Designer: Shannon Kelly
Published: Renegade Game Studios
Players: 1-4 players
Playtime: 20-30 Minutes
Play Type: Push Your Luck, Dice Collection
You close your eyes, and you are once again sucked into a dreamworld. You have a sense of urgency to break this hold on you. In the darkness lurks monsters who haunt your nightmares. You must escape this void before the monsters seek you out, and the dreamworld becomes a nightmare.
Each turn, players will decide which of the three levels of the sleep track they will use. This is a push your luck mechanic which decides how many dice the player will draw that turn. The options are three, four or five dice. Once the player has decided and drawn their dice, they return two to the bag and roll the remaining dice. Each dice has a specific color, and various symbols they can roll. Before explaining anything else, I will explain the differences in the colors and symbols to help clarify the benefit of each.
- Blue (The Depths)-These dice make you draw more dreams
- Green (Envy)– These dice have a lot of power, but also may make you have to give up power
- Yellow (Imprisonment)– These dice can make you end your turn early
- Red (Primal Fear)– These dice have high risk of losing the game, but also have high power rewards
Power- This symbol can come in increments of one or two. They are Victory Points and how the player wins the game. The first player to fill their power track to 15 wins the game. Players may also spend power to reroll dice matching the color of power they spent.
Hunt- These are placed in the hunt row. If a player has 4 or more hunt dice on that track, they are eliminated from the game.
Exhaust- These are placed in the exhaust row. If a player has 3 or more dreams in the exhaust row they must draw a random dream from the bag. They then return all power on their track matching the dream’s color. Once exhausted players must rest.
Shadow- Shadows are placed in color corresponding shadow rows. Each color shadow causes the player to take a different action. Blue causes players to draw a dice, roll it and use it immediately. Green allows the next player to select a dream on your card, then forces you to reroll it and use it immediately. Yellow makes you rotate one of exhaustion to a shadow symbol, making it difficult to remove exhaustion during resting. Red lets you take a shadow from any color and move it to the hunt row. If any of the shadow rows fill up, you become a Nightmare.
If you become a Nightmare, you remain a Nightmare for the remainder of the game. Each Nightmare has a different play style, depending on the color of shadow that caused you to become a Nightmare. Nightmares are highly interactive among players and allow the person playing the Nightmare to steal dice from other Dreamers. The dice they are able to steal is dependent on the color that caused them to become a shadow.
Each turn players must place their dice in the following order: Power, Hunt, Exhaust, Shadow. Once all dice are placed the player has the option to either rest or dream again. Resting ends the player’s turn. When a player rests they have the option to either remove all exhausted symbols from the exhausted track, or remove one shadow from anywhere on the board.
If a player chooses to dream again, they move their tracker up on the sleep track. They may not choose to switch their sleep track. The amount of dice on the sleep track increases as Dreamers choose to dream again. They repeat this process until they have gone all the way through the sleep track of their choosing, they become exhausted, they are eliminated or they choose to rest.
Once the first player has reached 15 points, that player wins. Other players are able to take one last turn after that player has reached 15 points. In the event of a tie, the players roll their dream dice. However has the most power from that roll becomes the winner. If a player ever needs to draw a dice and there are none left, the current player finishes their turn by rolling the dice and resolving their dreams. Then the player with the most power wins. If there are no Dreamers left, the player with the most powerful Nightmare wins.
Lucidity includes 80 custom dice, a black dice bag with the hunt symbol on it, 4 Dreamer cards, 5 Nightmare cards, 4 turn summary cards, and 4 glass markers. The components are high quality. I like that the Nightmare cards are incorporated into the Dreamer cards when needed. I also like the the trackers are clear to allow players to see their dream track option. The art on this game is eye catching, and is the reason I originally purchased this game. The contrast between the black and dark line work with the occasional pop of color catches the eye and makes the game aesthetically pleasing.
- Easy to Learn
- Short Play Time
- Single Player Variant
- Great Components
- Small Footprint/ Portable
- Nightmares are Interesting Mechanic
- Dice can be Manipulated Easily
- Player Elimination
- Nightmare Play Style can be Boring/ Frustrating
Lucidity is an interesting take on push your luck mechanics. The introduction of Nightmares provides consequences to players, but does not cause immediate elimination. Players do have the option to be eliminated early on though, if they are not careful on how they manipulate their dice. Players are given the chance to spin the odds in their favor by removing excess dice of a specific color before it becomes a problem. Knowing when to rest can also assist players in not being eliminated. One positive of Lucidity is that ways that it allows players to manipulate their dice, despite the push your luck aspects. There are a lot of interesting decisions to be made when deciding what colors to keep and get rid of, and whether get rid of exhaustion or shadows while resting.
However, Lucidity does still have a player elimination factor which I am not fond of. Luckily it a short enough game that if a player does become eliminated they won’t be sitting out for a very long time. Despite the fact that Nightmares are not eliminated, in some cases players may feel like they have been eliminated. If the Dreamers decide to not use the dice that the Nightmare benefits from, then the Nightmare will likely spend turn after turn forcing the other player to roll dice. This quickly becomes monotonous, as they have very little ability to manipulate their game play. This is less likely to be seen with more players.
Overall I would suggest Lucidity for players looking for a short, push your luck game. Players who like games like Port Royal, Deep Sea Adventure or Ra are likely to enjoy Lucidity. If player elimination is a deal breaker for you, Lucidity is likely not going to be a game that you enjoy. However, if you generally play games solo, Lucidity does include a solo variant that plays well. I would not suggest Lucidity for families, because of the darkness of the theme however it is not overly complicated, so it could be played with older children.