Remember the first time you picked up that blue cup and tossed five dice in it, hoping against hope that you’d score a perfect Yahtzee? That was probably your first roll and write game, believe it or not!
The best roll and write games try to attain a Yahtzee-level of popularity, while juggling a crazy load of unique game mechanics and ideas. There’s a common misconception that the top roll and write games are all light-weight in nature. That’s bunk! They can be ridiculously difficult, or incredibly thematic, or over-the-top fun.
The common denominators for all of the best roll and write games are their portability and the tendency to use paper and pencil for an unique gaming experience. That’s it! Some top roll and write games don’t even have dice- they replace dice with random cards, making them “flip and write” games.
We sifted through a hundred roll and write games just so we could tell you what the best roll and write games you need to pick up today are.
Without further ado, here are the best roll and write games you need to check out right now!
Our Top Picks – Best Roll and Write Games
Most Straightforward Roll and Write Game: Twice as Clever!
Don’t care about the theme or story? Twice as Clever! is the game for you! The game is straightforward, and gameplay consists only of the art of rolling dice and scoring them in a way that puts you out ahead.
Best Map-Making Roll and Write Game: Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Cartographers is a flip and write game, where you’ll flip cards instead of rolling dice. If you enjoy blazing your own path when gaming, you’ll likely love the open-ended feeling you’ll find here when sketching out your map. The best part? Players as young as 6 all the way to ninety will enjoy the rich world-building options available in this game.
Most Creative Use of Historic Artifacts Roll and Write Game: Biblios Quill and Parchment
Biblios Quill and Parchment is for people who love steeping themselves in culture, color and strategic choices. The fun is in the creative use of 25 wooden engraved dice, which represent books, influence, travel, embellishment and piety. This gorgeous game is great for folks who want more to sink their teeth into.
Most Likely to Wreak Havoc Roll and Write Game: Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write
In Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write, you’re the head honcho of a gigantic theme park full of carnivore or herbivore dinosaurs, both tiny and huge! Draft dice, solve puzzles, build routes and recruit specialists to create a successful park that wows your visitors.
Overall Best Roll and Write Game: Welcome To…
Welcome To… is one of the most universal games you can bring to the table- gamers across all ages will happily come together to spend thirty minutes taking on the role of a suburban planner and building their own neighborhood. Although a flip and write game, Welcome To… is the epitome of a roll and write game- it’s light but still complicated enough to keep your attention.
Our Top 10 Roll and Write Games
Design train routes with random dice
Players: 1-6 // Game time: 20-30 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Easy
The best roll and write games often take creative decision-making to the max. This is absolutely true for the Railroad Ink series, which is all about route building. Expand your railroad network by rolling custom dice with railroad tracks printed on them. The dice from each roll are available to all players, and each turn everyone will draw a route on your reusable, erasable boards based on what’s available.
There are four different editions to choose from, all with their own colors and advantages.
- Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition offers the Rivers and Lakes expansions. Rivers throw a monkey wrench across the tracks of your carefully planned networks. Ferries allow you to expand your routes in ways you never imagined!
- Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition offers apocalyptic additions in the form of the Lava and Meteor expansions. Battle lava flows and try to remove them before they wreck your routes. Run for cover when the meteors strike, but when the smoke clears, you’ll discover valuable ore in the midst of the meteor craters!
- Railroad Ink Challenge: Lush Green Edition offers special Forest and Trail dice that create ethereal forest landscapes or carve paths out of mountains.
- Railroad Ink Challenge: Shining Yellow Edition whips out the spikes in the Cactus dice, allowing you to shield your adorable cacti from the increasingly dry desert. You can build an infinitely long canyon with the Canyon expansion, at the risk of sinking just like the town of Concoran in California!
Who This Game is For
The Railroad Ink series is for route building fanatics who enjoy creating and completing routes to score points. It’s the perfect travel game due in no small part to its theme and portability. You won’t master it all at once, but you’ll savor it over time!
