Martian Dice - Board Game Box Shot

Martian Dice

| Published: 2011

This game had a "soft-release" at Gen Con 2011, so we've opened it up to reviews and ratings. PLEASE DO NOT rate this game if you have not played it!

Your mission, Martians, is to swoop down on the pathetic denizens of the primitive planet “Earth”, and to scoop up as many of the inhabitants as you can manage. We are interested in samples of the Chicken, Cow, and Human populations, so that we can determine which of them is actually in charge. The Earthlings might manage to put up a feeble defense, but surely nothing that a small taste of your Death Rays can’t handle. Make Mars proud... be the first Martian to fill your abduction quota!

User Reviews (19)

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6
Mage Wars fan
Novice Reviewer
I play yellow
7
34 of 35 gamers found this helpful
“Chickens and Humans and Cows...Oh My! ”

You are a Martian sent to Earth to collect a sample of different earth species to see who is really running the place. Collect as many as you can before the puny Earthling defenses can stop you!

Components

A rulebook and 13 awesome looking six sided dice with the following sides:

1 Chicken
1 Cow
1 Human
1 Tank
2 Death Rays

The container the game comes in can also double as a dice rolling cup. I personally love grabbing a fist full of dice and chucking them across the table, but for those who have smaller hands like my 9 year old daughter, the cup works great.

Game Play

First choose a target number of points to play to. The game instructions suggest 25 and that seems to be a good number, making for a fairly quick game.

Players take turns grabbing all 13 dice and rolling them. Depending on what’s rolled you will:

1. Set all tanks aside.(the pesky human military sent to stop you)
2. Pick one group of Human, Cow, Chicken or Death Ray dice rolled and set those aside as well.
3. Roll any remaining dice you choose or stop rolling and record your score. In order to score, you must have set aside at least as many Death Rays as tanks.

One thing to note is that you can only collect a certain population once per turn. So once you load a herd of cows or chickens (a herd of chickens? That’s probably not right..) onto your spaceship, you cannot add anymore of that population on any subsequent rolls this turn.

Scoring

You will score a point for each Human, Chicken, or Cow you abduct. If you are able to abduct at least one of each type, you score an additional bonus 3 points for all your hard work.

Summary

In addition to being just another press your luck type dice game on the market, Martian Dice also has an additional set collection decision you must make each roll which really adds to the game. Plus how many games do you own where you are shouting “Come on! Gimme some chickens!” before you roll?

A simple, fun filler and currently my favorite dice game. For 10 to 15 bucks, this is a game everyone should have on their shelf.

 
Player Avatar
8
I Love Playin' Games
Private eye
The Bronze Heart
7
33 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“Watch Out For Tanks”

Summary:
Well if you read my review on Zombie Dice you’ll see why I went back to my local gaming store and purchased Martian Dice…

This one too I thought would be another hit with the family. What makes this a bit more fun is that you get to roll all 13 dice to start off with!

The one other thing I’d like t point out is my children were able to better recognize chickens, cows or humans.

Watch out for those tanks…

Replay Value:
Repeating this again, replay value is huge and is easily brought out at parties.

Components:
– Rule book is in a color, double sided little sheet of glossy paper that fits inside the stowage cup.

– Dice are black with cool engraved symbol representing tank, death ray, human, cow, and chickens.
-There are 13 dice. Each dice face has a one tank, death ray, human, cow, chicken.

– Container has a cartoonish cover art and can be used to roll the dice.

Easy To Learn:
Super Easy! Roll all 13 dice. Set aside the tanks, from the remaining dice set aside one type, which is a human, cow, chicken or death ray.

One thing is you can’t choose the same type you choose before.

Death rays can be set aside to offset the number of tanks, otherwise if there are more tanks than death rays you will not score when you are done rolling dice, so make sure your death rays are greater than or equal to the number of tanks. If you can’t set aside any dice your turn ends and you move onto scoring or you can choose to end your turn and score.

Scoring is pretty straight forward, 1 point for each, human, cow, chicken and an extra 3 point if you collect at least one of each human, cow, chicken.

The winner is the first player to reach 25 points.

So this is a neat little dice game, my kids loved it of course; it was one of dad’s games. My wife liked Martian Dice a bit better then Zombie Dice, since she wasn’t rolling all shot guns 3 times in a row.

Over all either game is a win win!

 
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5
7
42 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Cool graphics & dice and the cup was purple!”

I picked this game up from the TMG booth. Great packaging, the bright purple attracted me. Cool graphics, ( as usual from TMG) and the are colored and great quality. I’m a sucker for quick filler dice games, and this is as billed… Quick family fun.

