Harvest Dice puts gamers in the role of garden developers. Each turn players roll and select colored veggie dice to build their gardens or feed extras to their pig. Players need to have the right veggies in their garden to score big at harvest time.
To start, each player receives a pencil and score sheet. The starting player takes the starting player marker and a set of dice and rolls the dice on the table, creating a dice pool. The starting player then chooses one of the dice to "plant in the player's garden" followed by the other players. There are red tomato dice, green lettuce dice and orange carrot dice.
The score sheet contains a 3x6 grid representing a player's garden. The six columns of the grid correspond to each side of a six-sided die. If a red two is rolled, for example, it can be placed anywhere in the three column. The first vegetable is easy to place, but when more veggies are added to the garden, a player can only add it next to a vegetable of the same type.
So if you cannot place a veggie in your garden, it must be fed to the pig. But remember that the pig is more than a die devourer. Feed the pig a value of six dice pips and it unlocks a power. By using this pig power, a future veggie die may be increased or decreased by a value of one so players have more options for making dice fit in their gardens.
Players continue to take dice until only one remains. Whatever the color is of the last die, it is marked on the players' score sheets (veggie market), which increases the market value of that particular veggie by one point. As players roll and select dice, there are many strategies to consider to maximize points.
Eventually the end of the game is triggered by one of three options. The first trigger is when any player completely fills their garden with veggies. The second trigger occurs if a player crosses off every space of their pig. And the third trigger occurs when all six spaces of a specific vegetable market are marked down.
When the game ends, players count up points according to how many spaces they filled in their garden and also the number of rows that were completed. They also score for the number and type of vegetables planted in the garden according to the current market value. Finally, a player scores an amount of points based on how many rows were marked off on their player sheet for feeding the pig.
Harvest Dice is an easy-to-learn 30-minute dice-rolling and set-collection game. The rules can be picked up in a few minutes by two to four players. Those disappointed by "light" or "filler" games should check this one out before purchasing.
Overall I was pleased with Harvest Dice and found it entertaining. Gamers should be aware that the score sheets in the game are consumed by play and eventually these will need to be replaced. Although it contains simplistic mechanisms, the game does include advanced rules that add additional pig powers and market challenges. Find out more at Grey Fox Games.