- Strong train theme
- Expansions add a unique twist
- Easy to learn and teach
- High replayability value
- Map area is sparse and uninteresting
- Different track combinations can be maddening
- Difficult to implement a winning strategy from game to game
- Slow or large groups of players not recommended
Shoot dice and fireworks into the sky
Players: 2-4 // Game time: 30-45 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Easy
Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
Look around you. The lanterns give off a warm glow, enough to see the vast lake in front of you. A multitude of colors streak across the night sky, disappearing into the distance. You’ve come here, to this very spot, because of a rumor- the Emperor is looking for the best artisan in his whole kingdom. There’s plenty of jostling as it dawns on you that the other players at your table are competing for the same honor of being the best artisan at the annual harvest festival!
Lantern Dice: Lights in the Sky allows you to roll customized dice and maneuver certain firework tiles across a colorful board. It’s Tetris with a colorful twist! There are special strategies you can implement in order to gather helpful gifts that give you special actions.
Thematically, this game is on point, but that’s not all. Lantern Dice: Lights in the Sky earns its place as one of the best roll and write games because of its infinite replayability along with its’ creative melding of a puzzle-like tile placement game with a dice management game.
Who This Game is For
Players who enjoy heavily thematic and colorful games will be drawn to this one. If you enjoy a game of Carcassonne over tea, you’ll definitely enjoy pushing the colorful fireworks tiles around this board. It’s fun to puzzle over what to keep for yourself, while also giving other players opportunities to score with the remaining tiles. Oh, and Lantern Dice: Lights in the Sky is the perfect puzzle for families- young players can get in on the fun, too!
- Fun combination of tiles and dice
- Strong puzzle-like elements
- Colorful and light, perfect for families
- Action for all players on each turn
- Theme can feel a bit slapped on
- Points system can be a bit limiting
- Not enough playtime to do everything
- Abstract nature of the game may turn off some
Herding dice is tough business
Players: 2-20 // Game time: 10-20 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy
Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Cocka-dood-le. Rise and shine, pal! Here’s your name tag- you’re now officially a rancher cleaning up your ranch after a massive hurricane rips through the area, releasing animals from all of their neat pastures and paddocks! Gadzooks!
Each player rolls two dice (one orange and one blue), each of which has one cow, two pigs and three chickens. You’ll notice building materials, hearts and numbers on the dice too- they’re there to help you decide whether or not to place an animal or collect building materials like wood and spikes to fix up your ranch.
Get going- you’ve got work to do in Rolling Ranch, one of the best roll and write games on the market. Let us tell you why it’s so great:
- Tension. All players use the same dice in Rolling Ranch, but with completely different results. You’re trying to rescue your adorable little farm critters. Other priorities claw you into a different direction- you’ve gotta make repairs, too, y’know. And there are barns, greenhouses and warehouses to build! What do you do?! **tears hair out**
- Animal Herding. You finally have the chance to group and breed heirloom chickens, calico-spotted pigs and insert-your-color-here cows! This element is super fun, and gives you a lot of leeway in terms of winning strategies.
- Cows, Cows, Cows. Having the most cows is the winning strategy of this game- moo with us! We’re telling you this upfront so you can share this theory with your fellow players- doing just that will prevent a runaway leader because everyone will be trying to scoop up their prized heifers to give you a run for your money.
Who This Game is For
Rolling Ranch is a small micro-sized game that can play up to TWENTY PLAYERS. Astounding! Yep, it probably doesn’t play that well at twenty, but it’s perfect for larger get-togethers and ice-breakers, and we can confirm it plays beautifully at two to three player counts. If you like games like Great Western Trail or Agricola, you’ll enjoy this little roll and write!
- Animals make this ranch theme fun
- Good tension between players
- Good for large gatherings (up to 20)
- Excellent balance between competing priorities
- Cows make the game unbalanced
- Spike resources are too hard to come by
- Feels more messy with a higher number of players
- Replayability with the same group can be a bit dry after twenty or so plays
Fight fires in your world-famous dino park
Players: 1-4 // Game time: 30-45 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Medium
Publisher: Pandasaurus Games
Remember that shot of the majestic T-Rex roaring inside the Jurassic Park visitor center with the banner falling down from the dome? Us too. Dinosaurs ruuuuleeeee.
This game is all about “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” (just like the banner says) to the max.
Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write is one of the best roll and write games out there. In this roll and write game, you’re the head honcho of a gigantic theme park full of carnivore or herbivore dinosaurs, both tiny and huge.