Roll dice to collect humans, chickens, and cows. Use your ship death rays to fend of the military tanks. An extra 3 points for a complete set of specimens. You only collect points if you have more rays then tanks and then you score your collection when you stop. First to 25 points win. We just played it last night camping and everyone liked it. My friend asked to buy my copy from since it’s not in stores yet and they were going away for a reunion, so now my copy if off to Oregon for labor day. (I loaned it)

I also own SJG Zombie Dice, and I can’t really say there is a huge feel/difference between the two(some rule differences and diffent dice) but I would pick Martian Dice over it based on theme and graphics. Love Josh Cappel artwork, I’m a big fan.

Highly recommend this if your looking for family friendly themed dice filler game. TMG is really creating a nice catalog this year, and this was one it didn’t expect (I had pre-ordered their other titles before the con), but glad I picked up, even it being loaned for a couple weekends to go the coast with my buddy. If there was any cons, the tube/dice cup has two plastic ends, and we got kinda into shaking it and ti was holding the top, but the bottom cap popped out and dice went flying all over the place. We have since hot glued the bottom cap in so that won’t happen again.

But really, this was the best $10 I spent at Gen Con. Cool graphics, good game, great price, and family fun.

 
Player Avatar
3
Novice Reviewer
8
35 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Can cow abduction and elegance go hand in hand? Yes they can.”

How much can you do with 13 dice and … that’s it, only 13 dice?
Well, Martian Dice proves you can do a whole lot. This game fills any 15 minute gap or boring birthday party with tension and laughs.

Dice
The 13 dice are all the same. Each die has: one Tank, one Human, one Cow, one Chicken and two Spaceships. The game is taught in under a minute.

Bonus and bust
Where Martian Dice gets it’s tension from is the possibility to bust. During your turn, all the Tanks you roll have to be put aside. If you end your turn with more tanks than Spaceships, you bust and score no points at all. Spaceships are worth nothing when scoring, except for the fact that you need them to score anything at all!

Despite the chance of more Tanks showing up you want to keep rolling because of the yummy bonus. Each turn you can only put aside one species, either the Humans, Cows or Chickens. If you manage to end your turn with at least one of each species, there are 3 extra points in there for you. Enough for lots of people to take the risk of rerolling more tanks.

Control
Like with yatzee and more so King of Tokyo, Martian Dice takes the principle of a chaotic random dice roll with the sense of control by offering rerolls. The choices in that are perfectly done here.
Do you dare a reroll? Do you keep an extra ship just to be sure? Because this will decrease the chance of you rolling a chicken and scoring the humans-cow-chicken bonus. Do I keep the 5 cows? or do I keep the 3 chickens so I have two more dice to reroll and increase the chances against the Tanks? Do I stop? Do I press my luck? Can I afford not to press on since Jack here is close to the end condition of 25 points?

Whatever you choose, choose to pick this up if you get the chance. It’ll get enough play to justify the purchase.

 
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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
7
68 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“Martian Dice is an Excellent Filler/Travel Game”

Hello my little green minions,

Today we are going to talk about a game called Martian Dice. Martian Dice is a game for 2 to {{fill in number sitting at the table here}} players. There are 13 custom dice, a cup, and some instructions. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

How to Play…

Martian Dice is extremely easy to pick up. You roll the dice, set aside the ones you want to keep, roll the dice again, and so on… until you can’t roll anymore. The rule are simple:

1) You must have as much or more spaceships (death rays) as tanks in order to score at the end. You can set aside as many death rays as you want, but you MUST set aside any tanks you roll.

2) There are three sets of dice you can set aside and earn points with… chicken, cow, and human. You can only set aside one type on each roll (choose wisely). These are worth 1 point each at the end of your turn.

3) If you manage to collect some of each (chicken, cow, human) by the end of the turn and still have more or equal death rays than tanks… you get 3 BONUS points.

You keep track of the score by using a piece of paper and a writing implement of your choice. Something probe-shaped would be appropriate. The last round is triggered by the first to reach 25 points… which can happen quickly.

I find some amount of “ack ack” and “take me to your leader” talk is inevitable. My group has several Marvin the Martians. Your group may be more mature than my group. I hope not.

My Conclusion…

Is this game much different from Zombie Dice? Nope. Do you need both? Nope. Should you get both and support game designers everywhere? Of course.

I like dice games for their portability, durability, and flexibility. You can take this game to the family reunion or the pub. You can play with your 5 year old nephew and your boss. It’s not brain surgery, but it gets the job done.

