There are plenty of push-your-luck games where a player can keep taking turns to get more points -- and risk losing all those points if things go south with a bad turn.  Steve Jackson combined this sort of game with zombies and dice with Zombie Dice, and now they've applied a near-identical formula to superheroes -- quite well -- with Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game.

On its surface, this game is pretty simple.  Each turn, players roll three dice.  Players are trying to roll loot symbols (when a player gets 30 or more loot every other player gets a final turn, and whoever has the most loot wins), avoid Batman (three Batman symbols end a player's turn and cost them all the loot they earned that turn), and deal with alarms (which get rerolled).  Gray dice (five) have the most loot and fewest Batman symbols, Blue dice (three) have two of each, and yellow dice (two) have the most Batman symbols and fewest loot.  After a player rolls, they keep any Loot and Batman symbols; they can either stop (and gain the loot for the turn) or keep going, rerolling any alarm dice plus random dice to bring them back to three dice total.
 So what makes this game different from other push your luck games?  The villains!  The game comes with four villains (and a promo card can let players play as Mr. Freeze), each of whom has a unique ability.  The Joker gets a loot for every set of three-colored dice, even if he's busted by Batman.  Poison Ivy can set aside one blue Batman symbol each turn.  Catwoman's blue loot are worth 2 loot each.  The Riddler gets to roll 4 dice his first turn, deciding which to keep and which to put back in the cup.  And Mr. Freeze's power is shown on the card below.
As with Zombie Dice, Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game is simple fun.  While the villains make things different for each player, the strategy is pretty straightforward: balancing the risk of getting three Batman symbols with the reward of additional loot.  The art from the animated series is nice, and the game accommodates 2-5 players, with games lasting 10-20 minutes.  Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game won't be the center of a gaming gathering, but it's a fun one to play a few times before the main event.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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