Game: Roar and Write
Published: Galactic Raptor Games
Designers: Carla Kopp
Playtime: 15 Minutes
Play Type: Roll and Write
Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/galacticraptorgames/roar-and-write-an-animal-kingdoms-game/description
***This review was completed based off a prototype. All components and rules are subject to change. Photos have been provided by Galactic Raptor Games***
Roar and Write is a roll and write style game in which players are competing to gain favor through The Selection Council and the various kingdoms in the land. By completing personal goals, and impressing the council, your goal is to become the leader of the Animal Kingdom.
Roar and Write has fairly simple gameplay. Players will be playing the game over five different ages. During those ages, all six of the dice will be rolled three separate times. Players will look at the dice rolls each time, and decide whether how many of the dice rolled they want to use. Players are trying to meet a variety of scoring goals, including scoring goals listed on the four or five council members, using a variety of council members, their personal agendas, and the kingdoms themselves.
There are two sections that a player might choose to write down their numbers on. The first is the council offerings. Each age has six sections for council offerings, which will help them score with the Animal Kingdom Selection Council and their own personal agendas. The goal is to look at these two types of cards and figure out which dice will score the player the most points. Players also gain benefits for writing all six dice in during early rolls. If players complete all six numbers on the first roll they get an additional four points, on the second roll they will gain an additional two points, and on the final roll they gain no additional points. Once all six numbers are written, the player will select which council member they are choosing to appease for the round, and gain points based off that council member’s scoring requirements.
Players may also choose to fill in the Kingdom section of the player mat. Players are able to use one unused die per age or possibly roll (more on this later) for free. They may play additional dice to kingdoms by placing an X in one of the council offerings for the round. Players must follow the rules listed at the top of the individual kingdom to place a die there.
This continues until all five ages are complete. Then players will score based on their ongoing total from the five ages, the points gained from their personal agenda, the number of different council representatives they used throughout the game, and the points gained from the different kingdoms. The player with the highest score, becomes the new ruler of the Animal Kingdom.
The components that come with Roar and Write are fairly simple, and easy to store. The game includes the beautifully detailed player mats, the six dice, a rule book, pencils, the Animal Kingdom Selection Council cards, and the personal agenda cards.
The information laid out on both the cards and the player mats. The clear reminders about what dice can be played in which kingdom, and how the game is scored makes teaching the game a breeze. I also love how vibrant the artwork is on each of the different cards as well as the player mat itself. It is truly a beautiful roll and write!
- Travels Well
- Variable Set Up
- Works for a Variety of Player Counts
- Light Game, Easy to Teach
- Beautiful Production
- Great Introduction Past Classic Games
- Family Friendly
- Well Structured Player Boards
- Rule Book Needs Clarification
- Only 18 Personal Agendas for Potentially 100 Person Game
- No Player Interaction
- Scores are Often Almost Identical
There is a lot to love with Roar and Write, and I think it adds a great stepping stone in the game industry from well loved classics into modern gaming. Like most roll and writes, Roar and Write is very easy to teach, it is a compact game making it easy to travel with and it is family friendly. I could see teaching Roar and Write to kids as young as six or seven years old. It is highly reminiscent of the classic, Yahtzee which I believe would make it a great entry into modern gaming while still remaining familiar to non-gamers.
For more experienced gamers, Roar and Write offers replay ability that is sometimes lost in the roll and write genre. The variable player goals and council members mean that players will have different goals each time they play. There are also three different levels of difficulty, so those who are more experienced with roll and writes can choose to challenge themselves. However, if there are newer players, it is easy to just play with the easier council members until they get the hang of the game.
I played a prototype of the game, meaning that there are likely to be changes after the Kickstarter. These criticisms will likely be fixed during the process of creating the final copy, but I feel are important to note. The first is the rule book. While it is fairly clear on most things, the section about placement of dice in Kingdoms needs further clarification. While it states that one die can be placed for free, it does not clarify over what amount of time this is true. I am still not sure whether it is one free per dice roll or per age. It makes a pretty big difference in scoring. The second criticism also has to do with the rule book in some ways. The game states that it can be played up to 100 players, but only includes 18 personal agenda cards. The rule book makes no mention of how to play the game if players exceed the 18 player mark. These cards are meant to be kept secret, but I am sure players would just share cards to play with them, or leave them out entirely.
Additionally, due to the nature of the game with having similar scoring goals and using the same dice pool, often times scores come out looking almost identical. On the first roll, it is often clear which of the council cards will be best to use, and often many of the players will go for that card using almost the same six dice in the council offerings space. The final score often comes down to who got lucky with individual player goals or who played the smartest in the kingdom spaces. This would be true however with any game with common goals and sharing a dice pool.
Those criticisms in mind, I would suggest Roar and Write for anyone who enjoys light, filler games. It is so easy to teach and travels well. I could easily see this being a source of entertainment for families on the go because of it’s small table footprint. It could even be played easily digitally, over Zoom or Skype. This is especially important to consider with the ongoing pandemic. If you are a fan of games like Welcome To, On Tour, Yahtzee, or Cartographers you might be interested in Roar and Write. The Kickstarter will continue until July 23rd, so be sure to check out the link at the top!