Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yahtzee & Dice with Buddies

I roll dice everyday.  Many times a day in fact.  But I never actually touch real dice.  They're virtual dice in two of my favorite iPad/Smartphone apps - Yahtzee and Dice with Buddies.

I've always loved playing Yahtzee.  But it's one of those games you really can't play on your own so much.  You can play for a score, but you need another player there to witness your awesomeness and compete against.  One place I used to always spend hours playing Yahtzee was on airplanes that have that screen in the back of the headrest in front of you so you can watch movies and play games, etc.  I always picked Yahtzee and would play against the computer for hours of my trans-Pacific flights.

So I was really happy when I got my first smartphone in 2010 and I saw that EA and Hasbro had made an official Yahtzee app for iPhone, Android and tablet.  I bought it immediately and it soon became my go-to game for waiting rooms, long lines, anything where I needed to occupy a few minutes doing basically nothing.  I amassed some pretty impressive stats over the next few years and would challenge friends and co-workers to play whenever I could, since the AI in the app became rather predictable.

Then, about a year ago, I saw a new app on Facebook called Dice with Buddies.  Like "Words with Friends", it was a simple Yahtzee rip-off, with two distinct differences.
1 - You had a chance to use a "bonus roll" after the three standard rolls of each turn.  You could win free bonus rolls by playing well in the game, but you could also buy as many bonus rolls as you like thru in-app purchases, for about .17cents per roll or about $2.99 for 18.  This opportunity, of course, changes the game drastically and so it isn't as "pure" as Yahtzee, but I found myself playing it almost exclusively because of
2 - You play against other real people.  There is no computer opponent.  You take a turn and then wait for your friend (online or real) to take theirs.  I have one friend in America and we both like to play so much that we usually have 6 or 7 concurrent games happening at once.  Plus, the time difference works in a way since we usually have time to see that day's moves and then make our own before the other person wakes up.  I also play against a few people in Japan and a few that I met thru the game and I have no idea where they live or what language they speak.
This aspect of always competing against another real person and the ability to bonus roll yourself out of tight spots has me hooked and I play about 1 to 2 hours everyday.

And again, my stats are pretty impressive if I do say so myself.  I have a 67% winning percentage and am already a level 9 after only playing for about 9 months.

The ONLY thing I've never been able to do in all the "Challenges" that the Yahtzee app gives you to complete is be a "minimalist."  That means scoring 5 points exactly in a game.  It might sound easy, but it's terrifically difficult.  In order to score 5 points in a game, which is the lowest score you can get, you have to put a zero in every category except "Chance" which simply counts up the number of your dice and gives you a score. And in that category, you have to score a 5-of-a-kind (Yahtzee) in ONES after already having put a zero in your ONES category AND your 5-of-a-kind category.  I don't try to do it that often, but it's really hard and I would love to hear from anyone that has been able to do it.

OK - enough about my Dice obsession...  but if you want to play, my DwB name is JasonJapan.  See ya and thanks for reading!

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