Home > Chronological Challenge > Chronological Challenge – Devil Dice

Chronological Challenge – Devil Dice

January 14, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

After a few games people might know, today things get a little more obscure and unexpected. Today we take a look at the first of a couple of weird PS1 puzzle games from 1998.

Devil Dice
Publisher: SCE | Developer: Shift | Year: 1998
Original System: PlayStation
Played on: PS3 (original PS1 disc)

Goal: Complete the Puzzle Mode

Actual Outcome: Played about 50 levels of Puzzle Mode

I’d be surprised if many people remember this game. I remember discovering it through a demo disc with the official Playstation magazine, and getting hooked on the demo, until eventually I tracked it down during the PS2 era so I could play it in full.

It’s the first of two weird puzzle games I own from 1998, and its weirdness extends to its development. Anyone remember Net Yaroze? If you don’t, it was a home development kit that Sony sold to any amateur dev willing to pick it up. Most of the projects produced from the kit just ended up on official demo discs for free, but Devil Dice, unusually, got a full commercial release.

In Devil Dice, you control little Teletubbies-style demons in order to roll dice around and match them together to make them disappear. How the dice match depends on the number – two 2’s, three 3’s, and so on. Ones are dispatched by touching them to already disappearing dice. Success in the game depends on knowing what numbers are on what sides of each die at any time, which in turn requires knowledge that opposite sides of a die always add up to seven.

That’s it. There are a couple of different modes, such as a Vs Mode where you battle with another player to get the most points, and a Puzzle Mode that gets you to solve very specific challenges, but ultimately the game is just a match-3 style puzzle game (or match-4, match-5, or match-6, if you want), and the most enjoyable thing is just playing Endless Mode and seeing how long you last before the room fills up with dice

Even on a technical level, there’s not much to this. Net Yaroze kits never quite had the full capabilities of a commercial devkit, and that’s fairly obvious here. Graphically the game is functional, and the little demon characters are cute but not hugely noteworthy. There’s also a terrible late-90s EDM soundtrack that’s largely forgettable.

That said, there’s something compelling here. Its simplicity draws you in and gets its hooks into you pretty swiftly. It’s the kind of game where you can play for hours and not realise because you just…want…one…more…go. So, in other words, it’s your average simplistic puzzle game. Hard to review positively, but god damn it, playing it is addictive as hell.

Devil Dice isn’t much to write home about, and it’s easy to see why it’s disappeared into the annals of the PlayStation history vaults with all the mothballed Pocketstations, but it’s a fun little game that provides some addictive entertainment when you don’t feel like playing something too complicated.

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