You collect basic or advanced DNA in order to create new dinosaurs, recruit specialists with special advantages and construct attractions and special buildings to wow your visitors via the Excitement track over the course of three seasons.
Let’s go over why it’s so great:
- Dice Drafting. Like other top roll and write games, Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write focuses on using dice. What’s different here is that the dice double as workers you can place throughout your island! You also gain resources and attractions through dice rolls.
- Puzzly Thinking. Once you’ve distributed your dice workers, you have to figure out how to fit all the dinosaurs and visitor attractions throughout your island theme park!
- Route Building. As if you didn’t have enough to do, you also need to build roads and routes to transport visitors throughout the park! Completed routes = more bonus points for you!
- Unique Specialists. You’ll need to find specialists like the Security Chief, Tour Guide, Junior Scientist and more! There’s even a Social Media Manager and a Rent-a-Cop! Your selection of twenty specialists rotates from game to game- same goes for the special buildings you build in your park.
Because the availability of Specialists and Special Buildings change game to game, every single game you play will be DIFFERENT. That’s something special- even with random dice rolls in many roll and write games, it can feel samey- and that’s not the case for Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write!
Who This Game is For
This game is for… well, everybody. This game is an absolute shoo-in for Jurassic Park fans. The theme is cute and approachable, while the game also affords a deep level of complexity and strategy that starts out slow and ramps up as you become more experienced with the game. Basically, like every other Spielberg movie?
- Incredibly cool amber DNA dice - THEME
- Excitement track is a great way to gauge visitor interest
- Death toll and disasters add a level of palpable tension
- Want to dial up competition? Try the dice blocking variant
- We question the durability of the painted-on dice (etched dice last longer)
- There are enough "frequently overlooked rules" to make up for one whole section in the rules
- Three seasons isn't quite enough to get everything done
- App isn't a stand-alone digital version for online play
Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write is so creative in its use of the dice, and one awesome thing Pandasaurus Games is doing is creating a companion app that allows you to replace the writing pads completely, quickly figure out your income, spend DNA and so forth.
The app doesn’t have AI or online play, and is only intended for use with a single player, so everyone in your group will need to download the app. It’s nice to have this option with a roll and write, though, and makes this game infinitely more portable.
Create beautiful manuscripts and perform good works
Players: 1-4 // Game time: 40 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy
Publisher: Dr. Finn's Games
In olden times, monks were responsible for maintaining huge libraries full of meticulously handwritten parchments bound together to make books. It was back-breaking work for a monk to studiously copy, calligraphed letter for letter, whole reams of text to create works of historical importance.
In Biblios Quill and Parchment, this is your calling. You are a monastic scribe who must copy a whole load of manuscripts in order to complete your library. While you’re taking a break from your quill, you can pray in the chapel to recover your poor wrists, affording you a number of blessings.
Your novice can seek out opportunities to perform good works on your behalf, thus elevating your status- but remember, you’re a monk, so you’re not into all the fame and the trappings it brings (ha, see what we did there? Trapping? Trappist monks? Ah, never mind). Your goal is to earn the abbot’s trust and show everyone you’re all about piety and humility.
What’s so nifty about Biblios Quill and Parchment, you ask? Well, the creative use of twenty-five wooden engraved dice- twelve are “book” dice (with astronomy, bestaries, chapel, herbals, philosophy and religion themes) and eight are “influence” dice (with certain movements).
Four are “travel” dice (which allow your novice to travel and seek out good works), and one is fancy-schmancy- it’s your “embellishment” die. You also have colorful value dice, which will help you score piety points. You’ve gotta earn the most piety points to win the game!
On paper, this game could easily seem a bit dry- but when you look at it, the beautiful artwork and production value will absolutely blow you away. Use your double-sided dry erase task and monastery cards to track how much abbot influence you have and chalk up how many books you’ve copied- the more you copy, the more bonuses you reap!
Who This Game is For
Biblios Quill and Parchment is one of the top roll and write games because it has so much going for it under the surface. There are a multitude of ways to win the whole game and not one of them is apparent from first glance.
This game is for people who love steeping themselves in culture, color and strategic choices. Fans of Power Grid will enjoy the auction and bidding mechanic. WE SHOULD MENTION THIS GAME IS FOR PEOPLE WHO STRONGLY DISLIKE ROLL AND WRITE GAMES. It just doesn’t feel like a regular ol’ roll and write- at all.
