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Long Shot: The Dice Game Kickstarter Preview

Long Shot: The Dice Game
Chris Handy
Clau Souza

Long Shot Box ArtLong Shot: The Dice Game, the latest game from Perplext in their Roland Write series of games, is bringing all the excitement of horse racing to Kickstarter!  But you won’t be donning the jockey’s silks yourself – instead you’ll enjoy everything a day at the races has to offer and more!

Players will gear up their jockeys, hit the concession stand, place bets as the race proceeds and even buy horses themselves as they try to come out with the biggest payday of all!  But is this unique roll & write worthy of a triple crown, or is it the last horse to cross the finish line?  Find out as we race through our Kickstarter preview of Long Shot: The Dice Game!

Did you just call jockey uniforms ‘silks’?
That is, according to my internet research, actually what they are called.
You learn something new every day, I tell you.

We received a preview copy of Long Shot: The Dice Game, with the right to request a finished copy.  We weren’t otherwise compensated.  All images are of prototype components

Each turn of Long Shot: The Dice Game starts with the lead player rolling the Horse and Movement dice together.  The Horse die determines which color horse moves, and the Movement die will tell you how far it will trot.  Other horses will also move as determined by which are marked off on the card of the horse that was rolled for that round.  Once all the movement finishes, each player will get to take a single action, marking off or updating fields on their player board based on which horse was rolled for that round.  These actions are:

  • Concessions: Mark off a bottle cap matching the horse die.  Completing a row or column in the grid lets you select a bonus
  • Jockey Gear: Equipping a Jockey with a helmet will allow you to bet on their horse later in the race, while a jersey lets you mark off an additional secondary movement on that jockey’s horse card.
  • Placing Bets: Spend some money to make or increase a bet on the horse you hope will come in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd for the race
  • Buying a horse: If it hasn’t been bought yet, spend money to buy one of the horses
If a horse you own wins, that means a big prize for you! And each horse also has a unique ability that only benefits the horse’s owner.

There are a bunch of ways to win cash in Long Shot: The Dice Game, and that’s the ultimate measure of who comes away from this day at the races the biggest winner.  Some of them are a sure thing – each jockey you fully equip will get you $5, and of course any cash you didn’t spend or gained from concession bonuses goes into your winnings at the end of the game.  But the biggest rewards come from riskier propositions – owning prize-winning horses will get you a pile of cash, as well as any bets you made on horses that cross the finish line.

And while all horses are awesome, not all are equal racers – different horses have different betting odds. Horses that are considered safe bets will more likely win, but give smaller payouts.
Right! But if you can manage to use your bonuses and horse powers to manipulate the race so that a long shot you bet on comes in first, your payday could be huge!

Overall, we’ve had a lot of fun with Long Shot: The Dice Game.  It’s an interesting take on the roll & write concept – each turn, you’ve got several (but not too many) ways of spending your actions and your money, and so you find yourself with these puzzly moments of trying to decide how best to position yourself.  All the while, those horses sail around the track, acting as a timer and adding excellent tension – the last couple of turns, which might otherwise suffer a little because by then most spots on your board are crossed out and your options to affect the game are limited, remain exciting because that’s when the magic happens, with players gritting their teeth each time the dice are rolled to see if the horse they bet big on is going to make it into the winner’s circle.

Long Shot: The Dice Game occupies a great space in the roll & write genre, in that it’s just a touch heavier than many of the games we see, but not as complex as the heavier examples of the genre.  It’s a nice just-more-than-casual weight that gives you enough to think about that it’s engaging without being overly demanding or being challenging to track.

Our copy of Long Shot: The Dice Game is, of course, a prototype, but it feels near-finished and is already really high quality.  From the magnetic box to the brightly-illustrated player boards, we’re sure that the final version of the game is going to be a great piece of production.

Long Shot: The Dice Game is scheduled to come to Kickstarter on 3/30.  You can trot on over to the Kickstarter signup page now to be notified when the campaign goes live!

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