Players are Martians coming to snag some earthlings and take them home. It is a push your luck dice game where you roll the dice and must keep any tanks you roll. You then get the option of keeping one other type of dice such as death rays, cows, humans, or chickens. By the time you end your round you need as many death rays as there are tanks, if not you bust. If you don't bust, you score 1 point per earthling you've captured and a bonus 3 points if you collected at least 1 of each. Game play continues until you reach a set score. 25 points in the rule book, usually 15 or 20 points for us.
The "box" is basically a sturdy toilet paper roll with the rules and 13 dice in it. The dice are very nice custom dice with 6 sides. Two of the sides are death rays. One each of the remaining sides is split among cows, chickens, humans, and tanks. That is it. Nothing else in the game.
There isn't a lot of strategy in this game. It is a push your luck game with a little bit of decision making. At least slightly more than say Farkle. This is one of those you should play if you don't want a bunch of brain burn.
Martian Dice is a game that has grown on me. I won it at a convention and since it doesn't take up hardly any space it has stayed on my shelves. It is a quick filler and that is it. It is only a quick filler though if you play with 3 or so people and only play to 15 or 20 rather than the rulebook's 25 points. I am glad I've kept it though, because now my 4.5 year old daughter has started playing it with me. She never knows when to stop rolling, but she has a good time, understands she needs to get the earthlings, and it gives us another game to play together. I'm all about that.
Push-Your-Luck Fans - If you love Can't Stop, Incan Gold, and Zombie Dice type games than you might find one you like here. Though personally, I'd play Can't Stop more than I'd play this for a push your luck dice game. Farkle perhaps a bit less so. Except for the name, love the name Farkle.
Dice Game Fan - Here is my favorite dice games in order real quick so you have an idea where this fits: A Fistful of Penguins, Yahtzee, Martian Dice, Farkle, Zombie Dice. It's just average.
Alien Lovers - Do you like aliens? Do you want to play the little green men? Pick up Martian Dice. It is cheap and doesn't take up a lot of space and might tide you over between big games of Invaders from Outer Space.
*Every 100 Games Series - Back in March of 2006 I began tracking each session of the various board and card games I play. I soon got the idea to write a review on every 100th game I played, one because I like writing reviews, and two because it is interesting to see what game I review next. You can find a list of all of them here: Every 100 Games Series Reviews.