Dicefolk review

by on February 23, 2024
Release Date

February 27, 2024


There’s something about battling with fantasy animals that just makes my brain happy. It all started with Pokémon, but since then I’ve fallen in love with all the monster fighting games I can get my hands on. A lot of the time this style of game ends up following the same basic premise as Pokémon though, with a big adventure across a lush world full of critters to collect and people to battle. Well, it doesn’t have to be this way, as Dicefolk proves by adding Roguelike trappings and dice-based combat to virtual cock fighting.

In the world of Dicefolk, powerful and aggressive creatures called Chimera rule the land. An evil monster god known as Salem is the source of this, and a mysterious unbreakable door is protecting Salem from anyone who wants to change this. That’s where you come in, a hero with the power to tame and control the Chimera with a plan to unlock the door. It’ll take a few runs to manage it, but with some hard work and a few rolls of the dice, you might just save the day.

A screenshot of Dicefolk

All the fights you get into in Dicefolk require rolling some dice to attack the enemy. Your team of three Chimera is positioned with one monster at the front (in the leader position) and two at the back, and the enemy has the same setup. Each turn your dice are rolled and you can use them in a variety of ways – standard attack dice will deal damage to the leader of the enemy team based on the strength of your leader, and shield dice will prevent damage from the next attack, and arrow dice will rotate your team in the direction pictured on them. You can use your dice in any order you want to optimise how the turn plays out, but those dice aren’t the only dice you have to worry about.

What makes the combat in Dicefolk particularly interesting is that as well as controlling how your team acts on a turn via your dice, you also have to control how the enemy acts using their dice. Enemy dice have the same sort of icons as yours, but instead of using theirs in a way that maximises damage, you’ll be aiming to do the opposite. This can be as simple as swapping their leader to a weaker Chimera before they attack so you get hit for less damage, or making sure you use a shield at the perfect time to block an attack. It only gets more complex when you have to take into account the special abilities of each monster too.

All the Chimera you collect or fight against have specific abilities, and these powerful perks can make or break a run. In one of my earliest successful runs, I found a snail that attacked from the back row at the end of every turn, which I was able to power up to be a consistent dealer of massive damage. Another particularly entertaining run revolved around a three-headed goose that attacked multiple times every time it moved out of the leader position, and combined with some other creatures with similar rotation-based abilities I was able to defeat all who opposed me by spinning my party around instead of actually attacking.

A screenshot of Dicefolk

Often there’s a real emphasis on collecting as many monsters as possible in this sort of game, but for the most part, I’m usually happy to find my favourites and stick to them as long as I possibly can. This means the Roguelike monster fighting of Dicefolk is perfect for me, because each run of the game takes less than an hour, and although you encounter a few new monsters as you go you’re generally focused on getting the best monsters with the most synergy as quickly as possible and making them the best combat unit they can be.

There are plenty of ways to get stronger in each run of Dicefolk, which you’ll find by exploring the grid of icons you’re presented with in each new area you reach. The most important of these is the DiceSmith who can provide you with extra dice and new faces to stick on them. Nothing is worse than rolling a useless icon at a pivotal point in combat, but with a selection of well-made dice you can make your own luck and ensure you always have a good play to make.

You’ll also find powerful equipment as you go, single-use chips for urgent healing and buffs, and berry bushes that provide you with power-boosting snacks to feed your fighters. Each new area also features three statues, which is how you gain new Chimera. You can only take one per area though, so choosing the best fit for your team and who you’ll leave behind is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

A screenshot of Dicefolk

I enjoyed pretty much all my time with Dicefolk, and thankfully there’s a whole lot of combat to get stuck into. At the start of each run, you pick a specific one of four relics that dictate your starting Chimera and the pool of Chimera you can recruit, and all of these need to successfully complete a run to unlock the late game content. After you’ve managed all that there are also progressively harder trial modes to complete, where the enemies have all sorts of powerful buffs like extra dice to contend with. If Dicefolk hooks you like it hooked me you’ll have plenty to keep you busy, that’s for sure.

There really aren’t a whole lot of issues with Dicefolk. Some Chimera feel a little underpowered, so they feel a bit pointless when you’re offered much more impressive beasts to battle. Some equipment feels equally unimpressive, and especially as you keep unlocking more very situational gear it just feels like it’s wasting space in your inventory instead of a reward for a hard-fought battle.

Dicefolk is a cracking monster battling Roguelike, with seriously clever combat unlike anything else I’ve ever played. The different strategies you can implement to make a synergistic team of destruction always feel sensational, and there’s enough content for you to be playing it for the rest of the year. It’s hard to make time for games given how busy 2024 is already, but Dicefolk is a game you need to fit into your schedule.


An interesting take on both monster fighting and Roguelikes
Inventive and engaging combat
Loads of content and reasons to keep playing
Plenty of different strategies to try out


Some Chimera are way too weak
A lot of gear you unlock isn't very good

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Dicefolk is a wonderful Roguelike monster fighting game, with inventive and engaging combat and shed loads of content to dive into.