun, and quick.