Doing a Top 10 dice games is difficult. For starters, there are loads of great dice games. And second, they fall into two distinct categories. There are your lighter, shorter games in categories such as ‘roll and write’ and ‘Yahtzee style’. And there are the dice-driven euro and family games where dice are essential, but not the main component.My solution? As always, to ramble on as much as possible – and give you two for the price of one.
I’m not going to talk about war games here, as I’m just not knowledgeable enough. You also won’t find two highly regarded Top 100 BGG games – Too Many Bones and Champions of Midguard – because I haven’t played them. And I want to make two honourable mentions: Tumblin’ Dice (dice flicking dexterity game) and Pizza Box Football (sport sim dice fest). both are both brilliant, and in my Top 50 games, but didn’t quite fit in either list below.
Game name links go to my full length reviews. ‘Buy’ links go to Amazon (please support the blog). I know some people don’t like Amazon, but until I get a better offer I have to do what I can to try and recoup a few pennies for the effort I put in. Or check out some of the amazing dice available from MDG (above) – and use code ‘goplaylisten’ a 10% discount.
Top 10 dice games: Lighter games
All these games are under an hour and are suitable for players aged eight and up. And they’re all currently available – often on the high street (in half decent stores). Amount of players in brackets.
- Can’t Stop (2-4): The simplest and best push-your-luck dice game around. And you’re playing against probabilities: making it an excellent learning tool too.
- Dizzle (1-4): My favourite ‘roll and write’, as it’s easy to teach but has interaction – rare for this style of game. You pick in turn from a pool of dice, letting you hobble your opponents.
- That’s Pretty Clever (1-4): The thinking gamer’s roll and write (along with follow up Twice as Clever). A ‘point salad’ game in a tiny box with pens and paper.
- Pickomino (2-6): Big laughs and lots of luck pushing. It can seem like its all over, but a few great rolls and you’re back in the game. Plus it has worms…
- Decathlon (1-5): Eight mini dice games rolled (ho ho) into one, each representing one of the sports in the Olympics’ toughest challenge. And best of all – it’s free!
- Blueprints (2-4): Choose dice to build you tower, paying attention to everyone else to try and grab points for various majorities. Overlooked but excellent.
- Ominoes (2-4): Fast and fun, this cute little game sees you trying to make sets of dice to score points in a tight, ever changing grid.
- King of Tokyo (2-6): A cute little dice battling game where it really is smash or be smashed. Big monsters, big powers, green dice.
- CV (2-4): Roll the right dice combos to grab the cards that will show you the course of your life. And give you more dice and powers and you go.
- Perudo (2-6): Just beating Can’t Stop to oldest game – by about 200 years. This classic game of bluff and push your luck is still a party night winner.
The heavier games
These are my top 10 dice games that have a bit more going on – but still rely on dice to make them tick. Again, those that are available have links at the end to buy. And, weirdly, all are for 2-4 players.
- Pioneer Days: One of mine, sure. But my favourite ‘dice for actions’ game, so why not? The real ‘Oregon Trail’ board game. You know the dice you want. But ones you don’t pick can come back to haunt you as disasters…
- Bora Bora: A Feld point salad game where the high rolls give the best actions – but the low ones are much easier to get to use.
- Yspahan: A classic German-style euro with simple actions, a bit of player interaction and a sub-hour game length. But also, a bit of colour.
- Macao: Feld at his most fiendish, with the best cards needing the toughest dice combos – that you may never see. Fiddly, frustrating, but fun.
- Stone Age: Choose to play safe or take big risks in this ‘roll dice for resources’ game. The best gateway worker placement game, period.
- Lords of Vegas: A clever and thematic use of dice makes this game sing. Risky takeovers and crazy gambles can pay off – or leave you out if it.
- Ancient Terrible Things: Beat up crazy Cthulhu creatures with progressively difficult dice combos. Unique art and fast action.
- Castles of Burgundy: Use dice to grab tiles and use them to build your kingdom. Everything scores points – but it’s all about efficiency.
- Seasons: Grab dice to gain resources and control powerful creatures. A nice mix of euro and interactive fantasy game, with a bit of interaction.
- Voyages of Marco Polo: Dice for actions, in a nice tight game where you can never quite do what you want – despite seemingly overpowered abilities.