Dicefolk review - luck be a lady tonight

Roll to win

Dicefolk map of first area with most bits explored
(Image: © Leap Game Studios)

TechRadar Verdict

Dicefolk is a fun turn-based roguelike with a decent variety of environments and characters to stay entertaining, but the content itself becomes repetitive. Although excitement is added through boss encounters and the gamble of random rolls, the repetition holds Dicefolk back from excelling.


  • +

    Huge variety of quirky creatures to tame

  • +

    Boss battles keep combat exciting

  • +

    Expansive map with different biomes to explore


  • -

    Loop becomes a bit repetitive

  • -

    I’m always incredibly unlucky

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Review info

Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC
Release date: February 27, 2024

Dicefolk, a roguelike from Leap Game Studios, puts you into the shoes of a determined summoner, responsible for an army of chimera. These are the creatures that litter the entire map and that you aim to recruit into your own party to then train and take into battle. Similarly to Pokémon, these beasts adopt a huge variety of appearances, and anything from a potted plant to a huge dragon could spring to life. You never know what type of chimera is waiting around the corner, but it’s always your job to wrangle them. 

However, rather than sending your chimera into battle like Pokémon, the game takes a unique approach to every instance of combat. Although you are somewhat in control, your entire turn is based on a dice roll. So, you always have to hope and pray that lady luck is on your side and you have a solid enough roll of your three dice to take down whatever beasties you come up against.  

A roll of the dice 

Dicefolk battle in progress in a forest setting with several chimera active

(Image credit: Leap Game Studios)

Dicefolk’s combat is incredibly fluid. You take control of your team of three chimeras you recruit along your journey. At the start, you begin with three incredibly weak creatures that offer little to no power, but the further you travel around the map, the stronger the chimera you can recruit at statues positioned around the map for your next bought of combat. Each encounter needs to be carefully planned out to ensure your success through tactical rotations of party members, and well-timed attacks. However, you don’t have the same abilities - such as a ranged attack, or the ability to rotate - each turn. Instead, every round is controlled by the roll of three dice. 

I’m not the luckiest person when it comes to anything, really, and this losing streak continued during my experience with Dicefolk. More often than not, my rolls gave me ranged attacks that caused less damage and team rotations rather than the option to strengthen my team by bulking up before attacking. Of course, this isn’t the game's fault as these rolls are entirely random, but I couldn’t help but feel like it became a bit of a personal attack after a while. 

Best bit:


(Image credit: Leap Game Studios)

The unknown factor of not knowing what you’re about to encounter is easily the best part of Dicefolk. I was always excited to see what creatures would crop up in the next combat encounter, heightening a sense of anticipation.  

However, this infrequent success makes combat feel tense and also encourages you to be careful and deliberate rather than rushing in with all guns blazing. When you start in Dicefolk, it’s incredibly easy to be hasty when attacking your enemies, and you can be overly reliant on a few attacks from only one of your chimeras rather than utilizing your whole team. But, as you progress through the map and enter different biomes that are littered with increasingly intimidating creatures, taking your time with encounters, thinking about your moves, and which members of your party are worth bringing to battle becomes incredibly important. 

Across the map, you’ll encounter a huge range of critters that you’ll have to face which keeps combat exciting and fresh. This is a major attraction of Dicefolk as you never know what you’ll find, heightening the game’s concept of everything being a gamble. The character design makes up a huge part of the game's charm, too, and helps make the first experience fighting many of the beasties more enchanting. One moment you’ll be fighting a small, seaweed-clad dog called Algel, but then you’ll have an encounter with a towering koala-esque beast rather than fighting the same thing over and over again. 

However, adding another layer to the combat, your ability to control chimeras isn’t limited to your own team. You also take control of the enemy side, allowing you to decide and plan out what attacks impact your team. This occasionally enables you to give yourself the upper hand, sacrificing your weaker chimera against enemies with stronger attacks and giving yourself an opening to hit back twice as hard in your next turn. Although this isn’t always the case, it does feel rewarding when you do factor enemy moves in and manage to tactically plan four turns in advance, finally pulling off a master heist and taking the win. 

Jack of all trades 

Dicefolk battle in progress in underwater setting with several new chimera active

(Image credit: Leap Game Studios)

It’s not all random dice rolls and crossing fingers in combat though, and there’s a lot of work that goes into Dicefolk outside of just attacks. Across the map, you’ll find shops to buy equipment and armor that provide different buffs to your party of chimera, as well as statues that you can visit to recruit new chimera to join your adventure. Each creature brings unique abilities and skills to the table, so it pays to familiarize yourself with the capabilities of your companions to ensure you’re taking advantage of any moves that could help you take down enemies. 

Rewards from particularly challenging battles provide an incentive to continue pushing through combat, since, much like the various species you’ll recruit along the way, you never know what reward could be waiting for you. Overall, it’s a pretty familiar loop of  ‘battle a beast, get a reward, move on to the next bit’, but the surprise of not really knowing what’s to come is the thing that’ll keep drawing you through Dicefolk.

Prepare for the worst  

Dicefolk battle victory screen with chimera tamer at the front

(Image credit: Leap Game Studios)

The numerous bosses are where your army will really be tested. Like any other battle, you’ll still take control of enemy attacks as you would your own, but these boss fights tend to offer a bigger challenge than your standard enemy encounter since each boss occupies one of the dice rolls with a special die. 

Although this roll does have a similar formula to other enemies, with the possibility to offer an attack, defense, or random rotation, generally the attacks are frenzied and rotations tend to prioritize bringing the boss chimera to the front of the party. If there’s time to plan your next move carefully, it would be during these significantly harder battles especially since the boss dice roll will offer harder attacks than the others and thus cause more damage to your party. 

If you’ve been playing it safe, breezing through chimera encounters, then these boss battles will feel like a significant jump up in difficulty.  These encounters are where planning your next move and utilizing whatever armor or equipment you’ve picked up along the way is at its most important. If you fail and three of your chimera faint then you’ll have to start building your army from scratch once again from the ground up. 

Accessibility features:


(Image credit: Leap Game Studios)

Unfortunately, Dicefolk offers no dedicated accessibility options, which is disappointing. Considering how much on-screen text there is, being unable to adjust the size of this text may impact some player's experience. 

Generally, Dicefolk is simple in its premise, yet still provides an entertaining experience that is bound to appeal to anyone who loves luck-based combat encounters and quirky characters. Rewards and charming characters offer you the drive to keep you plowing through each environment and map, and combat is just exciting enough with the reliance on luck to stay fun.

As a result, there’s always something that’ll have you excited to keep exploring and to see what comes next, or how you can approach battles slightly differently for a more positive outcome. All in, this makes for a satisfying, albeit occasionally repetitive, experience.

We’ve got a list of all the best indie games if you’re looking for more unsung gems to play through. You may also want to check out the best roguelike games if you want to test your skills in other formats. 

Kara Phillips
Evergreen Writer

Kara is an Evergreen writer at TechRadar Gaming. With a degree in Journalism and a passion for the weird and wonderful, she's spent the last few years as a freelance video game journalist, with bylines at NintendoLife, Attack of the Fanboy, Prima Games, and sister publication, GamesRadar+. Outside of gaming, you'll find her re-watching Gilmore Girls or trying to cram yet another collectible onto a shelf that desperately needs some organizing.