- Bidding and auction mechanic is super fun
- Three distinct, separate phases really mix up the game
- clever use of various strategies to win
- Gorgeous artwork and theme
- Can be too complex for total newbies
- Easy to teach, but harder to master
- Novice travel feels a bit tacked on
- Not great for solo play
You can get either the base version of Biblios Quill and Parchment or the Kickstarter version, which includes a set of special Chapel cards, priced $3 more than the base version at the time we wrote this. Either version is great, but we wouldn’t pay more than $5 for the addition of the Chapel cards- your decision, really.
One last thing. There’s another game called Biblios, which is the original, non roll and write version of this game. We’ve talked with more than one Biblios fan who thinks that the roll and write version is better than the original- high praise, indeed!
Shake your dice to the sweet sounds of rock n' roll
Players: 1-8 // Game time: 20 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Easy
You’re a master drummer on the level of Vinnie Colaiuta, ready to bring the percussion wherever you go. And you’re about to go On Tour!
One of the best roll and write games to come out in the past few years, On Tour takes you backstage- not only are you in the band, you’re also the band manager! You’ve gotta meet the expectations of your adoring fans by making as many stops as you can across the United States on an epic 100-day tour, with one to seven other bandmates to jam with!
You’ll roll two dice with ten sides, giving you two single-digit numbers that you combine. You scribble those numbers (let’s say, 49 and 94) onto any two states on your individual road map. Three cards that represent different regions will be faceup in the middle of the table.
The region cards limit where you can write the tour stop numbers- you choose which two to work with! You record either a high or low value in either one of the regions marked on the cards you choose. All players play simultaneously after every dice roll, so the game clips along at a great pace!
Let’s pause for a moment and look at the On Tour player road map:
You’ll notice that there are only 41 US states! Whoa! Before we get into finger-pointing here, let’s remember that some states are tiny or tough to squeeze in, so they got lumped together into two states you’ve never heard of- “North East” and “Mid Coastal.” Alaska and Hawai’i also get the cold shoulder, but then again, your band ain’t got the money to fly charter!
You skip from low numbers to high numbers at the end of the game, drawing a route from the lowest number you have available and then heading out to visit states that have higher numbers, adding one point for every state your band hits. You’ll get bonus points here and there and a setup that changes from game to game- so no one “tour” is ever the same!
The player with the most points at the end of the tour wins!
Who This Game is For
This is rollicking fun for a group of friends looking for a chill time. It’s one of the most unpretentious route builders out there- you’re just trying to show your fans a good time. As one of the best roll and write games to introduce to new players, On Tour is just about mellowing out and going with the flow. We love it because it’s creatively designed, deceivingly simple and light enough to play while dinner’s cooking!
- Light, rollicking theme appeals to everyone, regardless of experience
- Super easy to teach and learn
- Simultaneous play moves this game along quickly
- Great number-ordering strategy means pushing your luck
- May be too simple for advanced players
- Not dripping with theme
- Limited player interaction
- European expansion adds more maps, but we need more!
Get amazing bonus and combo points from colorful dice
Players: 1-4 // Game time: 30 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy
Publisher: Schmidt Spiele
When That’s Pretty Clever! (Ganz Schon Clever) came out, it set off an avalanche of brand-new games- everything else on this list of best roll and write games came out after its release.
Twice as Clever! takes everything that made That’s Pretty Clever! so great and runs away with it at breakneck speed.
At its most simple, it’s a game about rolling dice. On every turn, whoever the active player is has the chance to roll six dice, take one die and place it on a space on their grid. Next, any dice with lower numbers can be set aside for other players’ use (see, this is devious already). After this action, the active player rolls any remaining dice again. Certain dice get you actions you can use, and some of them even give you special abilities that you can use in specially marked scoring sections.
What makes Twice as Clever! different from the other top roll and write games, you ask? Well, this one is all about the STRATEGY. There’s no story. There is only the art of rolling dice and scoring them in a way that puts you out ahead. For that reason, Twice as Clever! is the most straightforward roll and write game you’ll see on this list. The dice are fun, there’s an awesome silver platter, but come on, this is one of the most strategic and puzzle-like roll and write games you’ll come across.
