I stumbled upon Beeeees! while browsing Kickstarter and the little bee mascot caught my eye. I am always on the lookout for new, fun-themed games. So...I clicked on the link to find it's an Action Phase/Indie Boards and Cards Game! I have enjoyed some of their other games (Heroes Wanted, Flash Point, Don't Mess with Cthulhu) and, though this game is very different from any of those games, they're publishers I trust. Pleasant surprise. I set out to watch the Kickstarter video only to be mildly disappointed because the video doesn't tell you much of anything. Ah well...I read on.
BEEEEES! is a buzzing real-time dice rolling game for 2-5 players where brains matter as much as speed. Players frantically roll dice to claim hive tiles in front of them and their neighbors. The player with the most dice on the tile strategically places it into their burgeoning hive. At the end of the game, the player that has built the best hive wins! -Quote from Kickstarter
To me, this sounds like real-time Roll for It! by Calliope Games with a theme, which just sounds awesome. I realize it's similar to many other real-time dice rolling games, but I don't often play games with this mechanic, so Roll for It! is what came to mind due to the dice matching aspect and competing for tiles/cards. I checked it out; the artwork looks lovely and, for the price point, the components look decent (having not seen them in person, that's really all I can say).
After reading through the rest of the information on their Kickstarter page and watching the review by Man vs Meeple (also posted on the Kickstarter page), I liked the sound of the game enough to seek out the rulebook. I love rules! I love reading them and figuring out just how a game works. I was very excited to find a link to a pdf of the draft rulebook. I eagerly opened it to find a proper draft of the rules complete with illustrations (sometimes drafts are horribly difficult to follow and are just text). Although there are a few typos, I was able to easily understand how the game works and follow the rules even without the physical game. Good sign! The rules start out by explaining the basics and follow-up with specifics, which means that it should be relatively simple to reference during gameplay, if necessary. Honestly, it seems like the type of game where, once you read through the rules, you can get right down to playing! I do not enjoy picking up a game and needing more explanation than the rules give but that does not seem like the case with Beeeees!
My favorite aspects of the game (beyond the real-time dice rolling!) are the different types of flower tiles and the solitary/grouped dice combinations. Sometimes you can place just one die on a tile, while other times you have to match groups of dice. This adds an aspect of strategy that I didn't expect. There is so much more to this game than just real-time dice rolling. The points at the end are dependent on the formation of the different colored flower tiles in your hive so, while you are trying to frantically collect the flowers before other players, you also have to pay attention to which colors you need and what formations will get you the most points. Wow. Much more to this game than I expected.
Final Thoughts: After everything I've seen and read, this game looks like one we would play often. The theme is adorable and the puzzle aspect of the end-game scoring means it requires you to think through your actions. This helps a game that is based around die be slightly less random. I am very excited to see if this game funds (at this time, it still has 10 days to go and about $1,200 needed). It looks like a game that I would really enjoy time after time so here's to hoping that it will be funded. Go check it out if you haven't already!