Batman: The Animated series is the definitive Batman in my book. It aired when I was just 11 years old and it couldn’t have been any more perfect in my mind. Even going back and watching it as an adult with my kids, it’s a masterpiece.
Recently Steve Jackson Games released Batman: The Animated Dice Game. Sure it’s going to be light on theme, but it’s still Batman: TaS! It didn’t take long for me to cut open the blister pack and get playing with the kids.
Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game is a rethemed version of Steve Jackon Games’ earlier title, Zombie Dice. If you’ve played that, you’ve played this. This one also has variable player powers in the form of 4 villain tokens: The Joker, Riddler, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy.
Every turn the current player shakes up all the dice in the cup and randomly draws 3, rolls them, and follows the following rules for results:
- Loot: Set aside for points
- Alarms: Leave on table to be rerolled
- Batman: Set aside
If at any point there are 3 or more Batman symbols on the table the current player is busted, loses all the current points earned, and play passes to the next player. If there’s not 3 Batman symbols on the table players can choose to keep drawing up to 3 dice, this includes any Alarms on the table and can keep rolling for more points, or to stop and earn whatever points they rolled.
During their turn players can use their villain power to gain a bit of an edge. The Joker scores an extra point, even if busted, as long as there’s one of each color dice on the table. Poison Ivy can discard one blue Batman symbol once per turn. Catwoman scores double on blue Loot icons if she completes a heist. Riddler rolls four dice instead of three on his first roll each turn. He may then return any or all of them to the cup. He rolls three dice as usual on later rolls. (If he gets four Alarms on his first roll, he may re-roll all of them.)
The first player to reach 30 points wins signals the end of the game and the current round finishes up. The player with the most Loot at the end of the game wins.
Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game is clearly made for retail and as such comes in some pretty sturdy packaging, a blister pack with the dice clearly shown and the dice cup placed behind an illustrated covering. Once open the engraved dice, rules, and cardboard villain tokens can all be stored in the dice cup and sealed with a recessed lid. Everything packs up to be slightly smaller than a soda can.
If you’re looking for any kind of depth or real theme, Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game isn’t going to be for you. This is a very light dice game with a Batman: TaS theme tacked on top of it. Does that make it any less enjoyable? For me and my kids, no. The game takes about five minutes to play and can seriously feed the urge to chuck some dice without too much thinking.
It’s purely a push-your-luck game. With Batman. It’s also only $15, the perfect price point to snag at your local toy store to give as a gift to the Batman lover in your life (including yourself.)
After teaching my kids to play this one they’ve taken it off the shelf multiple times to play and have even tried teaching their 3-year-old little brother to play. It’s portable and rugged, so I know I can take it places to help keep them busy in situations where we need to go out and there may be some waiting involved.
That alone is a win for me.
A copy of Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game was provided for review by Steve Jackson Games.