I find the little nudges in rules and a theme have given this an edge over Zombie Dice for now. As a side note to developers… the urge to create Vampire Dice may be great, but please… let’s refrain. I feel we’ve covered the mechanic quite well.

TTFN!

 
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4
Noble
Freshman
7
22 of 24 gamers found this helpful
“Zap Tanks and Abduct Cows!”

Martian Dice is a simple, fun, push your luck dice game, that’s great for killing time.

Gameplay:
In Martian Dice, players take on the role of martians, by rolling 13 dice in attempts to collect earthlings: humans, cows, and chickens. Players must also be aware of how many tanks they have rolled which can possibly prevent them from scoring any points. To avoid this, players must choose to collect “Death Rays” to protect themselves from the tanks.
On each roll a player may choose one of either humans, cows, chickens, or death rays to set aside (tanks are always set aside). Once the type is set aside players re-roll the remaining dice and attempt to find a different type of earthling. Once a player has collected a certain type of earthling, they may not collect that type any longer. Death rays however, may always be collected.
Should your turn end with more tanks than death rays, you score now points, and the turn moves to the next player, but players can always choose to end their turn at any point.

Fun & Jollification:
Pushing your luck is always entertaining. It provides some suspense for everyone in the game. Sometimes the most promising rolls go awry. The dice are colorful and vivid, and it’s enjoyable to simply roll them and see what happens. There is also a bit of strategy in determining ones odds of rolling certain things, and deciding when to stop, and when to push your luck.

Cons:
The game is fairly simple, and thus lacks depth, and can get stale fairly fast. It is however very small, and perfect for traveling or waiting in long line ups.

Overall:
I really enjoyed Martian Dice, and if you are looking for a fast, fun, VERY EASY filler game, then go ahead and pick this up.

 
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6
Video Game Fan
Hockey Fan
Movie Lover
Smash Up Fan
8
50 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“I'll Take The Chickens!”

Dice games can be kind of repetitive with the game play, usually its just push your luck or decide not to roll again. Or there are games like Elder Sign which you have to complete tasks by rolling the dice.

Martian Dice is kind of unique in that you have a task. You have been sent to earth to get a sample of cows, chickens, and humans in order to determine which species is the true ruler of Earth. You have to push your luck as you cannot decide to end your roll. This game forces you to keep rolling until you cant legally roll again. On top of this you can only take chickens, cows, and humans, once per turn, each. so for example, if you roll 2 chickens on your first roll, and decide to take them as a sample, then on your next roll you happen to roll 4 chickens, you cant take the 4 chickens since you already took a chicken sample. You have to either take cows chickens or death rays. Death rays can always be banked but cows, chickens, and humans can only be banked once. Tanks are automatically set aside and at the end of a players turn they must have more ray guns/death rays than tanks. A player must bank something each time they roll until they legally cant bank anything. I think its this aspect that makes this game unique.

Players get one point for each chicken, human, and cow they took as samples, as long as they have more rolled more death rays then tanks. On top of this, if players have at least one cow, human, and chicken they gain 3 extra points for completing their mission by obtaining a sample of all three species.

Overall I would recommend this game for people who enjoy dice games, to people who like alien themed games or just want something quick to play. This game will be something you can play with anyone over and over. And it stays fun even after playing 50 times.

I cannot say this game is better than Zombie Dice, at least if you have the two expansions for ZD. Comparing the base sets its right there with it but this game might appeal some people who want a slightly deeper game. Zombie Dice is twice as quick as Martian dice so I think it will always have a place in my game rotation. I hope Martian Dice gets some expansions like ZD. Either way Martian Dice is a great buy and if you like to take a game or two where ever you go, this might end up being one of them.

 
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5
Gamer - Level 4
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Zealot
7
33 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“Fun Light Dice Game”

Martian Dice is a simple push-you-luck dice-rolling game for 2 or more players that takes 20-30 minutes to play. The game comes with a dice tube and 13 dice that show a human, chicken, cow, tank, and death rays x2 on their sides. Each turn, a player rolls all 13 dice, sets aside all tanks, then puts aside one other symbol type. They may then score their roll or continue rolling. Each “earthling” type (human, cow, chicken) can only be set aside once and is worth 1 point apiece, with a 3 point bonus if you collect all 3 types. Death rays can be set aside multiple times, and the player must have at least as many death rays as tanks to score anything. Players continue rolling and scoring until one player has at least 25 points.

The game play is quick and light, and the rulebook has moments of humor in it. An enjoyable filler.

