Dice — aka Yahtzee, aka Yams, aka American Cheerio — is one of the simplest and most reliably enjoyable games in the world. All you need to play it is a piece of paper, something to write with, and five dice.
And with Dice Duel, you don’t even need those things (though you do need a phone).
Here’s how it works. You start with 13 different scoring categories that you need to cross out over 13 turns. The top six are just the numbers of the dice, while the other seven are based roughly on the hands in a game of poker.
You have five dice to throw, and you get three throws per turn. After the first throw you can hold back as many as you like.
So, if you roll three 5s, a 2, and a 1, you might decide to go for a flush (five 5s). In that case you would hold back the fives and reroll the others. But let’s say, after rolling the remaining two twice, you end up with four 5s and a 3. You can then cross out the 5s category for 20 points or the 3s for 3 points.
You can cross out the 5s category for 20 points, the 2s for two points, the 1s for 1 point, the four of a kind category for 23 points (the total of all the dice), or the bonus category, also for 23. Or you could cross of one of the other categories for 0, but that would be madness.
Dice Duel takes this simple, timeless, and deceptively tactical bit of casual game design and places it in a friendly, intuitive multiplayer title that can suck you in for hours.
There’s a Quick Game mode, where you play against three other random human opponents, a Random Opponent mode, where you face off against a stranger, and Dice Duel, which you can only play after level 5 because it lets you win — or lose — a whole lot of diamonds.
Naturally, Dice Duel also lets you find and play against friends, and thanks to the latest update you can also join or create dice clubs. These let you team up with nine other players at a time to compete in special club missions. The better the club, the better the rewards.