I'm not much of a game-player. I don't have a console, I don't buy role-playing games, and I'm much more apt to play a word or number game than any other genre. Lately I have been spending way too much time playing a simple new game that has me hooked. Diced ($0.99, universal) from Agile Tortoise is an incredibly easy game to learn and can be both captivating and frustrating.
Diced has no ads and no in-app purchases, which makes it a bit of a unique game. Instead, you pay a buck and you've got the app. What's the point of the game? A series of dice appear in random order at the bottom of the game. With the dice, you attempt to gain points and clear dice from the 5 by 5 game matrix by creating combos of five of a kind or five in a row (straights). So for example, putting a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 die in a row horizontally or vertically clears that row and gives me points. Same thing if I happen to get five 3 dice in a row.
Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, there are flies in the proverbial ointment in the form of blocks -- these are random dice that appear in any cleared space on the matrix if you haven't had a combo lately. They tend to block your progress, hence the name. To clear a block, you can use one of three bombs available in each game. A bomb clears out all dice in contact with it. On the other hand, you get wildcard dice that can be used as anything, and they help out.
The game is over when there are no more empty squares in the matrix, and you'd be surprised how hard it is to get a really high score! Diced has Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards, when you get a new high score you can share it with others. There are both light and dark themes for playing in the most comfortable light, and you can stop a game at any point because there is no clock you're playing against.
I find Diced particularly addictive on my 12.9-inch iPad Pro because I can put it side-by-side with a more productive app and play a game in between writing posts for Apple World Today. Don't blame me if you find yourself getting less work done, OK?