While playing, we found zillions of different amazing strategies that, to be honest, just made us want to come back for more! Like Yahtzee, Twice as Clever! features amazing expandability and replayability. At the same time, Twice as Clever! is a fresh breath of air.
Who This Game is For
Twice as Clever! is for the strategy gamer. This is for Sudoku lovers, crossword aficionados and word search stans. If you’re the kind of person who likes to kick back on weekends reading NYTMag, you’re going to relish Twice as Clever! and the infinite number of winning strategies it affords.
- Brilliant design that draws you in
- Dice scoring mechanisms are well, clever
- Scoring stuff on the green section is the best feeling in the world
- Adds new layers of complexity
- No story or theme
- Gameplay and look is a bit too similar to its predecessor
- You might play this game in long bursts, then not touch it for months
- Foxes are way too hard to score
Manage a growing fleet and catch as many fish as you can
Players: 1-4 // Game time: 20-45 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Medium
Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games
The tide is coming in! You’ve got thirty to forty minutes to ascend to the mighty title of Harbormaster of Ridback Bay in Fleet: The Dice Game.
This game is all about strategy, fishing and living the life! You’ll grab licenses or boats for king crab, shrimp, cod, lobster, swordfish and oyster as you switch back and forth between the Boat and Town phases of the game. The active player rolls a number of dice equal to how many players are on the table plus one boat die. In the Boat Phase, it’s up to you what die you’ll pick up- but usually you’ll want to check off a specific boat type on your sheet. After you have a boat, you can get a license to fish to your heart’s content!
In the Town Phase, the active player rolls town dice and one boat die. Same thing- you go around the table in turn order, each player picking a die to use straight away. In town, you have three main areas: the Harbor, Market and Wharf.
At first glance, it’s pretty obvious the Harbor allows docking of special vessels- the Captain’s Club, Research Vessel, Barge and Inuit Canoe. You can use any ship to launch a fishing run! Fishing doesn’t take up your valuable time- it happens in between alternating phases, so you’ll get the chance to grab a gigantic haul!
The Market allows you to offload your fish for valuable coins, with zero fish still being worth two coins- not a total waste of time, but you’d be much better served bringing in a bigger haul, with forty plus fish being worth seven cents.
A stroll through the Wharf reveals a variety of businesses vying for your attention- you can visit the bait shop, bank, canning company, casino, pub, salvage yard, seafood buffet and smokehouse! Unlocking those special buildings will garner you a variety of bonuses or special actions (like rerolling dice or using dice as action points) and you can also scoop up victory points by unlocking each building within the Wharf.
Fleet: The Dice Game is based on the stupendously successful Fleet, and it’s an absolute swirl of fun and Swedish fish. Every player has the exact same sheet, but the combinations and options are endless.
This game brings the deep strategy that its predecessor can sometimes lack, because you need to balance expansion (new boats, licenses) with bonus actions from the Wharf, while also scooping up gold at the Market. It’s impossible to do everything, so it’s much better to do one or two things exceedingly well here- you’ll win the game if you accumulate the most victory points at the end of ten rounds!
Who This Game is For
Anyone who loves watching waves lap against cragged piles of rock will find Fleet: The Dice Game to be one of the best roll and write games they’ve ever played. While this roll and write game doesn’t have an overarching storyline, it does have clever strategic decisions at every single turn, along with gorgeous custom dice. Players who love running around and maximizing their actions will swim away with a whale of a time!
Draw your way out of a forest
Players: 1-100 // Game time: 20-45 minutes // Age: 8+ // Difficulty: Easy
Publisher: Thunderworks Games
You find yourself all alone in the middle of a yawning wilderness, gigantic trees towering all about you. You are lost. Very lost.
However, you do have a card up your sleeve- or should we say a scroll of parchment? You are the most meticulous map maker (cartographer) in all of the lands- but you have to prove it!
In Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, you go head-to-head with up to ninety-nine other players. Yes, you read that right- any player group from just one solo player with an automa all the way up to 100 excited board game fans can play this one together! You’ll have to bring your own pencil, though- there are only four included in the box.
Cartographers is one of the top roll and write games because it’s so different from anything before it. You’re drawing a map so you can get out of the wilderness of the Northern Lands and back to civilization, sure, but did you really think you were alone?
