Technically it’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere. I say technically because it snowed yesterday and we are still two months from the expected last snow of the year. Last year, Alberta once again skipped spring entirely and went a whole 4 months without snow. But technically it’s spring, and that means it’s almost time to go fishing. Now, I haven’t actually been fishing in more years than I’m willing to admit. But now I can fake it with Dice Derbi, from Big Show Creative!
Dice Derbi is a bit like Shuffleboard with dice, and some extra mechanics. Two players, or teams of players, will take turns casting lures into the lake (rolling dice at a board across the table) with each area of the lake having a different score multiplier. The closer you get to the Honey Hole, the bigger the fish you catch. The Honey Hole has a 5x multiplier, so if you manage to land a 6 there, that’s a 30lb Lunker (a really big fish worth 30 points). If you’re playing the Traditional Mode, you play 10 rounds of five lures aside. It’s a quick game.
For something a little more adventurous, you can also play Derbi Mode which goes to 200 points and adds in a set of cards. When a lure lands on a 1, there is a Dice Derbi logo instead of a pip. In Derbi Mode, those dice are removed and that player gets to draw an equal number of cards from one of four decks corresponding to the area of the board the die was removed from. A the start of a round each player gets to play a card to benefit themselves or their team. If they can’t or don’t play a card, their opponent may play a card for them. Not unlike the score multipliers, the cards get better the closer to the Honey Hole the die lands. Although it can be argued that cards from the Weedbed deck are the strongest, as they generally have negative effects that a player will want to use on their opponent.
This is one of those great games that can be played anywhere you can roll dice from a distance and can be played by anyone able to do the scoring math. I played with a 10-year-old who destroyed me on a 135 point roll (which I’m told is a record). I can’t wait to pull this out a party with adults, at a bbq in a park somewhere. There’s a great picture out there of the game’s creator playing atop the Great Wall of China and the Mount Everest Base Camp.
The game isn’t perfect. Obviously, the luck vs skill balance leans heavily on the luck side. I don’t personally mind that, but I know many people who will hate it. The Lake boards are great quality, but the Card Mat that is used in Derbi Mode feels a bit cheap by comparison. The rulebook is also missing some key details, although most of them are fairly obvious details, plus there is also a series of short videos on the Dice Derbi website that helps to clear up most of the questions. Honestly, the game is intended to be simple enough that you can figure most of it out without even reading the rules, especially in Traditional Mode.