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Dice-building dungeon crawler Slice & Dice arrives on Steam with a big update

It has a demo too

Dicey action in a Slice & Dice screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Tann

Before a month of my life vanished into customising cards and rigging decks in Balatro, my desire to conquer dungeons by fixing gambling tools came from playing Slice & Dice. First released in 2020, it's a gauntlet of fantasy turn-based battles where most attacks, abilities, buffs, debuffs, and items are very cleverly handled by mapping them onto the faces of dice. Oh, you're going to make your dice so much better! Now Slice & Dice has finally arrived on Steam in search of a wider audience, accompanied by an update adding oodles of new heroes, enemies, items, and more. For newcomers, hey, it has a demo.

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One run in Slice & Dice is a series of 20 battles against handfuls of increasingly dangerous baddies. It starts simple. You set out with a random party of five basic heroes, your usual warriors and rangers and paladins and wizards and that. Their different abilities are spread across the faces of dice, and each turn you roll your handful to see which of their actions you can use. A very basic example is the Warden, which has two faces giving 2-damage attacks then four faces giving different amounts of protective shields. Enemy attacks work the same way, and they roll at the start of the turn so you can prepare to counter their moves. Each turn you get two rerolls which reroll as many times as you please. So roll your dice, see what you can do, and make your offensive and defensive plays. Then it grows complicated.

Most temporary buffs and debuffs work by affecting dice face too. Perhaps you'll have an ability to reduce the effectiveness of an enemy's dice, or maybe they'll be able to turn one of your faces blank. Your dice are already changing even before you start making permanent changes.

Dicey action in a Slice & Dice screenshot.
Picking your class level-up | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Tann

Your party levels up across battles, with each level-up giving you a choice from two random higher-tier classes. These, of course, work by replacing their old dice with the new. Some are functionally the same class with bigger numbers, while other classes are quite different, introducing complicated new abilities or leaning hard into one aspect. Suddenly, your straightforward stabby Rogue is spewing poison, or sniping the enemy backline, or whirling random knives everywhere simply by rolling and rerolling. Classes and their dice are futher changed and boosted by items you win along a run.

Each character has two item slots that can upgrade, augment, or outright replace dice faces. Perhaps you'll give a melee class a ranged option or limited healing spell at the cost of two faces, or make one face grow more powerful each time it's used, or make a cantrip grow stronger every time it's rolled, or... the most powerful items often have very specific uses, making it very satisfying to puzzle over how best to employ and redeploy your inventory.

Dicey action in a Slice & Dice screenshot.
Even a weak ranged option can be powerful on a melee-heavy team | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Tann

It's a great load of head-scratching, figuring out your party's builds then how to play each turn. The game generously lets you undo everything except rerolls, even a party member dying to self-inflicted damage, so you have plenty of space to experiment with solutions before committing to your optimal sequence of actions. Every turn is a satisfying little puzzle, growing more complicated and satisfying as you grow stronger and face stronger foes.

Alright! So, that's the game explained a bit for newcomers, now the newness for veterans. Update 3.0 launched yesterday alongside the Steam release, adding newness including new heroes, items, enemies, ability keywords, and the ability to tweak rules to create custom modes. See the v3.0 patch notes for more on that.

Slice & Dice is out now on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux, priced at £7.50/€8.79/$8.99. It's on Android and Apple doodads too. You can still buy it on Itch, though it's twice as expensive because it offers both PC and Android versions.

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