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Dice Fest


Mike A.:
I liked Level X for quite awhile. As the game says, there are lots of ways to combine four dice, right? Well, kind of. Often times there really aren't choices and some times there literally aren't any.

Fairly recently I became convinced the game's outcome was determined largely due to simply who rolls the most pips. I decided to test my theory out by counting every number rolled for 30 games against Verboten and Botanist, the two better bots. I won 17 of the 30, which is pretty typical. The bots averaged 2 more pips than me per game, so that again is pretty close. Sadly, the individual game results supported my theory.

For games where the bot out rolled me by at least 20, I went 0-4. When I out rolled the bots by 20 or more, I went 5-0.

Looking at closer games, I went 6-7 when out rolled by less than 20, while going 6-2 when I out rolled the bot by less than 20. The greatest rolling deficit I overcame was 14, and my worst loss came with me out rolling the bot by 8.

Mind you, these results don't consider anything other than simply counting the total number of pips for all dice rolled. The player who manages to roll the largest generally wins. That's not exciting or rewarding at all.

Let me be clear about one thing, though--skill plays a large part in the outcome of Level X. A better player will win more games against an inferior player. The problem is that with similarly skilled opponents, I believe luck plays the biggest role in determining who wins, not strategy or tactics. That being the case, I give it a V out of X rating.

I will say, though, that I think one aspect of the game is great--both players always get the same number of turns. As a result, going second is actually slightly better than first. I can't think of any way to improve that implementation, which is not the case for all of the games at HM.  Kudos.


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