Jump to content

Devil Dice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Devil Dice
PAL box art
Director(s)Hiroyuki Kotani
Producer(s)Tomikazu Kirita
Designer(s)Yuichi Sugiyama
Programmer(s)Masahiko Wada
Shuichi Yano
Artist(s)Seiji Yamagishi
Composer(s)Kemmei Adachi
  • JP: 18 June 1998[2]
  • NA: 24 September 1998[1]
  • EU: 15 January 1999
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Devil Dice (known in Japan as XI, pronounced [sai]) is a puzzle video game developed by Shift exclusively on PlayStation. It was released by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan in 1998 and Europe in 1999, and by THQ in North America in 1998. The game is a million-seller and a demo version was released as a PlayStation Classic game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP) on 7 November 2007.[3]


Screenshot of gameplay.

Devil Dice is a unique puzzle video game, where the player controls a small devil that runs around a grid covered in large dice. The player can both stand atop dice, and stand on the ground (with the dice towering above). When standing on the dice, the player can move from die to die, or can roll a die in the direction he or she runs, revealing a different face as the die rotates. Creating a group of adjacent dice with identical pips—the size of which must be at least the number of pips—causes those dice to slowly sink into the field before disappearing. Chain reactions are possible by adding additional dice to a sinking set. Different types of dice are available in some modes, with different properties to make the game more challenging.

The game features the following modes:

  • Battle - pits the player against a single computer opponent, both attempting to build up chains and negate those of the opponent.
  • Puzzle - mode in which players must solve puzzles (i.e., clear all dice) using only a limited number of steps or moves. Solving a whole row of puzzles allows players access to a picture that they can play on in Battle mode.
  • Trial - the standard arcade-style mode, where the objective is to remove as many dice as possible (and thus score as many points as possible) before the grid completely fills with dice.
  • Wars - quickfire multiplayer mode, supporting up to four simultaneous computer opponents, or five human players when using a multitap. Players damage each other as they complete chains, with the last man standing becoming the winner.

Net Yarōze misconception[edit]

Devil Dice is commonly believed to be a Net Yarōze game; but it was instead created for a different program, Game Yarōze, a Japan-exclusive competition, where participants competed for access to a development environment for the creation of PlayStation games intended for commercial release. The original program was held between 1995 and 1999, with over 3,000 participants and 1,200 submitted game concepts; Ultimately, over thirty Game Yarōze titles went to market, including Devil Dice and the first Doko Demo Issyo game.[4] In late 2005, the Game Yarōze competition was revived, this time focusing on the development of PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 games.[5] Around this time, the official website interviewed lead designer Yuichi Sugiyama (then the Representative Director of Shift), which revealed that the game was created within the scope of the Game Yarōze program.[6] According to an interview with Shuichi Yano (one of the programmers of Devil Dice), he was a successful applicant of Game Yarōze, and Net Yarōze was a different, unrelated program that he was not involved with.[7]


Devil Dice received favorable reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[8] Both GamePro and Next Generation were positive to the game despite noting its high difficulty.[19][b][17] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 30 out of 40.[13]

Famitsu reported that the title sold over 131,815 units in its first week on the market and approximately 864,844 units during its lifetime in Japan.[citation needed] GamesTM regarded it as one of "10 Underrated PlayStation Gems".[20]

The game won the award for both "Best Puzzle Game" and "Best Multiplayer Game" at the 1998 OPM Editors' Awards.[21] Hyper later named Devil Dice a second runner-up for "1999 Hyper Reader Awards" for "Best Puzzle Game", which went to Bust-A-Move 99 for PlayStation and Nintendo 64.[22]


XI Jumbo was only released in Japan exclusively on PlayStation.

XI Little was also only released in Japan exclusively on WonderSwan Color.

Bombastic (XI Go in Japan) was released in Japan, North America and Europe exclusively on PlayStation 2. It incorporates all play modes from previous releases.

Xi Coliseum was only released in Japan exclusively on PlayStation Portable. This version includes support for ad hoc wireless play between up to five players.[23]


  1. ^ In Electronic Gaming Monthly's review of the game, two critics gave it each a score of 9/10, another gave it 9.5/10, and one more critic gave it 8/10.
  2. ^ GamePro gave the game 3.5/5 for graphics, 3/5 for sound, and two 4/5 scores for control and fun factor.


  1. ^ GameSpot staff (24 September 1998). "New Releases [date mislabeled as "April 28, 2000"]". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Archived from the original on 19 February 1999. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  2. ^ Johnston, Chris (May 12, 1998). "THQ Rolls Devil Dice". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 14, 2000. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  3. ^ "XI[sai] Trial Version(for PS3/PSP)(Japanese Ver". PlayStation.com (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
  4. ^ Szczepaniak, John (19 September 2023). "PS1 Puzzler Devil Dice Was Never A 'Net Yaroze' Title, So Why Does The Internet Think It Was?". Time Extension. Archived from the original on 19 September 2023. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  5. ^ Sheffield, Brandon (26 October 2005). "Sony Japan Announces Game Yarouze Design Competition". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  6. ^ "ゲームやろうぜ!過去の記事 週刊やろうぜ!バックナンバー【第1回 05/11/01号】" [Game Yarouze! - Yarouze Weekly! Back Issue (1st Issue 05/11/01)]. Game Yarouze! (in Japanese). 1 November 2005. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  7. ^ Szczepaniak, John (2023-08-31). The Untold History of Game Developers Volume 5. United States: SMG SZCZEPANIAK. p. 165. ISBN 9798391091547.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  8. ^ a b "Devil Dice for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  9. ^ Weiss, Brett Alan. "Devil Dice - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  10. ^ Chick, Tom (6 October 1998). "Devil Dice". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on 16 August 2000. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  11. ^ Edge staff (August 1998). "Xi [sic]" (PDF). Edge. No. 61. Future Publishing. p. 97. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  12. ^ Hsu, Dan; Smith, Shawn; Davison, John; Williams, Ken "Sushi-X" (October 1998). "Review Crew - Devil Dice" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 111. Ziff Davis. p. 262. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  13. ^ a b "XI[sai]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Devil Dice". Game Informer. No. 65. FuncoLand. September 1998.
  15. ^ Mielke, James (21 July 1998). "Devil Dice Review [JP Import] [date mislabaeled as "April 28, 2000"]". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Archived from the original on 12 December 2004. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  16. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (29 September 1998). "Devil Dice". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Devil Dice". Next Generation. No. 47. Imagine Media. November 1998. p. 156. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Devil Dice". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Vol. 2, no. 1. Ziff Davis. October 1998.
  19. ^ Tommy Boy (October 1998). "Devil Dice". GamePro. No. 121. IDG. p. 170. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Essentials: 10 Underrated PlayStation Gems". GamesTM. No. 155. Future plc. December 2014. pp. 156–157.
  21. ^ "1998 OPM Editors' Awards (Best Puzzle Game; Best Multiplayer Game)". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Vol. 2, no. 5. Ziff Davis. February 1999. pp. 97–98. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  22. ^ "1999 Hyper Reader Awards". Hyper. No. 79. Future plc. May 2000. p. 42. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  23. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (17 January 2006). "Sony Brings Puzzlers to PSP". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.

External links[edit]