You can read my full review of Rattlebones at News for Shoppers. You can read what I wrote on my blog at Board Game Geek below.
Here I usually talk about my experience of the game, but that's the essential problem I have with Rattlebones. I didn't have a bad experience with the game, I just didn't have an emotional connection with it, good or bad.That might depend on who I'm playing with, but because the game is mostly played alone, I don't think so.
I think the dice-building mechanic in Rattlebones is innovative. It just didn't feel like enough for me. It felt like it was the beginning of something, like one mechanism in a larger game. Except it wasn't. It was basically the only mechanism. I felt like my turns should have a couple of more phases, where those dice could really shine. I wanted them to allow me some choices. Instead, they limited my choices, just as the game felt like it was beginning to take off. I'm trying to think of other games that felt like this. The Dominion base game did that at first for me, but I've come to love its simplicity. That's the nagging difference, I suppose. There's an elegance and subtlety to some simple games. I feel like that's lacking in Rattlebones, but I also feel like it's a good starting point. If more actions were added after the die roll, the game wouldn't feel so fiddly (and it's definitely fiddly). Do you have other games that leave you feeling this way? Like the game is an interesting mechanic rather than a complete game?
I want to see more from designer Stephen Glenn, though. I think he's onto something.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Rattlebones from Rio Grande Games. I wasn't required to give a positive review. These are my honest opinions.