Game: Dice Ink: A Roll and Write Anthology
Published: Inkwell Games
Designers: Toni Catino, Jesse Catron, Robin Gibson, Ryan Hope, Grace Kendall, Nat Levan, Joe Montgomery, Sarah & Will Reed, Behrooz Shahriari, Alexander Shen
Players: Each Game Varies Between 1-6
Playtime: 15- 30 Minutes
Play Type: Roll and Writes
Dice Ink is a collection of roll and write games to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. The book includes ten different games that vary in player count, theme and complexity. For roll and write lovers, it is the perfect exploration tool.
Dice Ink includes ten different roll and write games. I am not going to go over the rules for all ten games, because this review would be forever long. I will however list each of the games, include how many players can play, and the theme of each. Each of the games is considered a traditional roll and write game. They will all need some kind of dice to play, and a drawing utensil for each player. These are not included with the book itself.
- Flowers Over Towers (2-4 Players)- A game about nature taking over an abandoned city.
- Celestial Stories (2-6 Players)- Charting constellations to tell stories in the sky.
- Little Island (2-4 Players)- Create a community on an island by developing your shop and helping the success of the shops around you.
- Islands of Atlantis (1-6 Players)- You will be raising the Islands of Atlantis. Your goal is to have the maximum number of islands. Those islands should include a variety of relics and land types to score the most points.
- Icy Dice (1-2 Players)- You live on a small island that requires goods from another island to survive. Once per year you may go to this other island to gather supplies. You must use your workers intelligently to collect the proper supplies to survive for the year.
- Scrapyard Rollbot (1 Player)- Your goal is to build the best Rollbot by getting the best parts.
- Coral Reef (2-4 Players) Grow a wide variety of mature coral to attract sea life. Be sure to control outbreaks of coral eating Crown-of-Thorns Starfish.
- Lost at Sea (1 Player)- You are playing a young girl trapped on an unforgiving island of trash. Your goal is to help her build a raft and escape before her health runs out.
- Dust and Void (1 Player)- Your goal is to collect the best materials and make the best ship to avoid an eternity of construction duty to create a interstellar spacecraft capable of transporting human life.
- Pensylvania (1-4 Players)- You are trying to build the best little town before you must join the rest of your towns mates for the Townhall Bonfire.
The Dice Ink Anthology comes with the rules and game sheets for each of the games listed above. Each of the games comes with enough sheets for a couple rounds of game play. However, if you fall in love with one of the games, you may be disappointed. Many of the games only come with enough sheets to play the game twice at max player count. For this reason, I highly suggest laminating each of the games before you play it, just in case you want to play it again. If you buy the physical book, you will also gain access to print and plays if you want to continue to play these games.
The book comes with a perforated edge that makes removal of the papers from the book pretty easy. I had no trouble removing any of the papers from the book, despite being somewhat nervous I would rip them. Each of the sheets are absolutely beautiful, and each game takes you into a new world with a different theme. While all of the games are different, they all were beautiful illustrated and the rules were easy to follow on each.
The game does not include everything needed to play though. In order to actually play the games listed, players must have access to a variety of dice. Depending on the game played, players may need up to six different colored six-sided dice, a four-sided die, eight-sided die, and a ten-sided die. Additionally, players will need writing utensils.
- Travels Well
- Great Variety
- Works for a Variety of Player Counts
- Games Vary from Light to Complex
- Beautiful Production
- Great Way to Explore Roll and Writes
- Each Game Only Plays 2-3 Times without Lamination
- Not All Materials Needed to Play Included
- Hard to Store Sheets that are Ripped Out
Dice Ink: A Roll and Write Anthology is a great way to explore the genre of roll and write games for beginners. The diversity of player counts, themes and complexities ensures that there is a game to fit any table. All wrapped in a small package, this is a great collection to take on the go to game nights or for trips and traveling.
If you are unfamiliar with the roll and write mechanic, but are interested in trying some games out, this is a great place to start. While most roll and writes have similar mechanics, this anthology does a great job of introducing the different ways that dice might be used in a roll and write game such as using dice as workers or for area control. There is a lot of value in buying this, because you are getting ten different games for a similar price that you might pay for two or three roll and writes normally.
The downside to this value though is the fact that the game cannot be played out of the book without additional supplies. Players will need a variety of dice to be able to successfully play Dice Ink, and for players who are newer to the hobby, this may be a struggle. While it was not a concern for me (because I am a dice hoarding D&D Goblin), I could see it adding 20$ cost to someone who is new to the hobby. It also makes it travel slightly less well because the dice and pens/pencils must be stored separately to the games.
Another concern I have for new players would be not realizing that the each game can only played two or three times at the max player count without lamination of photocopying before playing. While the website notes that the pages can be photocopied or laminated to play multiple times, it does not say this anywhere in the book. I expect that experienced roll and write players would notice this and take the necessary steps to preserve the game to be played again, but I am not sure the novice players would make this connection before it is too late. Luckily, physical copies do come with print and play versions for the future for free. I would love to see them sell individual booklets in the future with each game for those who fall in love with a particular game though!
Overall, I think the idea behind the Dice Ink Anthology is a brilliant way to explore the variety of roll and write games that are available to be played. I would suggest it for those who are new to the genre who want to get a feel for the type of roll and write they enjoy. Additionally, more experienced players would like enjoy this anthology because of the ease of traveling and the ability to adapt to the tables’ needs. If you enjoy games like Welcome To, Cartographers, Railroad Ink, or any of the many available roll and write games on the market, I would suggest taking a closer look at this anthology. It provides a great value and great variety for those who are a fan of the genre.