Review: Dimension: The Spherical Stackable Fast Paced Puzzle Game
The following is a review of Dimension: The Spherical Stackable Fast Paced Puzzle Game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.
Fun, but I don't think it'll turn into a staple
(Normally I'd work this into my review, but it's a little harder this time. As noted above this is a review of a product I received for free, through Amazon. I try very hard to not let that impact my rating.)
Lauge Luchau, the creator of Dimension, was once an architect. After first opening the game, reading the instructions, and after playing it, I can definitely see that's true.
Dimension is a fairly simple game. You're given a total of 15 balls - three of five different colors - and a board to use to stack them into a pyramid. Each other player (1-4 players can play at a time) has the same setup. A set of six cards are flipped up, which determines the rules of the first round of play, and then each player has a set amount of time to create a pyramid of balls that follow those rules. Rules might include that the number of green balls need to be higher than the number of orange ones. Or every black ball must touch a blue ball (and vice versa).
You can break some of the rules, and lose a few points, but sometimes you have to to get one or two more points (or end up balancing out).
It's a relatively simple idea, but it can lead to some rather different structures. When it does. Unfortunately sometimes the random selection of rules is pretty clear-cut, and the 'smartest' people will end up with the same score, with others falling a few points behind because they ran out of time.
The build quality of the pieces is extremely high. The balls appear to be very high quality, and should last through years of play. The boards are simple, and as long as they're treated well, should also last (they're a fairly heavy stock, with a nice thickness). The cards are on the smaller size, so shuffling for an adult isn't the easiest, but they work fine enough (just don't expect the first half dozen rounds to be very diverse :) ).
Ultimately the question I have about games is whether they'll become a gaming staple. And sadly, I'm not sure Dimension will be. I kind of think of it like Mad City, which involves building a 3 x 3 city from square tiles. One of my co-workers really enjoyed the game, but the rest of the group would tend to gravitate toward something a little more complex, or ... strategic. Yet, Dimension does have a complexity to it, but more 'scientific,' in a way. I unfortunately don't have access to any, but part of me wonders if children might like the game more, as I think it would be a fairly good way to really get them thinking.
So with all that said I bounce between whether this is a 4 or 3 star game. On the one hand it features a high build quality and is fairly fun to play. On the other hand, it, as others have mentioned, is a little niche, and probably outside of what I'd generally go for. You can have high build quality in a crap game (and this isn't a crap game), so that has to be tempered.
So ultimately I give Dimension: The Spherical Stackable Fast Paced Puzzle Game a high three of five stars. If I had kids, and they enjoyed this, I think my rating might be a little higher, but personally it's not going to be in my top half dozen choices for a game I'm going to grab to play.
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