In the test, the rustling of leaves proves to be a no-frills, but nevertheless top-class dice game from the roll-and-write genre. Paolo Mori's idea, which was published in Germany by Kosmos Verlag, is not only convincing in terms of play, but also optically and thematically: for players it goes through the four seasons.

Roll-and-write games have now established themselves as a genre in the parlor game segment. Authors and publishers regularly publish new games or continue existing series. In 2020 the publisher Kosmos launched the dice game Blätterrauschen, the idea of ​​which was developed by game designer Paolo Mori (Ethnos or Dogs of War, among others).

Dicing through the seasons

When it comes to rustling leaves, the name says it all: In contrast to roll-and-write games like Nochmal! Or twice as clever is the title of Paolo Mori and Kosmos about a topic: the author has chosen the seasons as the basis for the design, and the notes on the little crosses are correspondingly colorful. Basically, the topic is interchangeable, but with rustling leaves it is still a nice gimmick that people like to register in this form. 

Test rustling leaves review dice game

Two dice and the drawing sheets - that's all you need with rustling leaves. Pens are not included. Photo: Volkmann

You need the drawing sheets, the two enclosed cubes and some pens that are not included, then you can get started. The instructions are comparatively extensive for a roll-and-write, this is not due to particularly complicated rules, but to their multitude: During each season of the year, players have different opportunities to collect points. Thankfully, the instructions summarize the special rules for spring, summer, autumn and winter and explain what they are all about. To be on the safe side, the tick-slip notes again state what you have to do to get points.

This trick is already successful: four seasons mean four different scorecards and therefore always a bit of variety. With rustling leaves, not only crosses are made, but mainly rectangles are drawn, the dimensions of which are given by the two cubes. These range from 1: 1 for a single box to 4: 4 rectangles. In addition, there are clouds as a special symbol, each of which is related to some scoring rules. In the course of the game of dice, animals must then be included, excluded or even circled in pairs; Trees want to be collected in bulk or rainbows as a rare commodity. The objects are based on the four seasons.

Noise of leaves test Roll and write

Each season has its own schedule and rules of valuation. This provides variety and has a positive effect on the contrast value. Photo: Volkmann

Because you can only connect to existing rectangles, scoring with rustling leaves is quite tricky because it restricts the selection. You are restricted even further because you can basically only dedicate yourself to one rating category per rectangle. That's clever: After throwing the dice, you often have to make a far-reaching decision that can run through the game like a red thread. All seven rainbows collected on the scoring sheet give a high 30 points in the final scoring, but also lead to the fact that you want to collect them or even have to, because you have already used several moves for them. This ultimately limits the options or runs the risk of wasting crosses that do not award any points. A joker, which you can use once per game to change the number of the dice according to your own needs, provides some relief in such moments of frustration. You have to cut back on the interactive component, which simply doesn't exist with rustling leaves. Anyone who is looking for a confrontation or expects at least the possibility of central manipulation of the dice or at least the use of a part of the result during the opponent's move from a roll-and-write game could be disappointed - at least by this part of the game concept. 

Leaf rustle is aimed at two to six players, but can also be played alone. The basic rules are understandable, and you can get started quickly - even for non-players. The rustling of leaves is definitely a door opener is the world of analog games. For the price of 13 euros you can have hours of fun, 200 double-sided game sheets are included.


Number of players: 2 to 6 / solo
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 15 to 20 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: medium
Genre: dice game
Sub-genre: Roll and write
Core mechanisms: dice, draw, push your luck, set collection

Authors: Paolo Mori
Illustrations: Elli Jäger
Publisher: Kosmos
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2020
Language: German
Cost: 13 Euro 


Paolo Mori's roll-and-write concept scores with its variance in the rating options. There are many ways to add points to your account and depending on the season you choose, a different strategy is always more effective. This is also one of the biggest points of criticism: In spring, summer, autumn and winter there are some chances of points that you should take with you - or even have to if you are aiming for the highest possible number of points. A slight imbalance in the evaluation factors becomes noticeable the more often you get rustling leaves on the table. Ironically, the luck factor from rolling the dice has a regulating effect, because some tactics are nullified by unfavorable rows of high throws. So rustling leaves remains exciting in the medium term. At the same time, this harbors the risk of frustration at missed opportunities - although the rule of thumb is usually: a higher risk goes hand in hand with more points. Those who take little risk drive more safely, but also reap significantly less that can be counted.

The rustling of leaves is a bit of a surprise, because the roll-and-write is a kind of genre representative with a special twist: Instead of ticking disdainful numerical values, you paint on nicely designed, if a little too small, paper. Deductions in the B-note are therefore at most in the overview, which suffers from the small game plan in connection with the massive use of pen color. However, you get used to it - you have often already made a note of where which areas have been redrawn.  

Mori's dice game combines simple rules, a high replay value and playful variance with the usually good entertainment value of roll-and-write games. As with similar representatives of the genre, the downtime is reduced to almost zero by handling the trains at the same time. At times there was a little hype around the dice game from Kosmos - and rightly so, as it turned out after the first few games: The rustling of leaves motivates you to try other strategies through its various chances of evaluation, good approaches are used if you want to improve your personal best points. However, interaction should not be expected from the rustling of leaves, because there is no interaction: Even when the round is full, everyone plays for himself, theoretically it doesn't even matter who throws the dice. 

It is not uncommon for games to run out, which is also due to the type of final settlement: In the end, additional points are usually implemented in large numbers. As a family game, rustling leaves can be an evening filler, is suitable for frequent players as a gap filler and for solo players as a time filler. 

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