RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone from WIMO Games is a mobile game that blends a fantasy board game with traditional turn-based combat. The game follows an unlikely group of heroes that team up to put an end to the machinations of a group of evil elves.
Playing RPG Dice is split up into two phases: board movement and combat. Moving the board consists of rolling a six-sided die to land on a variety of different spaces. The game’s boards all consist of small loops for the player to circle around continuously as they try to land on the two or three spaces that are needed to progress through the plot.
Spaces on the boards can have effects like throwing the player into a random combat encounter, giving them upgrade materials, unlocking little tidbits of conversation between their characters, or letting them purchase one of three cards from a merchant. These cards can be used to move around the board with more agency, such as moving forward or backward two spaces. However, they are so expensive that they often feel like a waste to outright purchase when gold is better spent on leveling up characters.
Overall, moving around the board lacks player agency. There are some decisions to be made, such as which character’s tactic to adopt for random challenges and which way to go at four-way intersections, but that is it. Choosing a character’s approach to a problem feels pointless as no matter what, the objective is completed and other interactions, such as spaces that give the player bonus challenges to complete for a buff on the next combat completely strip the player of any choice. Instead, the game just selects a party member all on its own.
The most choices that the player has to make in RPG Dice come when assembling their party. The game features combat with two sides of five characters that are split into a front row of three and a back row of two. Each character has three skills that fit into the typical roles of tank, damage, and support. Each skill can also have a type of dice block equipped to it that is rolled when the skill is used to grant bonus effects like critical hits, buffs, or types of damage. Upgrading the skill past the first level then lets players equip multiple dice on each skill.
Players can also equip their characters with various pieces of equipment that can be slowly earned by playing or purchased outright from the marketplace. The models of each character do not change with their equipment, but it is understandable when considering the sheer number of characters there are to unlock with the random summoning scrolls.
Once the player is in combat, each character has an action bar that fills up according to their initiative with combat pausing when one fills up for the player to select what skill to use and what enemy to target with it. Enemies in the back row can only be targeted when ones in front of them have been dealt with unless the player uses a skill that targets all enemies at once.
At first, RPG Dice’s combat is engaging and fun enough, but it quickly becomes repetitive and its simplicity shines through. This is especially true for random encounters. It did not take long for me to put the combat on auto-play at double speed, especially once I realized that my party would easily stay over-leveled throughout the campaign.
Beyond the main campaign, the game offers daily dungeons, hero dungeons, a PvP arena, and repeatable boss battles. The campaign also features two harder difficulties for players who want to keep going after finishing it, but all of that content is just combat encounters that are less varied than the campaign and that can easily be beaten as long as your party is the right level.
RPG Dice also has some very questionable monetization and incentivization mechanics. Not only does each of the seven campaign boards have their own premium bundle of resources that is advertised to the player, but there are numerous other ones priced around $20 that just don’t seem worth the value. The game also has seasonal events, which is a great idea, but so far they revolve around rewarding the player for earning and spending the game’s premium currency. This is all added to a system that uses a handful of different currencies and both daily and weekly rotating marketplaces that seem to be wholly designed to obfuscate the real price of anything and induce a level of FOMO in the player.
Most of my time spent with RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone was characterized by trying to progress as fast as possible just for the sake of progress. Playing on campaign boards tends to mostly involve just going around the same loop repeatedly while crossing one’s fingers hoping to land on the few spots needed to progress while combat is usually just an excuse to put the phone down and pay attention to a show on the TV. The idea behind RPG Dice is a good one; it is just a shame that it is not able to focus its experience into something more enjoyable.
RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone releases on January 18, 2022 for Android and iOS.
RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone
Playing tends to mostly involve just going around the same loop repeatedly while crossing one’s fingers hoping to land on the few spots needed to progress while combat is usually just an excuse to put the phone down and pay attention to a show on the TV.