Roll and write games remain in vogue. New dice games are constantly appearing, in some cases as modifications of board games that have already been published: for example the board game My City, which the legendary author Reiner Knizia has now reworked into a cross game.

From the 2020 Game of the Year nominee Board game My City, a Roll & Write offshoot has now been released. The game is again by the author Reiner Knizia, illustrated by Michael Menzel and published by Kosmos Verlag. It is for up to six people aged 10 and over and lasts around 20 minutes per game. Alternatively, you can also play alone.

What do you get?

You get a large pad with 192 sheets printed on both sides. The block contains four different chapters, each with three games. You have a total of 12 different game plans. Similar to the Legacy board game, the game changes as you play the games. With every game, the general conditions, your tasks and the game rating change.

In addition, you get 3 dice: Two blue dice, which give you the form to be entered and a white die, which determines the type of building (residential building, commercial area, public building).

How is it played?

The gameplay is always the same. You roll all three dice and place the blue dice in such a way that they give you a shape (the small semicircles on the dice must form a circle) and enter this shape with the appropriate building type (using the white die). The basic rules are:

  • Buildings may be rotated and mirrored, but must completely on the schedule be registered.
  • buildings are allowed over trees and stones, but not over Mountains, forest and river fields be made.
  • The first building must be adjacent to the river, all other buildings must be adjacent to an already entered building (including across the river).
  • If you cannot or do not want to enter a building, you can fit and must color in the appropriate space on the plan. If there is no space left and you cannot or do not want to enter a building, you must end the game for yourself.
  • After the dice have been rolled, you can play the game at any time end for yourself and no longer plays.
  • When all persons have finished the game for themselves, the game ends and a scoring takes place.

How is it scored?

  • Each tree that is visible (i.e. not overbuilt) earns you a point.
  • Each visible (not overbuilt) stone gives you a minus point.
  • Empty spaces are also worth a minus point each (stones with trees and stones do not count as empty).

These are the basic rules and the basic scoring in the first game. With each further game, however, further cultivation rules and scoring requirements are added. For example, later blocks have a fountain on the game board and you can also build churches in addition to the buildings mentioned.

For each game there is a short explanation in the instructions and the appropriate changes on the game board.

Whether you play alone or in a group does not change anything in the game. Some rules, however, only apply in solo mode or only in group play. This is indicated directly on the game board by a corresponding symbol.

The game material: dice and game boards. Photo: Cosmos
The game material: dice and game boards. Photo: Cosmos

What's the impression?

The first impression is positive: the game plans are beautifully processed and offer variety, especially due to the different chapters and games. The general game principle is also very appealing; certain parallels to the cartographer and the cartographer are there, yet it's a completely different game - mostly because of the evolving rules and tasks.

The dice are a weak point for me. These are glued, hollow plastic cubes that don't make a nice noise when the cube is rolled and also look pretty cheap. This is very unfortunate in two respects. First, it's a stark contrast to the beautiful game plan. Second, the game doesn't have a lot of content; you get the dice and the block. Unfortunately, if a component seems a bit cheap, it drags the entire game down.

Although I assume that the dice can also be used in the long term and that the stickers will not peel off in the near future, there are numerous dice games or games with dice that rely on higher-quality dice. In my opinion, Kosmos saved in the wrong place here.

What is your impression after the first chapter?

Getting started is the game is very simple. The rules are very clear and concise. The simple basic rules mentioned make the game very easy to start with. Additional rules are added in the second and third game. In the second game you have to take into account the different building types and in the third game you also have to consider a fountain.

The new rules are thus introduced to you in a very playful way and are not overwhelming. Due to the new rules, the games are also varied.

However, I have some doubts about the long-term fun. Because there comes a point when you know all the rules and then you only have the choice between one of the last games, with all the rules, or a previous game with fewer rules. But why should I go back to a simplified version when I've played the game several times? The first chapter in particular seems a bit boring to me - unless I introduce new players to the game.

Even though I haven't played the My City board game, I know there are two game boards; one that changes throughout the chapters (the legacy element of the game) and one that is used for endless mode (i.e. repetitive play).

With my current knowledge of the game, I would have wished for such a version: A game block that I play through in the course of the chapter and a block that I can use again and again once I know all the rules. For example, by using a wipeable game board.

Last updated on 27.01.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API