Race to the top in Dicey Peaks

Dicey Peaks board game

Grab your pickax and let’s get climbing!

As I look out our front window at the snowy peaks along the Wasatch Range, I’m sure glad there aren’t any Yetis around here. Because if there were, it would make our winter snowshoeing in the mountains a bit more treacherous.

My opinion is quite different when it comes to Yetis in the new, fun dice game Dicey Peaks by Calliope Games. Bring on the Yetis!

There’s a reason Dicey Peaks made it into our 2017 Board Game Gift Guide – because it’s a great family game.

It’s a simple game to learn and play with a great press-your-luck element to it. It’s a fun race to the top of the mountain.

 

How to play Dicey Peaks

The objective in Dicey Peaks is to be the first Climber to reach the peak of Yeti Mountain. Players do so by rolling dice and pressing their luck and  traversing the mountain while managing their oxygen level.

To set up, players construct the mountain of hex tiles. The back of each tile indicates which level it is. The 6’s are randomly placed face down to form the base of the mountain followed by a row of 5’s, 4’s, and 3’s. There will also be 2 extra tiles of each level which are discarded without looking at them. So the mountain challenges are different every time you play.

The last part in forming the mountain is randomly placing the 3 summit tiles to form the peak. Only one of these tiles has the flag – which is the true summit to win the game.

Each player picks a Climber and places it to the left of the mountain base and their colored oxygen tank at the top level of their player board (full oxygen).

Dicey Peaks board game

Yeti mountain is ready for climbing!

 

Player turns

Beginning with the first player, players take turns rolling dice and resolving the results.

First let me explain the dice. The game has custom dice with symbols of pickaxes, tents, avalanches, and Yeti fists. There are 4 white dice, 4 dark blue dice, and 5 light blue dice – each color with different probabilities of the symbols.

Dicey Peaks board game

The different colored dice offer different possibilities.

On a player’s turn, they roll 5 dice of their choice. They can choose any combination of the colored dice – ideally picking those with the highest number of symbols they hope to get that turn.

Once rolled, they choose whether to Climb or Rest. If Climbing, they set aside the pickaxes and avalanches. If Resting, they set aside tents. Any time a Yet fist is rolled it must also be set aside. Any remaining dice are put back in the dice pool.

After making this choice and setting dice aside, the player can choose whether to keep rolling or stop. If they want to keep rolling, they take 3 dice from the dice pool and roll them. At this stage the player cannot switch between climbing and resting – they must continue with their original choice. They again set aside dice like after their first roll.

When they decide to stop rolling, they resolve the results.

When Climbing, each pickax means they move ahead one mountain tile (left to right). If the tile is face down, they flip it over and do what it says. If it’s face up, they simply do what it says (moving ahead or back spaces, gaining or losing oxygen, flipping more tiles, or doing nothing).

Dicey Peaks board game

You never know what might happen when you land on a face down tile.

Also, for each pickax rolled, the player also moves their oxygen down one level on their player board. So if they roll 4 pickaxes, they move ahead 4 tiles and move their oxygen down 4 levels.

However, when Climbing, if the player rolls 3 or more avalanches, they bust and their turn is over. Also, if they roll more pickaxes than they have oxygen available, they also bust.

Dicey Peaks board game

This Climber gets to move ahead 3 spaces and uses 3 oxygen.

When Resting, for each tent rolled, the player moves their oxygen tank up that many levels on their player board. If they roll a number of tents that would push them over the maximum oxygen, they bust and their turn is over. They’ll also bust if they roll 3 Yeti fists while Resting.

In all cases, if the player had to set aside Yeti fists, all players behind them in the mountain at the start of the turn will move ahead one space (without doing the action of the tile they land on).

Dicey Peaks board game

While Resting, this player moves his oxygen up 4 levels.

 

Game end

If a player moves past level 3 on the mountain, they first move their oxygen level down for each pickax rolled. Then they choose one of the three summit tiles to place their Climber on and flip over that tile. If it has the Flag, they win the game!

If it doesn’t have a flag, they’ve reached a false summit and their turn ends. Play then continues until a player finds the flag and wins!

Dicey Peaks board game

Green found a false summit. Purple found the real one and wins!

 

Can the whole family enjoy Dicey Peaks?

Dicey Peaks is a fun, dice rolling, press-your-luck game the whole family can enjoy playing.

Players of all ages love rolling dice. And Dicey Peaks adds a fun mountain-climbing aspect to it.

Since there are only 4 symbols on the dice, and the player board contain reference information on the possible results and actions, it’s really an easy game to learn and play.

Dicey Peaks board game

The player boards also include reference information for player turns.

And just like other press-your-luck games, you’ll find out quickly how risk-averse everyone is.

Dicey Peaks board game

Running low on oxygen. Do I rest or push on?

It’s also nice that there aren’t run-away leaders in Dicey Peaks.

In many press-your-luck, dice rolling games, players can get out to great leads by never stopping (ie. Can’t Stop). But Dicey Peaks has limits on how far you can go. First is the limited number of dice. Even in you’re rolling great, at some point you’ll run out of chances to roll because you’ve rolled all the dice. Second is the limit on the oxygen. You can’t move farther than you have oxygen and you can’t rest more than your maximum oxygen.

In addition, the Yetis often keep players close together. Even if you bust a couple turns or don’t roll so well and find yourself behind, you may not be out of the game. If the players ahead of you roll at least one Yeti fist, you’ll get to move ahead one space without spending oxygen.

We also like having an unknown summit tile.

With that in place, the winner isn’t always the one that gets to the top first.

Dicey Peaks board game

Land on a mountain tile and do what it says.

Some may complain that a random flip of the summit time determining the winner puts too much emphasis on luck. But that complaint seems off the mark with Dicey Peaks because the whole game is about luck!

Every turn is driven by luck – the luck of the dice rolls as well as the luck of which mountain tiles landed on. So why should the summit be any different?

If you’re looking for a deep strategy game, look elsewhere. If you’re after some light, dice-rolling fun, then climb on up Dicey Peaks!

Dicey Peaks board game

As you get higher on the mountain, you may lose more oxygen.

 

 

How does Dicey Peaks score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Dicey Peaks board gameDicey Peaks scores high on our “let’s play again” game meter for a couple reasons.

First of all, it’s a quick-playing game. Player turns go by quickly even when they get to roll multiple times. Then it’s on to the next player.

But even when it’s not our turn, we’re interested in the outcomes of the others. Maybe it’s because we want them to bust. Or maybe we just want them to roll a Yeti so we can move ahead a space. Either way, we find ourselves antsy to see their results just as we are our own.

With quick player turns, and a mountain that’s not too large, the whole game goes by quickly as well. So it’s easy to shuffle the tiles, build a new mountain, and try again.

Most importantly though, the game is fun.

We like press-your-luck, dice-rolling games and Dicey Peaks fits that space nicely.




We’d like to thank Calliope Games for a review copy of Dicey Peaks

 

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