[TT] Interaction

Eurogames are frequently distinguished from American games by being more abstract (focused on mechanics rather than theme) with less conflict (competition is often indirect, players are rarely eliminated). Zombie Dice and Dungeon Roll are dice-based “push your luck” games with no interactivity at all. Gameplay is no different as a single-player game, and the endpoint is arbitrary.

Zombie Dice puts you as the zombie. The dice can give you brains or shotgun blasts. You want as many brains as possible, but too many blasts mean you get 0 brains this round. Keep going until you either “bank” your brains or get blasted. Other players can cheer or jeer, but they cannot shoot at you.

Dungeon Roll has more complex gameplay involving a starting pool of resources, variable and growing opposition, and accumulated resources between rounds. Still, you are entirely in competition with the opposition dice, rather than another player. Officially, another player “plays” the dungeon, rolling the black dice against your white dice, but that player makes no decisions and it makes no difference if you just roll the dungeon dice yourself.

Zombie Dice ends when one player gets 13 brains. Dungeon Roll ends after everyone has 3 turns. This is where you get a mote of interaction: you can see what the others’ score is and adjust how much you are willing to push your luck accordingly. If Alice has banked 12 brains and is going next, Bob might as well keep pushing his luck because he either wins now or almost certainly loses next turn. Similarly, if Bob’s last dungeon run left him at 21 points, Alice might as well risk being eaten by a dragon if she only has 20 points, because losing by 1 or 5 is the still losing.

How do you pick the end point, other than boredom and time consumption? For Zombie Dice, it is entirely arbitrary whether you reset the score after someone reaches 13. For Dungeon Roll, because there is some power accumulation between rounds, it makes more sense to have a fixed endpoint.

: Zubon

Leave a Reply