JohnHQLD Logo
Lockpicks Cover
Released 2018
Designer Robin Gibson
Publisher Button Shy Games (Website)
Players 1
Playing Time 10-15 minutes
Category Roll and Write
Solo
Push your luck
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

Visiting another Legend of Dysx

So I still don’t know what Dysx is or why there are legends, but cruising through PnPArcade.com after reviewing Dragonvault I found what I thought would be a suitable follow-up.

While not explicitly stated, Lockpicks seems to have you as the successful thief from the first game trying to access your rewards.  You have the chests, but the treasure is what you are after!

Only thing is the dragon has these pesky loyal followers that are trying to hunt down the thief, so you can’t hang around all day.

So as you can see thematically, Lockpicks looked like a fun continuation to the Legends of Dysx roll and writes, so I decided to give it a go.

Lockpicks Components
A sheet of paper, some dice and a pen. Not much setup required 🙂

Playing Lockpicks

Gameplay is straightforward.  Firstly you pick a chest that you want to break into.  There are 12 in total, with 3 being of a particular level (1-4).  The higher the level, the better the loot – but the more time you will need to spend picking the lock.

Next, roll your five dice.  Each die represents a type of move you can make on the board, similar to chess moves.  Starting from the lock at the top of the chest, you then do the appropriate move and place a dot in the square you end up in.  I tend to draw my moves, but it’s not strictly necessary.

The goal is to put a dot into each of the circles in the chest, then finally the lock at the bottom of the chest representing the lock being opened.  Movement wise the only limitation is you cannot put a dot on a square you already have a dot in, so you are trying to make an efficient path with the random moves available to you.

Lockpicks First Round
Each die allows you to make a certain move, kind of like chess

Once you have used the five dice, or you can’t move anymore, tick off an hourglass.  If you opened a chest, roll one die and claim your reward on the tables on the right-hand side.  You can only claim each reward once though, so reroll any you already have.  This is how you score points in the game, and the treasures allow you special powers to reroll during the game.

The game ends in one of two ways.  The simplest is when you have had enough and cash in your points.  The second is when you get caught!  You are caught if you use all of the hourglasses and roll a 1 when rolling all five dice in the lockpick stage.  This means that the game can go on until you open all 12 chests – but this is going to be extremely lucky!

If you are caught, you lose all of your collected loot and score 0 points.  If you get away with the loot though, it’s simply a case of adding up your points and trying to beat your old score.

Lockpicks Mid Game
The lower level chests are easier, but don't score as many points

But…

A lot of the same ‘problems’ I had with Dragonvault are still present in Lockpicks.  The rules are reasonably clear, but putting them on a second page with examples would be better.

There is a strategy for a high score, and I am sure with luck I could score higher, but this relies on luck.  I don’t mean that as a negative overall, just if you don’t like luck based games skip Lockpicks.

And finally Button Shy does not seem to be supporting this series, even though the website is on each game board.  It is hard to clarify rules with no easily found interaction – not the games problem, but something I still find strange.

Overall Thoughts

Lockpicks seemed like a good follow on from Dragonvault, and mechanically it is.  It’s a fine game.  But it just seems to miss something – I can’t really explain it more than that.

In theory, this should be just as fun as Dragonvault.  But I will turn to Dragonvault before playing Lockpicks (to date anyway).

It’s not that I regret the purchase, but if you are looking at starting a PnP collection, I wouldn’t start with Lockpicks – there are better examples, even within the series.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

 

 

Not sure what the score means?  Check out my Review Scores explanation for more info!

6.0

Good

  • Cheap and quick to get into
  • Still a good solid efficiency puzzle

Bad

  • It just doesn't feel as fun as Dragonvault
  • A couple of vague rules that could use clarification
Author JohnHQLD
Published
Categories Board Games
Views 320

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