Las Vegas!, a dice-based board game from Ravensburger Digital, is now available from the app store. Featuring a simple rule set, family-friendly gameplay, and the excitement of snatching last-minute victory from the jaws of defeat, Las Vegas! requires a little strategy and a lot of luck.
Las Vegas! Pros:
- Bright and glitzy presentation
- Lounge-style soundtrack and fun effects
- Simple tap and swipe controls
- Online option for competition against human opponents
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements
Las Vegas! Cons:
- Dice action is awkward; cannot read faces on each die
- Not many online players to match up against
Las Vegas! pits you against up to 3 other players (AI, humans, or a mix) in a bid to earn the most money after 4 rounds of play. Each round provides each player with 8 dice, which he rolls by swiping on the screen. The dice are sorted by the numbers on their upward-facing side and placed in front of a casino with a corresponding number. You must choose to commit the corresponding dice to one of the casinos by tapping on the flashy façade. Each casino is worth a certain amount of money, and some casinos have 2 or 3 dollar values attached to their fronts. The values are applied at random at the beginning of the game, though no casino can be worth less than $50,000. Players trade turns rolling the dice and applying one group to a casino until all dice have been appropriated by all players. The player with the greatest number of dice in a casino wins the value of that casino.
If there are multiple dollar amounts on a building, the person with the second-most dice takes the next-lowest value. If there are no dice in a casino, no one wins its money. If there are more values on a casino than there are players who applied dice to it, the lowest unclaimed values will also be lost. Any ties between players cancel each other out. In this way, there is a strategic element that sees you determining when to play offensively (place more dice in a casino than your opponents) or defensively (place dice that will cancel out another player’s bid). Luck comes in to play because you never know what you’ll roll. You may end up with more than enough dice on one casino and nothing on others that could be taken with just a die or two simply because the numbers don’t go your way. We’ve had a number of games that seemed lost until one or two fortuitous rolls allowed us to leap frog an opponent and acquire a boatload of cash at the last minute. The winner is the player with the most money after 4 rounds of play.
Graphically, Las Vegas! has a flashy look about it that should come as no surprise given its theme. The colorful presentation and casino sound effects create an air of excitement similar to that of its namesake city. Buildings light up when selected and mini-pyro effects are activated when a player moves ahead of another on a casino. Money acquired at the end of a round is sent from the casino to your player icon at the screen top in a terrific flourish. The only awkward aspect is the way that the dice roll, which seems a little unrealistic and bouncier than you’d see with a normal set of dice. Additionally, you cannot easily ready the dice values, instead having to rely on which casinos they are placed in front of to determine which numbers you actually rolled. The soundtrack has a lounge quality to it that fits the game’s style. Controls are swipe- and tap-based, and they are easy enough for young children to grasp. A fast-forward button allows you to speed through your opponent’s turns for quicker gameplay.
Replay value is good, as there is an Online component in addition to the Local play that allows you to take on players from around the world in asynchronous games. You can have more than one game going at a time and there is even a fun betting component for added spice. A win boost allows you to earn even more money playing online than you do through Local play. Strategic (and lucky) players will see their bankrolls increase and their names climb the GameCenter leaderboards. You can also earn a handful of achievements, too. A universal app for $2.99, Las Vegas! is a 4.5-Dimple gem.
Las Vegas! Review,