Dicefolk Review – Adding some spice to your dice

Reviewed February 26, 2024 on PC




February 27, 2024


Good Shepherd Entertainment


Leap Game Studios

Dicefolk is a roguelike turn-based strategy game developed by LEAP Game Studios and published by Good Shepherd Games. In it, you play as a chimera summoner taking off on an adventure with your squad of monsters. The developing team behind Dicefolk previously worked on other projects, including the popular Tunche. The parallels between a game like Tunche and Dicefolk are very clear when it comes to both games’ visual style; both titles feature adorable 2D visuals that help create an inviting and colourful world.

Set in a world known as the Morning Reach, where an evil sorcerer named Salem has bewitched the world’s magical creatures – known as chimera – three hundred years prior, humans are working on ways to take back command over the chimeras for themselves. Enter dicefolk: magical summoners who have created magical dice that can make chimeras obey their commands. Using different sets of dice, chimera summoners can assemble a chimera squad – consisting of three different chimeras at a time – to venture out into the Morning Reach, take on enemy chimeras, and eventually take on Salem himself.

On the surface, Dicefolk has a lot of commonalities with the world of Pokémon: chimeras look very much like small monsters, and summoners can train them, teach them different skills, and use them in battle. Depending on the type of chimera, these monsters can have different types of attacks and abilities as well; chimeras of the nature type, for example, can entangle their enemies or put them to sleep, while reptile-type chimeras can have attacks that inflict poison damage to an opponent over time.

Practically, you start a Dicefolk run with a team of placeholder chimeras – usually three dolls imbued with magic that are used by chimera summoners to defend themselves in battle. As you progress through the game, however, you’ll encounter shrines: temples where you can summon new chimeras to add to your squad. The specific type of chimeras appearing at a shrine will depend on your talisman. When you first boot up a new game, you’ll have to choose one of four talismans: warrior, storm, wrath, or pain. Each talisman stands for a group of chimeras with specific abilities and characteristics. While warrior chimeras are focussed on brute power and impactful attacks, for example, storm chimeras are more focussed on intellectual skills, allowing them to build up attack damage over time.

Gameplay-wise, Dicefolk will have you traverse a procedurally generated map called a biome that consists of random events. Much like Slay the Spire or Monster Train, every map consists of several encounters you complete before tackling a boss fight. Once you’ve defeated a biome boss, you move on to another biome, which again corresponds with a specific map. Each event can either trigger a battle, lead you to a shop to buy upgrades for your chimeras, or give you an opportunity to recruit new chimeras and upgrade a chimera’s skills and abilities.

After each battle, you can pick up gold, equipment, or berries, which can be used to heal your chimera or increase their strength and health stats. Equipment functions much like held items in Pokémon. When a certain chimera holds specific equipment, it can trigger unique actions in battle or grant a chimera some passive perks. Examples include regenerating a small amount of health every turn or adding attack effects like poison damage.

What sets Dicefolk apart from other roguelikes, however, is its combat mechanics. Much like Pokémon battles with two sets of Pokémon, all three of your chimeras will be on the battlefield at once. When you enter battle, attack moves for your chimeras and the enemy’s are determined by your respective sets of dice. The face of your die can correspond with several chimera actions including attack, block, and rotate. Whichever chimera is in the first front position is nicknamed the leader. This chimera will be the primary mark for enemy attacks. Each turn, you’ll not only have to assign these actions to your own chimera, but also the enemy ones. All actions will need to be assigned to a chimera before you’ll be able to move on to the next turn too.

“…Dicefolk provides players with endless ways to customise their dice in line with their preferred playstyle.”

In this sense, combat functions much like a puzzle; you’ll have to think closely about your chimeras’ positioning and the timing of your own attacks and those of your enemy. If you’re fighting a boss that will unleash a deadly attack every five turns, for example, you’ll have to be mindful of moving your chimeras around in time to absorb it. Similarly, plenty of chimeras have attacks and abilities that are only triggered if they’re in a specific position on the battlefield or that trigger when you move your own chimera around. Added to this, you can also customise your dice later on in the game by visiting a merchant who can sell you new die faces, allowing you to add new chimera moves into the mix.

In this way, Dicefolk provides players with endless ways to customise their dice in line with their preferred playstyle. This is a good thing because the game’s combat can feel surprisingly fast-paced, like someone playing a complex game of chess against themselves. At first glance, the idea of controlling both your own party’s movements and those of your enemy may seem simple, but it adds a refreshing degree of complexity to the typical roguelike formula. One wrong move and the whole chain of events might backfire on you mighty quickly.

“…it’s clear that the developers have put a lot of thought into the overall degree of replayability.”

While Dicefolk’s combat setup can take some time to wrap your head around, overall, it’s easy to learn but hard to master. Given the different talismans and wide variety of both chimeras and equipment – the game contains over fifty different chimeras and equipment items – no single battle or run will ever feel the same. This, coupled with the fact that difficulty also increases gradually, gives players plenty of room to get the hang of everything. In this sense, it’s clear that the developers have put a lot of thought into the overall degree of the game’s replayability. Both casual and hardcore fans of roguelikes will surely find plenty to enjoy in Dicefolk.

The only thing that is lacking at times is story. While the graphics in Dicefolk are colourful and eye-catching, the world feels flat and a little stilted, making it hard to care about the fate of the chimera summoner you’re playing as. Granted, roguelikes often have limited options to explore a world’s story in-depth, but the formula still allows developers to create compelling worlds, as evidenced by titles like Hades or Inscryption. In this sense, the game can feel like a diluted roguelike version of Pokémon or Palworld, and it feels like there is definite potential here to enrich and expand the story world of the game.




  • Dice combat system is inventive and refreshing
  • Plenty of variety of chimeras and equipment to ensure no two runs are the same
  • Adorable 2D visuals
  • High level of replayability


  • Limited story holds it back

Even though its overarching story world could be fleshed out further, Dicefolk offers a refreshing take on the roguelike formula. Thanks to its combat mechanics, dice system, and variety of chimeras and equipment, gameplay is varied and complex while still being accessible to newcomers. Added to this, the feature of customising different dice allows players to tailor their dice according to their personal tastes and playstyle, making Dicefolk a good fit for both casual and more hard-core roguelike fans.