New German called dice rolling, dice games are trendy in the game world. Dice games have always been so popular, if you think of classic games like Kniffel or Skip Bo Dice Fever. But today's dice games can hardly be compared with their aging siblings in terms of their complexity. Here the dice are no longer just part of the game, they become its story and influence its narrative. You no longer just roll the numbers willingly, but because you trigger game mechanics and character skills or fight an opponent, among other things. The cube itself has not changed, but the quality of the game has increased with its new use. This is also the case with the board game Roll for Adventure.


Author duo developed together

Take Kosmos, and with it one of the best-known publishers for board games in and from Germany, Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert, two game authors who have already successfully demonstrated their talent several times, and the result is Roll for Adventure, a fantastic dice game that plays in an empire threatened by the gloomy armies of the Master of Shadows.

Admittedly, things could only go smoothly with Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert, because the duo did a great job together with the popular card game Elysium, which was already on the nomination list for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2015. This is also the case with Roll for Adventure. It hits the nerve of the board game world, where dice games and cooperative board games are currently enjoying particular popularity.

Cooperative dice game with story

Roll for Adventure takes place in an ancient kingdom that is threatened by the master of shadows and the armies he has sent out. As a player, you follow in the footsteps of ten possible brave heroes in order to put a stop to the master of shadows and his followers. To do this, the players must earn power stones in the course of the game. These are won cooperatively by rolling the dice and skillfully using them in the various land regions of the kingdom. But to do this, the dice don't just have to be thrown, they have to be carefully placed in the game tracks of the various land sections. Through their use, the players trigger tasks and game mechanisms that, after a few hurdles and threats, reward the successful players with power stones.

Lots of colored dice: A "dice rolling game" cannot do without them. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann
Lots of colored dice: A “dice rolling game” cannot do without them. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

In the course of the game, obstacles appear again and again, such as the advancing damage bars of the areas, threatening and also cooperative enemies, the vortex of oblivion and the powerful master of the shadow. If these obstacles are not removed successfully, the players are threatened with the game. In addition, ill-considered moves can result in the players not having dice, which would lead to an immediate loss of the game for all players, making the player his own enemy as well. But through skillful moves and the use of the various hero skills, the game team can emerge from the game as the winner despite all adversities.

If you have played the game for a few rounds and want to put your playing skills to the test together with your fellow combatants, you can increase the level of difficulty by using four adventure cards of different difficulty. In addition, you can decide whether you want to turn one of the four areas, or even each one, to the more difficult B side. The fun of the game is thus retained even after a long period of play. If that's not enough for the players, additional monsters can be added to the game, or the players can invent some cruel enemies using the creative cards included with the game.

Game material that is convincing

The game material from Roll for Adventure knows how to inspire. It was designed to a high quality and the artwork was designed to match the dark fantasy world. The cubes in particular stand out positively with their slightly mother-of-pearl grain.

Typically fantasy: Roll for Adventure works with different heroes. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann
Typically fantasy: Roll for Adventure works with different heroes. Photo: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

The skull-shaped damage markers also inspire at first glance in the game box. They are cool to the touch, almost like small stones, and have a filigree pattern next to the elaborate face. All cards and the game board are made of sturdy, non-slip cardboard. Despite the relative simplicity of the game material, it leaves no room for complaint.

Family game with a social component

Roll for Adventure excited me from the first moment. In the course of the game rounds, the experienced player quickly notices that the heroes have different skills. If you want to get an exciting gameplay, you shouldn't consciously choose it according to this. However, if the players decide to do so, they should be aware that the game will lose a lot of difficulty. The cooperative mechanism is always in the foreground while playing and that makes the game a very special one of its kind.

The next step has to be considered and planned together again and again. This means that people ponder, discuss and conjecture together. The game has a social component that should not be neglected and that brings a lot of fun. Particularly noticeable are the ingenious ways of fundamentally changing the level of difficulty with simple means. This makes the game a nice family game, because depending on the age and ability of the other players, the individual needs of the other players can be addressed.

The large number of enemy cards also means that the game is fun for a long time. The set of rules itself is easy to understand and is almost self-explanatory thanks to the illustrations on the game board and the playing cards. In addition, an overview of the moves and a downloadable Kosmos explanatory app provide assistance during the course of the game.

Images of Roll for Adventure

Infobox

Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 25 to 35 minutes
Difficulty: easy to medium
Long-term motivation: high

Publisher: Kosmos
Author: Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert
Year of publication: 2018
Language: German
Cost: 25 Euro

Summary

Roll for Adventure leaves little room for criticism. However: Experienced players should only move the heroes face down or consciously choose weaker heroes so as not to fundamentally simplify the course of the game. The balancing of the different heroes is not particularly balanced, but opens up clearly distinguishable game processes.

From the material to the action, the “Dice Rolling Adventure” game is convincing and invites the players to many exciting games. Families, infrequent players and professionals alike can enjoy the game of dice thanks to its variability.

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