Game Spotlight – Lanterns Dice: Lights in the Sky

Game Spotlight – Lanterns Dice: Lights in the Sky

Every once in a while when you have enough cash back rewards on your card to get something small but not enough to get something cool, Amazon will sniff the winds of want and come up with a singular bargain of the day. This is how Amazon gets you; it senses that you are looking for something new and fun, and lo! You discover that Lanterns Dice: Lights in the Sky is half off that day. Coincidence or evil capitalistic plot? Either way, I have a copy of Lanterns Dice for “free”. Ish.

Anyway, if you’ve played Lanterns: Harvest Festival, which is an enjoyable tile laying game, you are going to be ahead of the learning curve for Lanterns: Dice. It’s not the same game, but it’s similar enough that a lot of things will seem familiar. Like the existence of lanterns and the fact that everyone gets something every turn. With Dice, though, you are working to get points by covering lantern swatches in patterns to place “fireworks” on them, or covering lantern swatches in specific configurations around boats, or covering lantern swatches in giant connected areas. There are also mechanics for getting extra lantern swatches to cover so while everyone is getting something to do every turn, some people wind up with more than others.

And other than having non-reusable game parts (I’m looking at you, pad of paper mats!) I kinda like coloring in the little lantern triangles. And rolling dice. There is something pleasing about rolling a mitfull of dice.

Things I liked: 

  • I like rolling dice and these dice have a nice feel to them. They do tend to bounce around excitedly in the tray if you are an enthusiastic roller so keep that in mind.
  • The game play is more dynamic and better thought out than Lanterns, Harvest Festival  but also similar enough that the learning curve is small if you’ve played the original version. Lanterns: Harvest Festival  might have a little bit more oomph with the expansion Emperor’s Gifts, but you need to buy the expansion to get where the base Dice game starts out.
  • The mats and turn order/informational cards have a lot of information that is super easy to access so you don’t have to go searching through the rules every 5 minutes.

Things I didn’t like: 

  • I’m not a fan of limited resources so the printed playing mats make me cranky. It’s not a great idea for a library game, but laminating a couple mats and providing dry erase markers is an expense on top of the game.  Grrrr. 
  • The colors are hard to distinguish from each other in the dark, and although they do have different shapes, the little triangle are kinda tiny. Also, the dice show the lanterns at a 3/4 angle while the paper mat shows the lanterns top down.
  • The fireworks can shift around or be bumped off your mat so keep that in mind.
Those tiny triangles have a different view than the dice do. In dim light, the red and yellow can be hard to differentiate.