When is ‘X: the Dice Game’ or X: the Card Game’ better than the original?

Often the OG is the best, which is often the board game, although sometimes a board game is made after a card game or dice game. What second comers do you like more than the original? At Opinionated Gamers, we had a wide range of opinions and here are some of them regarding which : ‘the Card Game” (tCG) or “: the Dice Game” (tDG) is better than the original. Feel free to chime in in the comments.

Power Grid: tCG > Power Grid

Fraser: In my experience people who don’t like Power Grid much do likePower Grid: tCG, but people who like Power Grid think that Power Grid: tCG is OK and shorter, but not better than Power Grid as it lacks the integral dance between the auctions, the resources and the network.

Michael: 100% agree. My experience (and own opinion – go PG) match this exactly.

Sushi Roll > Sushi Go

Fraser: A friend of mine described Sushi Roll as being more accessible to non-gamers. The sushi train aspect of it thematically hides the drafting.  I think he is correct. Does it make it better? Possibly.  I will play either, but the passing is definitely more fun with Sushi Roll.

Castles of Burgundy: tCG > Castles of Burgundy

Fraser: Well it feels like it takes longer to play for less reward. Played it twice and not likely to ever play it again. [If this legitimately needs to be tCG > the original then delete this entry because in my book it is definitely not!]

Larry:  Neither the CoB card game or dice game are awful, but the board game is much, MUCH superior to either of them!

Nations: The Dice Game > Nations

Mark: With the Unrest expansion added, Nations: The Dice Game offers the same kind of decisions as the original game in a much cleaner and mercifully shorter package.

Larry:  I’m a fan of Nations; the brilliant Through the Ages is still much better, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or the brainpower to play it and Nations can then scratch that Civ card game itch quite nicely.  I’ve only played the dice game once and wasn’t that impressed, but it didn’t include the Unrest expansion, so I’m reserving judgment, since so many folks think it’s an essential expansion.  Still, I can’t imagine that I’ll prefer it to the board game.

Matt: I’m with Mark here. The dice version is a great implementation of a civ-like game that plays fast. Slightly more interactive than some other civ-lites but still gives the feeling of growth. The Unrest expansion gives the game just a bit more depth to make it a more satisfying experience.

Broom Service: tCG > Broom Service

Mark: Broom Service (the board game) added board play & movement to a better game (Witches Brew) that didn’t need all the extra smoke & mirrors. Broom Service: The Card Game strips all of the extraneous stuff away to focus on the bluffing/risk-taking at the heart of the game.

Kardinal & König: das Kartenspiel > Kardinal & König (also known as Web of Power)

Joe: Unfortunately the card game was never published – as a multiplayer game – except as the “lots of assembly required” version.  But for me, the card game is a hair better than the board game, and I’m quite fond of the board game.  First, the known layout of the cards allows for more planning – and the reservation system is quite clever.  The eight tiles you can pick up – five good, three bad – add back a nice bit of randomness to avoid the game feeling too processional.  And for me the scoring system of the card game works a bit better than the board game.

Dinosaur Island: Rawr & Write > Dinosaur Island (& Duelosaur Island?)

Tery: I prefer Rawr & Write. It has all the feel of the “regular” game, but in a smaller box. It is more streamlined, and I prefer drawing my park and tracking everything on my own sheet. 

Mark: What Tery said is essentially what I came to in my review earlier this year: “This is not my first Dinosaur Island rodeo – I’ve played both the original game and Duelosaur Island (the two player game) multiple times – but I don’t own either of them. They are both games I’m happy to play but don’t need to have in my collection. In my ever-so-humble opinion, Dinosaur Island: Rawr’n’Write is the best of the bunch. I really like the freedom inherent in drawing the layout of your own park, the straightforward variety of 3 different special buildings and 3 different specialists each game, and the not-annoying simplicity of the solo system.”

Matt: Haven’t played the big-boy games but can attest that Rawr & Write provides a very satisfying, fast park-building experience on its own.

Caylus: Magna Carta > Caylus

Larry:  I prefer the more streamlined Magna Carta to Caylus–the shorter duration of the former works better for me.  Although I have to admit,  it’s been a while since I’ve played either one of them.

Coal Baron: tCG > Coal Baron

Larry:  I definitely think the card game is superior to the board game.  Coal Baron is pretty good, but isn’t something I’d ever suggest.  But the card game (which is actually pretty different from the board game) is very clever and makes for a very challenging and tense 2-player game.  It’s official name is Coal Baron: The Great Card Game and I think it lives up to that exalted billing!

Life: tCG > Life

Larry:  So yeah, while Life may have been a good family game 60 years ago, I doubt that many of us are in much of a hurry to play it today.  So it represents a pretty low bar to clear.  But that in no way represents a criticism of Life: tCG, which is actually an enjoyable and very approachable port of the original.

Clue: tCG > Clue

Larry:  The card game contains pretty much all of the deduction chops of the board game, without all of that silly and random dice-rolling.  It’s actually pretty good.

Risk Express > Risk

Larry:  Okay, the dice game (Express) doesn’t really have much in common with Risk, but it’s nice, quick, raucous fun and it’s been a long time since I could say anything like that about Risk.

Master’s Gallery > Modern Art

Larry:  Back in the 90’s, Modern Art was considered by many to be one of the best games of all time, but I’ve played it many times and never saw its greatness.  I prefer Master’s Gallery as a shorter, snappier version.

The Settlers Card Game > Settlers

Larry:  The card game tends to overstay its welcome, but back in the day when I was playing both of them, I definitely preferred the card game.

Mark: The “newest” version of the card game, The Rivals for Catan, is a substantial improvement over the original Settlers Card Game.


Here are others that at least one person suggested,

Canal Grande >San Marco

Puerto Rico tCG (San Juan)  > Puerto Rico

Tanz der Hornochsen > 6 Nimmt

Skull King: Dice > Skull King

El Caballero > El Grande

Pandemic: the Cure > Pandemic (shorter and no worse?)

Istanbul: Dice > Istanbul

Long Shot: Dice > Long Shot

Bang!: Dice > Bang!

Fleet: tDG > Fleet

Yokohama: RnW > Yokohama

Rajas of the Ganges: Dice Charmers > Rajas of the Ganges

Lanterns: Dice > Lanterns

Twilight Inscription > Twilight Imperium

Scrabble Slam > Scrabble

Pictionary: tCG > Pictionary

Monopoly Deal > Monopoly

Roll & Write Railroads> Russian/Ultimate Railroads

Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition > Terraforming Mars

Special Section Just for Knizia Games

Ra: Dice > Ra

Keltis: tCG > Keltis

Keltis: Weg Der Steine Mitbringspiel > Keltis

Razzia > Ra 

Los Banditos > Schotten Totten

Keltis &/or Lost Cities: tBG > Lost Cities

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