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Angry Dice!

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Angry Dice!
Custom dice are a dime a dozen but the joy of Angry Dice is that not only are they dice, but they are also a game. They come cheap, at only $8, and you can pick them up as part of the VivaJava: The Dice Game campaign, which is currently running on Kickstarter!

The story behind the dice is just as cool as the dice themselves. Darrell Louder and Shawn Purtell created Angry Dice on a fateful night at Barley’s Pub in Columbus Ohio while attending Origins in 2012.

“It’s tough to remember the details, but after working a long day in the booth, a large group (maybe 12-14 of us) decided to get some food at Barley’s,” Purtell said. “The only available table was a self-service one and we had to order from the bar ourselves. Besides being a logistical nightmare, it offered us quite a bit of staggered free time, and Darrell and I decided to try and invent a game. Between the two of us, all we could come up with was two pairs of dice we had received during the con and a fuzzy pocket Ricola. After some quick discussion, we threw down the Ricola and the game was on!”

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Since first concieved, just over a year ago, Angry Dice has gone through very little changes. The biggest of which was that Dice Hate Me Publisher Chris Kirkman told Purtell and Louder that instead of using a regular D6 they should use the Dice Hate Me logo which has an angry face on the three-side.

“Not too much has changed since that first night, just subtle rule changes,” Louder said. “Before you would win if you ever rolled double 6s. We nixed that. Then we added in the Angry Face on the 3 to match the new dice build… but that was really it. Even with those small changes the game really is MUCH better now.”

Angry Dice plays fast and if games like Coup or Love Letter are microgames then Angry Dice is a nano game. It plays in a matter of minutes but is a solid rush and more fulfilling than any micro game I’ve ever tried.

The game moves so quickly that even though it isn’t one, it almost feels like a dexterity game because you are trying to roll the dice as fast as humanly possible. If you are winning then you are trying to desperately move forward while hoping your opponent isn’t getting any lucky rolls. If you are behind then you are frantic and trying to make every roll count in the hopes that your opponent will hit a snag.

There hasn’t been a single match of Angry Dice that I’ve played where it ended and my heart wasn’t racing. It’s that good.

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Angry Dice, the dice, is just the start of the Angry Dice Universe. Louder and Purtell plan to incorporate other dice and other powers that will be little easter eggs nodding to other Dice Hate Me Games. Although I’ve been privy to some of the inner goings, the only announced additional dice at this point is a Wild Dice which was part of Dice Hate Me’s launch title, Carnival.

“We’ve designed over 4 alternate custom dice sets with different rules that could be a part of the campaign if there is enough interest,” Purtell said. “I’m really excited about the idea of possibly expanding Angry Dice into a collectible battle dice game, but that’s a big idea for such a small game. I will say that the main feature of the campaign, VivaJava Dice, is one I’m really looking forward to and is a much more impressive game by an extremely talented designer in TC Petty III. It alone is worth supporting, even if you don’t care for Angry Dice.”

The idea is that when going into a face-off with an opponent you’ll be able to pick which kind of dice you want to roll and each set would have a different ability. For example, when I asked Louder what a hypothetical Compounded themed Angry Die might due he told me, “Compounded dice? Do you know something I don’t? (whistling innocently) Umm, assuming there was Compounded dice… say, call the Lab Tool Set, you would use that pair in lieu of your other Angry Dice sets. Think of it as choosing your weapons before the fight.”

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If you haven’t already, head over to Kickstarter and pre-order your copy of Angry Dice now!

Bonus:
Here is the official Origins (pun intended) Story of Angry Dice via its co-creator Darrell Louder:

Shawn and I were on a recent ‘business trip’, to the depths of Columbus, Ohio in 2012. One night, after an exhausting (but successful) day of ‘business activities’ we decided to go to the local watering hole for a brew and a bite to eat. This is the location that would change our lives forever. You see, we opted to sit at a table that required us to wait on ourselves; in lieu of the 45 minute wait for a proper table. That is a decision we will never make again- but back to the game. So while we were at the table of lost souls, awaiting our food, a local gang approached us. It had to be at least 17 people, give or take 10. The leaders of the gang were the most heinous, one calling Shawn ‘sweetie’ and constantly flirting with him… the other a clear master of ninjitsu and her large bodyguard. They demanded we entertain them, as they too were in the same ‘lame table’ predicament.

Shawn and I were just lowly ‘businessmen’, we tried to tell them- but there were not having it. The small one pulled out a knife, the Ninja struck a pose- her body guard grunted. Three of the others were discussing coffee- it was an incredibly confusing and terrifying moment. We again tried to reason with them to no avail. It was when one of the gang members pulled out a bazooka, when Shawn and I shared serendipitous moment. At the same time we each pulled out a pair of normal 6-sided dice.

We slammed the dice down with gusto, Shawn smiled broadly under his manly mustache. I looked quizzically at the gang members, and how one would sneak a Bazooka into a small town bar- Shawn snapped his fingers to get my attention. It was as if he and I were discussing the rules to this new game telepathically. A dice dexterity game, the likes of which no mortal has ever seen. We snatched up the dice and begin rolling, racing each other. 1 to 2, then 3 & 4, finally gunning for 5 and 6! The gang was amazed. They put down their weapons and began to stare in awe. Some asked to play along. Everyone of them calmed down- our dice had saved the day and our lives.