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Devil Dice

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Released: 1998

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: THQ

Developer: Shift

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

What takes your personal prize for best puzzle game ever?  I used to like Columns on Megadrive, Tetris and Dr.Mario on SNES, Bust a Move 2. Klax.. infact at one point I actually thought I was a puzzle game 'fan'… but there are A LOT of bad, boring cleche ones out there that are really not even worth mentioning.  What makes one of these games good is originilaty for one (imitation versions of puzzle games are pretty much always inferior) some nice presentation and theme (but please don't rely on theme n no game play!)… and then, some frantic score busting, simple but addictive fun.

You've guessed it… Devil Dice ticks all the boxes.  For a start you play a devil!.. well, he's more of an imp and have you ever played a game where you need to roll dice around?  No, of course not… no dropping blocks, blobs or whatever from the sky in this one… it's ORIGINAL! 

Obviously a dice has six numbered sides.. roll it and the number displayed will change.. in this game you move your imp that stands on a die so as he moves the dice rolls over.  Get a two against another two, or three threes together, four fours ectc.. (get it? hmm)  and those dice will begin to decend from the playing grid.  Quickly, you must move your imp off of those dice onto another otherwise you'll be on the grid unable to do anything but push them about a bit until you hitch a ride on one of the dice that randomly generates.  These will keep generating… so you better keep making them dissapear or the board will be full of em .. and its game over.  The real skill comes from knowing how to move the dice to get the number you want and getting 'chains'.   For example, when six sixes are put together and start decending keep rolling more sixes against them and your score will really rack up. 

I actually like playing this in 'trial' mode which really is a score challenge agianst time (3 or 5 mins).  There is also the play till the board fills mode (Endless) and the inevitable 'puzzle mode' which does my noodle in!  Trying to get rid of a pattern of dice in a given number of moves.  For VS CPU or, of course, two players, there's 'Battle Mode' where you have to get each number of the dice in your gauge by the usual four fours ect rule… however.. you play on the same board as your opponent and they can 'steal' them off you by getting them themselves!  It's anger inducing and will not solve your domestic disputes!   Battle mode has five imps on a big board with a strength gauge… you lose strength by others getting combos and gain it by getting them yourself… its a fight to the death.

To be honest most of the modes are fun for the odd change, but its the main game you'll be going back to.  The sounds are satisfying, the imps are cute, and it is devilishly addictive.