Roll For It! : an addictive dice rolling game

I really enjoy dice rolling. And I’m sure a lot of you do too. What I also really love is a good filler. It’s important to have some fun quick games in your collection that you can bring to the table when there’s not much time, or while you wait for people to arrive, or simply when you want something easy. For my birthday this year I got the game Roll For It! and it turned out to be exactly such a game. It’s a push your luck dice chucking game that you can’t seem to just play once. Every time I’ve brought it to the table we’ve gone “Again!” and just started over. It’s something about that combination of luck (and bad luck), dice, and ease. It’s so addictive!


Basic Gameplay and Strategy

roll-boxThis is a very simple game which is why I’m combining the gameplay and strategy. So, in the box you’ll find a deck of cards and four sets of six dice each. Shuffle the cards and deal three face up on the table. Each player grabs a set of six dice in their preferred colour, and decide who will start. May I suggest you roll for it? Okay, we’re ready to begin.

The aim of the game is to be the first player to get 40 points. You get points by winning cards from the line-up in the middle of the table. Cards have a value of either 2, 5, 10, or 15 points. These points are also indicative of how hard it is to get the card in question, i.e. how many dice are needed. So, how do you get the cards?

When it’s your turn you roll your dice, and assign any applicable dice to cards. You rolled two sixes and you need two sixes and a one for that 5 point card? Assign those sixes! Any dice you want to assign/match to a card you place next to it. Then it’s the next players turn and they do the same. Yes, you all work on the same cards! Once someone manages to get all of the matching dice result on one card, with only their own dice of course, they get that card and add it to their score pile. A new card is put in its place and the player can assign any dice they still had left in the round. If you can match a full card in one roll – good for you! Just take it. The matching dice are of course used for that turn, but you can assign whatever other dice you still have to other cards.

roll-play1
First turn. Blue has rolled 2 2 4 5 5 6. Instead of grabbing the easy blue 2-point card, they decide to use both 2s and the 4 for the rightmost card, worth 10 points. They also put one of the 5s on the middle 10-point card, and are left with two dice for their next turn.
roll-play2
On the second turn Red rolled well enough to place three dice on the middle card. Blue has rolled a second time and got another 2, managing to nab that 10-point card they were working on. The new card is a hard 15-point card, and Blue decides to put their remaining free dice, a 4, on it.

As you can see the amount of dice you have at your disposal at the beginning of each turn changes. So, at the start of your turn you also have an additional choice you can make: take back your dice. If you’re not feeling your current position on the three active cards, you can simply start over. Take back your dice and make your roll as normal. But you need to take back all of your dice. Not just the dice from a card you don’t like, but from all the cards.

According to the rulebook the game ends when someone gets 40 points. I like to play out the round though, giving whoever is left a chance to possibly beat that score. It almost never happens but it’s still nice to let everyone have the same amount of rolls. If you want you can shorten or lengthen the game by adjusting the goal. 40 points is good though!

roll-play3
After the fourth turn Red has managed to get that 10 point card that was in the middle, as well as put their remaining two dice on the 15 point card (good roll!). This means Blue got their dice back. They rolled and got this result. They can claim the 2 point card with those two 2s, and then put the 6 and 4 on the 15-point card. On their next turn they’ll be free to use the two dice they just claimed the 2 points with, and have a chance on that sweet 15-pointer.

What about strategy then? There really isn’t that much to it. Make sure you have enough dice to fulfil at least one of your “active” cards so to speak, but since this is a push your luck game – push your luck! I like to work on at least two cards at the time, even if one of them is a 15 point card that requires six dice. Cause remember, once you or someone else claims a card, all dice connected to that card go back to their respective owners. You will get your dice back one way or another. But as I said, don’t get rid of all of them. Your opponent could very well then just decide to work on other cards while you’re stuck, eventually forcing you to retrieve all your six dice and start over. You don’t want that! A good place to be is on two different cards with two different outcomes needed on your the die or dice you have left. That way you have a higher chance of getting something good and grabbing that card, instead of just working on the one.

But this game really is mostly about luck. I once played a game where I ended up with no points at all whatsoever at the end.


Thoughts

First of all I need to tell you about the other two versions out there. I have the basic Purple box, with pearl dice. There is also a basic Red box, with translucent dice. They are exactly the same game but since the dice are different you can combine the two sets for an up to 8 player game! There is also a Deluxe edition however, and oh man is it gorgeous! It comes in a tin and all the cards have beautiful illustrations on them while also being bigger than in the base game. You get eight dice sets right away, and they are full size in cool colours. And finally, the tin has an insert that converts it to a dice tray! Thing is, this set is obviously much more expensive than the base game, and I’m not sure it’s worth it. It’s such a simple game, and I’d probably prefer to spend the extra money on another game instead. But if you can get it on sale or something like that, go for it! And of course if you do plan to play with 5+ players, it’s definitely worth the little extra for the fanciness. But if you mainly play with max 4, stick to the base game.

roll-components
Components of the basic Purple box game. The faces of the cards are the same for both games.

 

Sure, the base game isn’t very pretty. As a matter of fact I think it looks very boring. It’s just so so basic it almost feels old. But considering it’s so simple it doesn’t really matter. The card stock is pretty good, and the quality of the dice is excellent. And I must say, the dice are pretty. I wouldn’t have been able to pick pearl vs translucent, so I’m happy my friend did it for me. I actually enjoy the slightly smaller dice too. The boxart is absolutely fine. It makes it look like a fun easy family game which is exactly what it is. The box quality isn’t great though. Mine already has plenty of scuff marks from being on my shelf just a few months! Okay so all this makes it sound a bit like the game is not worth the money. I’m sorry about that. The base game is absolutely worth it. It’s a cheap game, and it is a really fun filler. As a matter of fact, it would make a really great stocking stuffer or secret Santa gift this holiday season!

roll-boxinside
The box is the perfect size for the components too!

And this really is a game for everyone. I’m always on the lookout for games I can play with my parents. They need to be easy and without strategy, but still fun for me. And Roll For It really hit the mark. The game works fine for colour blind players as well. The colour of the cards are only to signify if it’s an easy or hard card, but the big score at the bottom of the card and the number of dice on it does the very same thing. It’s what I look at anyway, not the colour! Of course the dice could be hard to tell apart, but we always put them on our respective side of the card so it doesn’t really matter. Just make sure to keep the dice separated and you will be golden! There is absolutely no reading required for Roll For It either. So any language, any reading level – you’ll all kick butt in this game.

In all this is a great little game that is quick, easy, fun, and portable. I will happily make this one of the games rotating in my bag for those impromptu gaming sessions with friends and family when I’m out of the house. Hopefully, you will like it just as much!

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THE SPECS

  • Title: Roll For It!
  • Designer: Chris Leder
  • Publisher: Calliope Games
  • Players: 2-4 (or 8 if you combined Red and Purple, or get Deluxe)
  • Time: the box says 20-40 min, but one game seldom lasts long!
  • Type: dice, push your luck
  • Size: small
  • Release year: 2011

BGG link 

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