Dwarven Miner was one of those games where the expectations were not overly high, and the game experience ended up as rather satisfying.
The game comes to us from the mind of designer Mike Richie and through Rather Dashing Games, allowing for two-to-four players. You may recall Rather Dashing Games brought us the great game Element reviewed here earlier this year.
Off the hop Dwarven Miner is not nearly as good a game as Element, but it does offer some fun in its own right.
“In Dwarven Miner, your job is to collect resources from your mine which are used to craft items for your patrons,” noted www.ratherdashinggames.com. “Roll six custom dice in a push-your-luck style to see what can be pulled out of your mine. Craft those resources into all types of gear from armor to magic wands to mithril swords.
“Your patrons are great and powerful dwarves who have chosen you to outfit them in their adventurous, mystical, and often dangerous professions. Ranging from warriors to rune singers, alchemists to chieftains, each will earn you points and reward you with a special ability that affects the game.
“Featuring game play that is both strategic and addictive, beautiful artwork, and high quality components, Dwarven Miner will have you mastering your craft and dodging orcs as you come back to mine again and again!”
In terms of disappointments, the D6 dice come with stickers you need to apply, and at least they provide extra stickers in case any come off. But stickered dice are aesthetically lacking, and since you roll continually you are reminded of that throughout the game.
It is obvious stickers are cheaper in terms of production than engraved dice, but still disappointing.
The rest of the components are very nice, with very nice art involved throughout.
As mentioned you throw the dice a lot in this one trying to get certain combinations with ‘busting’. It is in the end a game with the core mechanic akin to Yahtzee, with the results then used to ‘purchase’ items in a fantasy dwarven-flavoured kingdom.
The overall result is a game heavily reliant on the luck of dice rolls, a usual turn off for me which is mitigated at least partially here by the art and quick play.
The manufacturer suggests up to an hour to play and that would be with four players once you know the simple rules. As a game that is a one and done on a given gaming night it works. A second play through on the same night would push the games welcome.
Not a game I’d clamour for to get to the table, but if somebody pulls it to play – once – I’m in.
Thanks to fellow gamers Jeff Chasse, Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.