 
Player Avatar
1
Reviewed My First Game
7
16 of 18 gamers found this helpful
“This is superior to Zombie Dice, and here's why ...”

Taken as a light, simple-to-learn dice game, Martian Dice succeeds. It has been enjoyed by my kids from the very first time they saw the cute characters printed on the dice. The gameplay is easy to learn and provides just enough decision-making to keep the game enjoyable. Contrast this with Zombie Dice, in which the decisions that the player has to make are incredibly simple (should I roll again or not?). In Martian Dice, you are selecting which creature or UFO to keep, each time you roll the dice. You have to also consider how many dice you have left to keep rolling with, how many Tanks you have already rolled, how many UFOs you have already saved to defeat the tanks, where you stand in the points relative to the other players — it’s not complex, but it’s just enough to make it fun!

It is not always obvious which is the best strategy to take — for example, if my roll includes 4 chickens and 1 human, I will often take the 1 human because it leaves me more dice which could potentially be UFOs on the next roll. My kids (around 10 years old) will usually opt for the big haul of chickens. So there is some (albeit very basic) strategy here.

Given the choice between this and Zombie Dice, I will play this every time.

Disclaimer: I particularly enjoy rolling dice and I own a lot of dice games. Your mileage may vary.

 
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2
Noble
7
35 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Great Downtime-Taker”

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this game from TMG, and I can say that it exceeded my expectations.

As a family man trying to usher my brood to the world of gaming, you could not ask for more than the flashy Martian Dice container. And within? 13 very colorful high-quality dice. My only beef with the package is the frequent possibility of the container bottom or top flying off with vigorous, uncontrolled shaking. As you can imagine, thsi happens with 3 young kids.

The game itself was easy to learn, with very clear and concise instructions.

Where this game really shines for my family is in its compactness and quick play time. This game has really served when we are at a restaurnat waiting for the food to arrive after ordering. This is the perfect game to break out. Portability is great, and we can play a quick game where the kids would otherwise be getting bored and antsy.

I highly recommend this game for any family, and for anyone who enjoys dicing games.

 
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4
Cross Hares fan
Noble
8
24 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Alien abductions of Cows, Chickens and Humans is Fun!”

This is a simple dice game where you are Aliens trying to abduct Cows, Chickens and Humans. The human have sent tanks to stop you on your mission.
You have 13 six sided dice that have the following symbols on them: Red Tank,Green Flying Saucer, Blue Human, Yellow Chicken and White Cows. The red tanks are the military units trying to stop you. The Green Flying Saucers are your ships to stop the tanks. The Blue Humans, Yellow Chickens and White Cows are creatures you wish to capture for testing.
Each creature abducted are worth one point and a bonus points are given there is aleast one of each type of creature. But to score the points, you will have to defeat the tanks with flying saucers.
The goal is to earn 25 points or more.
The play starts with one person chosen to start. They place the dice in the can and shake it. They dump out the dice and review the results.
First all tanks need to be pulled out off to the side. These dice are kept. Next one must choose one type of dice face of all flying saucers or humans or chickens or cows to keep.
More or Equal number of Flying Saucers are needed to defeat the tanks and can be choosen many times. The creatures are needed to score with tanks not out numbering the flying saucers. Each type of creatures can only be chosen once when kept.
The rest of the dice are placed back into the can for another roll unless there were no tanks present. Then the player may score what was kept and end thier turn.
Otherwise they will roll again. They will seperate any more tanks and choose another set. Remember Flying Saucers can be chosen again.
Your turn is over once the player can score and wishes to stop rolling. If there are too many tanks to defeat, thier turn is over. If one of each creature types have been chosen once and they are winning against the tanks, score the total and add the bonus if earned.
Rare occasions a player may roll seven or more tanks, which is an automatic loss. A roll of seven to twelve flying saucers, they will win and score. Thirteen Flying Saucers is a win but no score.
They can of dice is passed to the next player and they will take their turn.
Play will continue until someone scores 25 or more points. After the first player, each player that has not gone yet will get a chance to beat or tie the player to roll a winning score. Whoever has the highest amount is the winner. An extra roll off for ties is possible to determine the winner.
The real stragety of the game is knowing which set of dice to keep. Keeping flying saucers are needed to defeat the tanks, but cannot score. Or do you keep the set of creatures for scoring now or later when the tanks are defeated.
It is a fun game that can be played in a short amount of time and needs very little surface to play upon. It is a great pick up game for gamers or friends needing to kill boredom.
So have fun abducting the inhabitants of earth, you crazy space aliens!

