Cryptozoic Entertainment and Adult Swim have teamed up again, this time for another Rick and Morty venture: a cheerful dice game about death fit for the whole family — if that family is ages 15 and up.
In the season-four premiere, Morty discovers a “death crystal,” an alien gem that allows the bearer to take a glimpse into the ever-changing, infinite possible fates to which they could succumb. In the Morty Zone Dice Game, players don’t exactly face a rotating selection of demises — actually, they don’t face any death narratives at all. Instead, they face a changing sum of color-coordinated dice. Scary!
Players take turns rolling eight dice (two blue, two red, two green, and two black) in one fell swoop then checking off the corresponding number combination on their dry-erase Fate Boards, bingo-style. Each “check” equals one point toward the player’s round total. The number of available number combinations decreases as the round progresses, numbering your chances (ahh, now I get it) on ending the round with the highest scoring total. This total can also be inflated by reaching goals defined on Public Bonus Cards and Death Crystal Tokens. The one with the highest score is the winner — or rather, the one with the least-horrible death. It should go without stating that this game pairs with a nice, stiff drink.
Setup and learning curve aside, the gameplay is actually quite fun, as strategy and planning quickly come into play to outsmart your opponents and delay your moves for potentially higher points in your foreseeable future (alright, alright — the fate-talk sneaks up on ya). With two, three, or four players, each round can be over in a couple of minutes, and a game as quick as half an hour, making for a great anytime board game.
The biggest letdown of the Morty Zone is the startling lack of popular Rick and Morty jokes weaved into gameplay. Besides the appearance of some fan-favorite characters scattered across game cards and a handful of Rick clones featured from the episode source, not a single line of in-game copy features a joke, line of dialogue, or “wubba-lubba-dub-dub.” This makes for a small barrier of entry for those unfamiliar with the show, but since they’re likely not the ones reaching for this game on the shelf, who cares if a Mr. Poopy Butthole-ism goes over their head?
All in all, the Morty Zone is an entertaining game that will bring players back for its strategic devices and outcomes, but not for that Szechuan-sweet Rick and Morty humor.
Photo: Cryptozoic Entertainment