5 Best Roll-and-Write Games (We Have Played)
Roll-and-write games have grown in popularity and complexity over the past couple of years. Until then they had remained a relatively unknown group within the board game world, with only Yahtzee being the ever present king of the genre. Over the past 5 years or so though, we, as a board gaming community, have seen more and more games enter the scene under both roll-and-write and (the even lesser known) draw-and-write sub-category of games.
Roll-and-write games can be fairly dry. Again, Yahtzee is a prime example of this – however, they don’t need to be. This is a list of, in our opinion, the five best roll-and-write games. These are games that we personally really enjoy and are always happy when they get broken out onto the table. What is more, they all have fantastic themes.
For once as well, this is also in order of our favourites –
The Best Roll-and-Write Games (That We Have Played)
Okay, so let’s jump straight in – here is our list of the best roll-and-write games, and the best draw-and-write games, that we have played. This is as of January 2020.
#5. Welcome To Dino World
Dinosaurs. Dice. Pathways. What isn’t there to like?
Welcome To Dino World is a roll-and-write game in which you are trying to create your own dinosaur theme park. Now, this is already a superb theme with a couple of strong board games in the genre – most notably Dinosaur and Duelosaur Island. How Welcome To Dino World plays though is brilliant as it has you building paths, enclosures, dinosaurs, generators, and specific buildings to make the best possible attraction. It stands out as a quick entry for those who want to build raptor based theme parks.
There are a few things that make Welcome To Dino World a fun game to play. The first is that it has a fantastic scoring system in which players can complete additional objectives they share with their neighbour. The second is that to not only requires players to draw lines and jot numbers down on a specific page, but it also has them sketching little dinosaurs on their page as well. All in all, Welcome To Dino World is a good game and one we enjoy every time we break it out.
#4. Trails of Tucana
The first draw-and-write game on this list, Trails of Tucana has players connecting villages on various sized islands in order to create the best and most intricate route. On the way they must stop by different sight seeing attractions (obelisks, books, toucans, dragons, yetis – etc.) to impress those who walk the trail.
So, Trails of Tucana is a draw-and-write game meaning that each turn player options are turned over from a stack of cards instead of dice being rolled. Two cards are drawn together, giving players the different terrain tiles they can then link together on their turn.
Out of all the games on this list, Trails of Tucana can be the most frustrating game to play; however, it is also a game that has a fantastic payoff. There is nothing more irritating then when the cards just don’t go in your favour; however, at the same time, there is nothing more satisfying than when you are down to the last couple of cards and exactly what you need comes out.
One of the interesting things about Trails of Tucana, and the draw-and-write genre as a whole, is that you can actually count cards to help your strategy. Obviously, you can’t count cards in roll-and-write games, but you can fairly easily in Trails of Tucana and that adds a really interesting dynamic to the game.
#3: Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game
The third game on this list is actually an adaptation of an incredibly well known board game – Castles of Burgundy. Now, Castles of Burgundy is a well loved game that is regularly listed amongst the best games ever made. Designed by Stefan Feld, the main board game of Castles is a superb dice game in and of its own right; however, it also uses tile placement and a fantastic market place system to craft a game that is incredibly well loved within the board game community.
Enter the Castles of Burgundy Dice Game, a game that has all the strategy of Castles of Burgundy, but taking a fraction of the time to play.
Castles of Burgundy Dice Game is a strategic roll-and-write that allows for you to play areas against each other to ensure you get the best possible outcome each turn. It is highly strategic, offering players various combinations each turn to build their region, whilst also being simple enough that it is remarkably easy to pick up.
Arguably the most strategic game on this list, the Castles of Burgundy Dice Game is a game well worth checking out and is hands down one of the best roll-and-write games ever made.
#2. Railroad Ink: Blazing Red
“There is something really nostalgic when companies name their games Red and Blue,” says the board game blogger who grew up in the early Pokémon era.
Railroad Ink – you know, this one doesn’t need a huge amount of justifying. From the offset it is clear how much effort and love has gone into the making of Railroad Ink. It is a fantastic game to look at, and it is so simple to play. Each turn you roll dice, and then you draw what is on the dice in front of you. It’s that easy and that beautiful.
Railroad Ink comes in two flavours – Blue and Red. We’ve only played Red, but it is a superb roll-and-write board game that deserves to be played. We actually covered it recently when talking about board games you can chill out to since it is so relaxing. For that purpose, Railroad Ink deserves a place on this list.
#1. Welcome To…Your Perfect Home
Regular readers may remember the glowing review we wrote of Welcome To…Your Perfect Home around this time last year. If you are new to this blog, or if you didn’t read it, here is a recap – WELCOME TO…YOUR PERFECT HOME IS REALLY REALLY GOOD.
Welcome To…Your Perfect Home is a draw-and-write game that takes the whole roll-and-write genre to a whole new level. Although simple, Welcome To…Your Perfect Home also has plenty of strategy, and a big dose of luck, to keep the game engaging and fresh.
Each turn, in Welcome To…Your Perfect Home, three combinations of numbers and actions are drawn. You, as the player, must place one of those number/action combos into one of three rows of houses as you build your perfect neighbourhood.
The variety of options available means there is randomness but there are also options available. The puzzle and strategy of where you place your numbers, since they must always be in ascending order, becomes similar to a Sudoku style puzzle. Welcome To…Your Perfect Home is a roll-and-write/draw-and-write game that has it all. Beautiful.
So, there you have it. Five roll-and-write and draw-and-write games that are worth checking out. Depending on what it is you like, there should be something for everyone on that list.
Now, over to you. What is your favourite roll-and-write/draw-and-write game? What do you enjoy and what have we missed off the list? Let me know in the comments below.
A couple I really enjoy that aren’t on your list are Fleet: The Dice Game and On Tour. I’ve also played Welcome To Dino World, Castles of Burgundy the Dice Game, and Welcome To and really enjoy all those as well!
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I’m definitely going to have to look up Fleet and On Tour! Thanks for the recommendation!
Don’t think I’ve ever played a roll-and-write game, so an interesting post, Luke!
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You should definitely give them a go 🙂 they’re a really fun genre of game – quite quick as well!
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