Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise, and we’re counting down my Official Top (And Bottom) Three Games of 2014. These are the standouts that I played this year for the first time. And today is the number one standout: my favorite game I played for the first time in 2014.
The game in my number one slot is a fast and seemingly simple dice game, but, more importantly, it’s also a prime example of why you should never judge a game solely by looks, or its designer. Because the first time I saw Las Vegas, I thought it would be little more than rolling dice to earn play money. It also didn’t help that it was designed by Rüdiger Dorn, who also developed Istanbul, the most disappointing game I played in 2014.
But, because I’m a charitable guy, and because my ride home was the one asking me to play it, I figured I’d humor him and give Las Vegas a try.
In Las Vegas, six numbered casinos are available to bid on, and each has a random cash jackpot assigned to it. Players each start with eight dice. On your turn, simply roll your dice. Then, select all the dice of one number, and place them on the corresponding casino. This process continues, in turn, until each player has placed all their dice. Then, the bidders with the most dice on each casino win its cash rewards. But, here’s the catch: any tied bids on each casino are removed before they’re scored, which may allow a previously lower bid to win the jackpot.
The game plays fast and simple, and it utilizes a wonderful mix of planning and luck. You can strategize, but, sooner or later, your planning will give way to the luck of the dice roll.
Las Vegas is compact, which is great, because it follows me wherever I go now. It’s the kind of game that you could play at a convention, as a filler, with family, or even internationally over Skype.
All of these reasons, and more, are why Las Vegas is not only my favorite game that I played for the first time this year, but already one of my all-time favorites.