Goblins and bugbears will ambush you! Explore hidden locations like the Treetop Village or the Forgotten Forest as the seasons pass. Encounter crazy situations in your quest to appease Queen Gimnax of Nalos and burnish your reputation as the best cartographer of all Nalos. Circumvent Dragul outposts by manipulating map borders and pay careful attention to what lands the Queen wants, balancing personal risk with your craving for exploration.
We enjoyed taking simultaneous actions during gameplay- there was rarely any downtime, except when one of us encountered a somewhat severe case of analysis paralysis. There’s not much interaction between players, but at the end of the game we found we really enjoyed going over each other’s maps and marveling at how different they were.
There were a couple of situations where you could clap back at another player, messing them up- but we avoided direct conflict whenever possible. If you love the theme, but are looking for less confrontation when playing with just two players, use the solo ambush rules to make it non-confrontational- we found that works a treat.
Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale is one of the best roll and write games available today because it’s very open-ended and relies on a random draw from a deck of cards. Only four out of the sixteen provided scoring cards are used each game. Every single game we played was totally different, so the replayability force is strong with this one.
Who This Game is For
Cartographers is a study in creativity. If you enjoy blazing your own path when you play any game, you’ll likely love the open-world feeling you’ll find here. This will become the game you immediately bring to any family get-together, as players as young as six all the way to ninety will enjoy the rich world-building options available in this game.
- Satisfaction level at the end of the game is high
- Open-ended map drawing provides plenty of entertainment
- Appeals to both newbies and experienced gamers
- Multiple scoring cards help boost replayability
- App version may be more appealing to players who don't want setup
- Not enough fan-made maps, but you can definitely make your own
- You'll need more cards for repeated plays with larger groups - expansions ($$$)
- Drawing may not be spatial enough - use your own tiles for a twist
If you’re an eagle-eyed reader, you probably noticed we didn’t mention any dice being rolled in Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale. That’s because there aren’t any! It’s still considered one of the best roll and write games, but technically it’s a flip and write game based on the wildly popular Roll Player, a character building game that… wait for it… includes dice! There’s also Roll Player Adventures, the top pick in our roundup of the best RPG board games.
We haven’t even mentioned the Cartographers sequels and expansions. Try the Skills Mini Expansion first, which allows you to layer a new Skills element onto your experience. If you love Cartographers, you’d be better off getting Cartographers Heroes, which includes and folds the cost of the Skills Mini Expansion into a sequel that is just as fun as Cartographers. There are two map packs coming for Cartographers Heroes: Nebblis and Affril, both available in September 2021.
Develop your own neighborhood
Players: 1-100 // Game time: 25 minutes // Age: 10+ // Difficulty: Easy
Publisher: Deep Water Games
As you walk through your neighborhood, do you sometimes wonder why your neighbor decided to plonk down a gigantic pool in the front yard? Us too. Maybe they could use a fence… Or maybe their kids would love a new park down the street with plenty of swings? And what’s that? A brand-new development that needs your help to thrive?
Welcome To… well, whatever you want your neighborhood to be. Want a park? Done. A pool? Sure thing. Bigger estates? No problem- add that house over there to your estate here. You’re the master of the neighborhood!
You’re a suburban planner, creating the perfect 50’s style utopia, flipping a series of cards that include numbers and effects. The numbers function as house numbers for each house on the block, but remember that all house numbers must go in ascending order, just like in millions of towns across the planet. The effects are much more interesting.
Effects allow you to create a multitude of amenities like parks, pools, fences, estates and roadblocks- and there are a couple of extra cool effects you’ll discover! Follow the City Plan card directives and create a block that meets those goals.The player who succeeds in meeting a City Plan goal gets to flip over that card and add its value to their score.
Other players can meet that goal, but they’ll get less of a boon, because you got there first! The game ends in one of three ways: a) three City Plan goals are complete, b) a player hasn’t been able to place a house number three times, or c) a player fills in every single house on their sheet. That didn’t happen one single time when we played, so pretty sure that completing three City Plans is how the majority of Welcome To… games finish up. The player with the most points at the end of the game becomes the ruler of the neighborhood!
Welcome To… earns its spot at the top of the best roll and write games even if it is a flip and write. Why? It provides an immersive experience through the innovative premise of being a city planner, and that allows you to really jump into the game itself without anything holding you back.
