Roll For It!
Some of you may have heard of the game, “Tsuro”…if you haven’t, you’re missing out. Calliope Games, the maker of “Tsuro” and the more recent “Tsuro of the Seas”, is back with a new family-friendly card & dice game titled “Roll For It!” In this particular game, players will be rolling dice and attempting to match them with the cards laid out on the table. Players who match all of the dice on a card get to place it into their score pile. Before I get into specifics however, I’d like once again thank Ray Wehrs from Calliope Games for sending me a review copy.
Editor’s Note: There is both a red box version and a purple box version of the game. They can be combined to allow for up to eight players. The art is slightly differently when comparing the two, and the dice are either translucent (red version) or pearl (purple version). I was graciously sent both and have pictures comparing the two below.
Cards – The game contains thirty cards, each with varying combinations of numbered dice. Some cards will have pictures of a two and four, for example, while another will have pictures of a three, four, five, and six. At the bottom of every card is a point value, which is factored in during endgame scoring.
Dice – There are four sets of six dice (total of twenty-four). Each set is colored differently so that players can keep track of which dice belong to which player.
Setup & Gameplay
Each player will receive a set of dice. The deck of cards is shuffled and placed face down near the center of the table. Three cards are then dealt face up and placed in the center of the table (or within easy reach of all players). If you happen to have another set and are playing with more than four players, you’d deal four cards face up. Finally, players roll two dice to determine who goes first (highest roll).
On a player’s turn, they will be able to perform the following actions:
1) Roll for it! – The current player will roll the dice available to them. The number of dice available will change from round to round, depending on how many dice they’ve assigned to cards during action #2.
2) Match it! – The current player will check to see if any of the dice they rolled match the numbers listed on the available cards. Once he/she figures out which dice match, they’ll place those dice next to the cards in the center of the table (not on them). The player has the option to hold on to their dice however, even if they have a match.
3) Score it! – If the current player manages to match ALL of the numbers shown on a particular card, they’ll get to place that card into their score pile. Dice that happened to be assigned to that card are returned to their owners. A new card is drawn from the deck to replace the scored card.
Once a player has rolled, matched, and scored everything they needed to, their turn ends and play continues clockwise. As a special rule, players may choose to take back ALL of their dice from the cards before rolling on their turn. The first person to score forty points (the point values are listed on the cards) wins the game!
The above is an overview of the game and doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how it is played. For more information, you can find the download link to the manual on the following website:
I was pleased overall with the quality of the components. The box itself wasn’t as big as the pictures on the official site made it out to be, making it ideal for travel. Reading the dice featured on the cards wasn’t difficult for me to do, even with my poor eyesight. The dice were of standard size, not being overly large or small. The game was very easy to set up and clean up, what with their being a limited number of components. The art was themed well and colorful, though as I mentioned above, the art will be slightly different depending on which boxed version you end up with (red or purple). It’s a shame that the game couldn’t have simply included the components necessary for eight players in one sitting…I wouldn’t have minded a slightly larger box to accommodate the extra pieces.
Based on the way the game plays, I’ve come to conclude that it is more luck based than strategy based. Players will need to make some hard choices when they have matches to make, and the option to save matching dice for later equally adds some thought to the equation. However, you are still essentially rolling dice to win. It’s very possible for a player to roll numbers they don’t need on a regular basis, allowing others to pull ahead. With that said, the game doesn’t advertise itself as a hardcore strategic experience. Rather, it’s designed to be a casual, family-friendly game…once you accept this fact, you’ll find the luck factor to be much more tolerable.
The kids practically needed no explanation as to how the game was played. I’m sure they could have figured it out on their own without my brief synopsis…it’s that easy to play. Vinnie (12) was very enthusiastic about playing and came back from a 35-10 losing streak to win one of our head-to-head games. This game proved to me that anything can happen, no matter how badly one might be behind. There’s enough of a luck factor to keep the winners from staying ahead, though players will still need to observe a little strategy and use good dice management.
At the end of the day, “Roll For It!” succeeds in being fun for the whole family. Simple rules and uncomplicated game turns make the game appealing to players of all ages and types. There’s a bit of strategy in how and when you assign dice to the available cards, but there’s not enough of that to overwhelm the casual gamer. While some of your hardcore folks might not consider this a game to play on game night, I still maintain that it would be an excellent filler in between longer games. I was disappointed by the fact that there are two different boxed versions, both of which you’d need to extend the range of players beyond four. Since my household is a family of five, one player had to sit out and take turns. The dice were also a bit on the small side. Besides this minor gripe, I’d highly recommend “Roll For It!” for your next game to play on family game night.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can learn more about “Roll For It!” by visiting the following websites:
Want to know more about “Tsuro” and “Tsuro of the Seas”? Check out my reviews on both games: