Wandering around at Gen Con is just intoxicating. So many new games! EVERYWHERE! When stopping by the IDW Games booth, we saw a small Back to the Future game that was debuting there. My friend Dan loves retro movies and Back to the Future in particular, so he had to buy it. We played it while waiting in line for the Dice Tower Live show, and I played it again a few more times since. This wasn’t supposed to be a groundbreaking game or anything like that. Just a simple, push your luck dice game. This just got a retail release last week. How is it? Lets find out!
BACK TO THE FUTURE: OUTATIME DICE GAME (2016) Designed by Daryl Andrews; Published by IDW – For 2-6 players and takes about 15 minutes to play (maybe longer with a higher player count)
This is a pretty abstract dice game. There isn’t really any theme here. The Back to the Future thing is pretty much tacked on. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, I’m just letting you know that the theme is, for the most, part non-existent.
Each player starts with 5 power cards. On each power card is a listed dice combination, which must be completed from left to right (except for the last card which must be completed from top to bottom). Players will choose one of these (except the one that says “last card”) in front of them and will try to complete that card on their upcoming turns.
On their turn, players will roll the six dice. There is a Dolorean card in the middle of the table to which players will be placing dice on in order to score them. You must place at least one die on the dolorean. If you are unable to place one die there, due to being no scoring dice or other symbols you can place, your turn is over and you lose one progress on your card.
You keep progress by having one of your facedown cards cover the numbered die that you just scored.
There are 2 other symbols on the dice. There is a flux capacitor, which cannot be rerolled and MUST be placed on the dolorean card.
There is also an 88 MPH symbol. These can either be placed or rerolled. The reason for placing them on the dolorean card is because if there’s a certain combination of symbols you can receive bonuses.
If there are 2 Flux symbols and 2 88MPH symbols, then you can move the progress on your card by one, and move back any opponent by one . If there are 3 of each symbol, then you can move yourself 2, and move everyone back 2. But since there’s only 6 spots on the dolorean, that would be really hard to do.
So on your turn, you just roll dice, hoping to roll the next number you need on your card. It’s possible to place multiple scoring dice on your turn as long as they are completed in order according to the card.
But be careful about rolling too often, because your opponents can benefit from your placing. If a player places a die that matches the next number on an opponents card, they can score that as well, moving up one progress on their card.
Also, if you have managed to place all six die on the dolorean, you are able to use a doubleback ability, which means you can take all six dice that show numbers and roll again, but if you are unable to place any dice, you must move back 2 spaces on your card.
That’s pretty much it. The first player to complete all 5 cards wins.
I do like a good dice game. There’s something satisfying about rolling dice for me, trying to get the right combinations. Where does this game stand?
Well….it’s not bad. In fact, I like a couple of things about it. I like it that a player can still progress on their card, even when it’s not your turn, which makes the decision about scoring certain dice not that easy. I also think the dice look really really cool!
Other than that, it’s your typical, push your luck dice game, which isn’t a bad thing. I like quick dice games like Zombie Dice, and Mars Attacks The Dice Game.
I don’t know what it is though. There’s something about it that just doesn’t connect with me. Maybe it’s the forced theme. I feel like I would like the game if the theme didn’t feel so tacked on. In fact, I think I would like this more if it had no theme at all. All games don’t have to have a theme. I like themeless dice games like Qwixx and Yahtzee. The theme just doesn’t work here, where I thought the theme worked really well for Mars Attacks The Dice Game. Here, the theme just doesn’t make sense.
I did have fun while playing the game, so it’s not a chore to get through. I’ve even played a couple of times in row. But I forgot about the game pretty much the moment we were done. It’s just not that memorable for me to wholly recommend this game. Maybe I’ve played too many games that are just better? I don’t know. In this day of what I consider a board game renaissance, games have to be better than just OK or even decent. They really need to stand out, even if it is just supposed to be a “simple dice game”.
Like I said, this is not a bad game, and it certainly is affordable. If you like dice games, you might even enjoy it. Just don’t expect to remember it after a few days. It’s decent, but forgettable.