The cover box really shows off how different this game is- while the 50’s signage and skewed futuristic look look like they leapt off the cover of LIFE Magazine, look closer. You’ll notice the woman is the one who’s running the town, while the man just haplessly tries to gather up all of the plans. The great artwork by Anna Heidsieck is just a glimpse of what you’ll see inside- this game isn’t afraid to mess with tradition in the best way possible.
Who This Game is For
This is one of the most universal games you can bring to the table- gamers across all ages will happily come together to spend thirty minutes just building their own neighborhood. Welcome To… is the epitome of a roll and write game- it’s light and still complicated enough to keep your attention. It’s clever without tripping on its own feet. It stands the test of time- as other roll and write games come and go, Welcome To… will still be hovering near the top of the list.
- Smooth, non-clunky gameplay
- Random cards keep the game fresh
- Easy to master, difficult to win
- Offers discovery to new players and optimization for experienced players
- Close scoring system means tough battles
- Game finishes can feel a bit abrupt
- Not enough player interaction
- 50's theme may not appeal to everyone
The name of the game can be confusing, but the official name is Welcome To… The box and cover art says Welcome To… Your Perfect Home and using that is fine too- we just thought we would give you a heads up.
There are a ton of awesome expansions for Welcome To… and they’re all amazing- but we heartily recommend: Welcome To…: Winter Wonderland Thematic Neighborhood, complete with snowflakes, string lights and a lovely snap in the winter air.
That’s A Wrap!
The top roll and write games aren’t all about light fluff- some of them are pretty nuanced, like Biblios Quill and Parchment. Others, like Dinosaur Island Rawr n’ Write, give you plenty of things to manage as you run an entire theme park full of dinosaurs.
For a lighter treat still dripping with theme, just check out On Tour and Rolling Ranch– they both deliver road-trip and rancher vibes, big-time. Lantern Dice: Lights in the Sky and Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition provide drama in terms of custom dice, tile placement, map drawing- choose what you like, and venture forth!
Want a straight-up roll and write game that’s gonna give you hundreds of hours of play time? Try Twice as Clever!
The best roll and write games just might include some flip and write games, like Cartographers and Welcome To… Flip and write games are sometimes misunderstood because they don’t include dice, but let us remind you- dice aren’t required for a good time at the table!
There are so many great roll / flip and write games available today- a zillion, in fact! We couldn’t include everything on our list- here are even more we love:
Straight Up Roll and Writes
Qwixx – A terrific roll-and-write game that’s all about locking color rows with different dice numbers. Very crafty. Other hard-to-find versions include Qwixx Big Points and Qwixx Deluxe.
That’s Pretty Clever – The predecessor to Twice as Clever! This is the roll and write game that started the frenzy of new roll and write games in recent years. There are other great, but hard to find versions, like Clever Cubed.
Faithful Board Game Roll and Write Adaptations
The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game – Excellent roll and write based on the Castles of Burgundy board game. Make sure your estate prospers in the Loire Valley of France.
Lost Cities Roll & Write – Lead an expedition of hardy treasure hunters onto six colored paths. The roads diverge- what will you choose?
Rajas of the Ganges: The Dice Charmers – Eight dice with various Indian symbols allow you to reap the rewards of your province, transport goods to the market, and influence royals.
Unique, Quirky Roll and Write Charmers
Cat Cafe – Give cats the highest vantage point on the tallest perch available in your cat cafe- toy positioning is important, as you can tempt cats with yarn, mice and other toys!
Drawn to Adventure – Travel through the Five Realms, mess with monsters and pursue quests. Adventure theme is generic, but the campaign adds oomph and the map-drawing is enjoyable.
Demeter – Dinosaurs. In. Space. This amazing roll and write from Sorry We Are French is an immersive experience, but you’ll have to ship the game overseas. Including shipping to the U.S., our estimate is it’ll set you back about $48 USD. Try asking your local game store to put in an order!
Let’s Make a Bus Route – Clever roll and write game from Japan that allows you to build various bus routes. If you’re travelling internationally, be sure to look for this game, or pick up a copy on eBay- it’s that good!
Photo credit: Thanks, Dr. Finn’s Games!