Over the past eighteen months, there seems to have been a massive increase in the number of Roll & Write/Draw &Write games; most of which seem to be a variation each over. However, there are some that do stand out for me, so I thought I would let you know my thoughts on them.
This is probably the oldest game I have played in this category and overall has stood the test of time. Compared to many, this has a very simple mechanic and set of rules, takes around 15 mins to play and very simple to teach with everyone using the same dice pool to base their decisions on, with the dice roller for that turn having to place the dice value and the other players having the option to use the value or not. As with many of these games, it can quite easily be played as a solo game with the player attempting to best their previous scores. But as a quick filler it certainly does the job. My only real issue with this came, as with many Roll & Writes, is that it is what I refer to as a multiplayer solo game; in that there is actually very little interaction between players and, other than the occasional re-roll, the actions of one player has very little impact on another.
2. Welcome to …
Welcome To … Your Perfect Home is a Draw & Write, using a deck of cards to draw from rather than rolling a set of dice; this was the first Draw & Write I played and really liked the additional options available for scoring points. Due to the information on the box stating that it will play 1-100 players, it clearly has the same issue of being a multiplayer solo game, even more so that Qwinto; however there is a little more depth to the game and with so much more variance to the cards that could be drawn, has a much higher replay value. There has been a Kickstarter expansion for this, providing a number of alternative neighbourhoods, but we will still need to wait to see how these turn out.
Corinth is Days of Wonder‘s foray into this type of mechanic; although as much as I enjoy this game, I do think they’ve left it a little too late for their first Roll & Write game as (in my view) the market for these is very much starting to reach saturation point.
That said, the game itself does have more player interaction than most due to the select and remove style of play; with each player, in turn, selecting the row of dice they are taking to use. This takes it away a little from the multiplayer solo trap that many games fall into, with the players needing to have some idea of what their opponents’ ideal goals are that turn and whether it is more beneficial to let them have the dice they are likely to want or to use them yourself. There is a wide variety of scoring options, allowing for each player to take a different path to gain points, but overall not an overly vicious game.
4. Harvest Dice
This is, by far, my favourite Roll & Write game. It is a quick game, easy to teach and the dice selection means that not only are you trying to grow your own vegetable garden making sure you have each vegetable type grouped together for maximum scoring, you are very much aware of what dice other players need, who the dice is most beneficial to or whether it will help you gain more points in the final scoring.
As I have found with a number of games which, at first seem to be a light and ‘cutsie’ theme, the game itself is surprisingly competitive and vicious. (Dream Home and Takenoko, both spring to mind in this way).
This is just a very small selection of games and there are many, many more available.
Do you have a favourite Roll & Write (or Draw & Write)? Do you have a lot of this type of game in your collection? Or, like me, do you find many of them to be ‘multiplayer solo’ games and miss the player interaction that you tend to get with the majority of tabletop games.