 
Player Avatar
7
Arrowhead
I play red
Stone of the Sun
7
22 of 32 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Fun Filler”

I purchased this game for the sole purpose of killing time between games. There are some games that my friends and I play where one or two people can die off quickly and they end up sitting on the side until next round. This game was used to fill the gap.

Martian Dice is pretty fun for what it is, easy to pick up and easy to add in more players. Compared to Zombie Dice, I feel like it plays better because it adds a bit more strategy with your rolls. Besides picking up Humans, Chickens, and Cows for points, you can actually have a chance to prevent yourself by getting hurt (by Tanks) by picking up defense (with Ray Guns). Also, if you pick up one of each Earth creature, you get a bonus of three points on top of what they are worth.

If you’re looking for a great filler to tide you over between games like Bang, Zombicide or other Player Eliminating games, I would recommend Martian Dice. Plus, it is so cheap!

 
Player Avatar
3
Mage Wars fan
Miniature Painter
9
22 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Martian dice is better than Zombie dice but it is no Cosmic Encounter”

So after liking zombie dice, we tryed out Martian dice.

What do you get?
A short rulebook.
And some air (Martian dice air).
13 Dice a little to big for kids hand, but you can use the cup (if the cap doesn’t fall off, I glued mine on one side, it fall off again, so I glued it again, then one time it fall off again and I never glued it back again).

What is the goal?
The rules are very good explained in other reviews and on the short rulebook.
Get 25 points (or more if you like a longer game).
You keep track with pen and paper, counters from an other games (sometimes we use the alien ships from COSMIC ENCOUNTER)

Is it fun?
Yes it is fun, but not for all day, its a very light filler game that I have played with 2-6 players. All of them liked it even more than Zombie dice. Press your luck game.

If there was a fire, would you take this game with you?
No, I would take my baby first.

So Martian dice is better than Zombie dice but it is no Cosmic Encounter (CE is a totaly different game).

 
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5
US Air Force Service
The Bronze Heart
8
13 of 24 gamers found this helpful
“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

This is one of those games that can be easily overlooked. While it doesn’t have a lot of depth, it’s charm will win over almost everyone that plays it.

The art style and theme work really well. The cartoony iconography helps keep the game light hearted.

It is accessible by people of all ages, even non-gamers. With the average game usually clocking in around 10 minutes, it’s not the kind of game that will scare off potential players.

While this game isn’t going to be the cornerstone of our gaming nights, its great as a warm-up game or when you just don’t have an hour or more to sit down and play most other games.

 
Player Avatar
9
Gamer - Level 7
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Petroglyph
Explorer - Level 3
8
16 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Great filler Game”

13 dice. 1 cup. 5 icons on the dice. Push your luck game. Some surface similarities-cup, 13 dice to Zombie Dice but it is a totally different game. If you like Can’t Stop and other dice games of that type you will like this one. Humorous(or cute) theme of Martians grabbing humans, cows and ?chickens??? while the military bravely 🙂 attempts to fight them off. Enjoy.

 
Player Avatar
4
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Detective
9
11 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Best of breed.”

In my view this is the best of the quick/ push your luck dice games.

I own several. The following is a quick list of what I own and my view to give you a way to evaluate our similarities in game style:

Zombie Dice (not bad)
Go Nuts! (fun lower skill)
Cthulu Dice (really only good as a drinking game)
Le Bomb! (another only good as a drinking game)

Of this category, Martian Dice is the best in terms of replay and strategy, due to added mechanics.

 
Player Avatar
5
Went to Gen Con 2012
BoardGaming.com Silver Supporter
8
9 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Easy & Fun dice game”

Martian Dice may look like a rethemed Zombie Dice; however, it offers more strategy for the players. Granted, not very deep strategy but the choices made do have consequences. Rather than a simple “push your luck before you loose everything” approach, the player must decide which Earthling to capture while guarding against the military forces out to blow them from the sky. Each type of native can be captured only once so select carefully!

 
Player Avatar
1
9
7 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“Excellent filler”

New favorite dice game, easily beating out the likes of zombie dice. Well worth the money as a filler. I’ve already had several memorable games within the short time since buying it at GenCon. Dice quality is great, and the packaging does its job.

 
Player Avatar
1
8
7 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“Good Quick Fun”

My girlfriend and I gave this a whirl last night and had fun. Easy to learn, but the variations in scoring make for some interesting possibile strategies. Dice are nice and seem to be well made. A good game for when you don’t want to have to think too hard.

 

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