To gain an audience, it will have to convince heavier players that roll and write can be heavy, and thought-provoking with a heavy dose of strategy. This does that, and well.
Theme and What is it?
You are one of four Roman politicians trying to win the favor of the populace. To do this, you must have the most buildings and have conquered more than anyone else. Although you would think you are all on the same team, the team of Romans, you would be wrong.
No Roman politician cares about any glory, but his own. And you are in this to win this. You will roll and write with the best of them. How you fare, is largely up to whether you have the best plan for success. Remember though, Rome does not have enough space for everyone’s goals, you best accomplish your goals first.
Welcome to Rome & Roll.
Roll-and-Writes have become synonymous with gaming in the past year. Some games have used this mechanic before, and I could get no one to play.
Now that they have become part of the common lexicon, I cannot get anyone NOT to play. This is a good problem to have. These games are right up my alley.
In Rome & Roll, you will roll dice, and then draft dice that will give you the resources you want, and the actions you need. There are ways to stack resources with special powers, the favor of the gods, and other cascading effects.
You must plan best your tetris-like city, because your opponents will do the same, ready to destroy your best effort at creating something that gives you the best cascades possible.
In Rome & Roll, there is a LOT going on. City planning, bribing officials, conquering, resource gathering, action selection, limited movement. How you manage all these things is up to you. Ultimately, there are many paths to victory.
The question is simple, will you be able to find ANY of these paths? This game is not for the faint of roll-and-write hearts.
Being honest (my mom hates when I write or say that, implying everything else is a lie. Hi Mom!), I have to say, this game intrigued me for the complexity.
I was not sure if it was overly complex, or if I was just approaching it with the standard easy style roll-and-write mentality. As said before, there is a lot going on. At the time of my preview, we did not receive rules, and they did not exist on BGG, so we watched a lot of videos.
Frankly, this scared me. Because the game is a work in progress, and has so much to it, I was slightly terrified.
Game Build Quality
Please keep in mind, the game I got was a prototype.
As far as prototypes go, it was one of the highest quality prototypes I have seen in a roll and write. I would have liked to see at least a computer sheet of rules or an index, to help us navigate. This made the initial rules take longer than necessary. However, by the time the game is final, PSC rules are some of the best in the industry, and I can only assume the same here.
There is not a lot of art going on. The box art is FANTASTIC. I love the dice being used to build the city.
On the game itself, it looks like it might need finishing. Roll-and-Writes do not lend themselves to being great with art. You need room to write. The card art and the terrain is functional and works. I hope the symbology is better explained in the final or that there are player aid sheets.
For me, this is where Rome & Roll excelled. As the turns came together, it gave us something to work towards, and like any good game, it felt like the end came too soon.
I wanted to, immediately, play again because now I had a winning strategy. Games should make us feel that way in my opinion. We should WANT to play again as soon as possible, and, I do.
Age Range & Weight
14+. This is a heavy roll and write.
It takes NO shame in being a heavy roll and write. Make sure whoever you like to play with likes some depth of play. This offers that to a great extent and more.
It was a bit intimidating the first play through. That level of intimidation is gone, and now I want to play again!
Rome & Roll’s greatest strength is also its biggest weakness. It is a great heavyweight roll and write.
To gain an audience, it will have to convince heavier players that roll-and-writes can be heavy, and thought-provoking with a heavy dose of strategy. This does that, and well. The hurdle will be to convince the audience.
I, certainly, hope it does, as I would like to see other heavy roll and writes from PSC, and other companies. They give the player a lot of freedom of choice and eliminate a lot of analysis paralysis because that choice is narrowed on a round by round basis.
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