Roll For It in Review – A New Style of Dice & Cards

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It took me one or two tries to get into Tsuro, but once I did it quickly became one of my – and my kids’ – favorite multi-player games. Without even really knowing anything about it, I was rather excited when I heard that Thunderbox would be releasing a new mobile offering, this time based off of a card collecting physical game. It’s not like a CCG, however, so if that’s your aim you’ll need to look elsewhere. This is a simple game where you roll dice to win cards on the playing field, with the ultimate goal of being the first person to score 40 points. It’s easy to understand, it doesn’t take long to get through an individual game, and it can be rather addictive if you have the right people to play it with. But, it doesn’t quite live up to the bar set by its predecessor.

The idea behind Roll For It is to be the first player to score 40 points. You have six dice that you can virtually roll by tapping the screen or shaking your device (pick the method of choice in settings). There are three cards on the playing field, and you can drag the dice to the cards that have corresponding numbers on their front side. If you match all the numbers on the card face, you get to keep that card and the value at the bottom of the card is added to your score. At the beginning of each turn you get to roll the dice you have left that you haven’t placed on a card, or you can opt to take back any dice out on the playing field and start over again. If you place enough dice to take a card you’ll have access to those dice again at the beginning of your next roll.

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In the standard edition you can have up to four players at a time with at least one human and any combination of human and computer players beyond that. There are three AI levels, but unlike Tsuro you have to use the same AI level for all computer players, which is kind of a bummer. At least the AI is pretty reasonable, so even if you play at the “tricky” level you still have a chance of winning. There is also an online mode that allows for 2 or 4 player matches (I don’t have the IAP that allows 8 players, so I’m not sure if this carries over to online play or not). You can host your own game, but if you don’t link the game to a social media account (Facebook or Google Play) I’m not sure how you connect to other games. The ability to have multiple online games going at once is cool and ultimately necessary, as the turn based nature of the game means it could take you a while to get through a single match. I just wish there were a way to flip flop between local and online play. In fact this is a big flaw in general – there is no way to save a local game, so if you’re in the middle and you have to quit then that game is just over.

One thing that I think would really benefit this game is some bells and whistles. I realize that it’s an electronic version of an existing game, and I’m all for a “classic” mode that basically presents the physical game “as is”. However, an advanced mode where you can do things like change the amount of points that are required to win or have special dice that do things like blow up your opponent’s dice or freeze them to a particular card for a number of rounds would be awesome. The game does offer 31 achievements to earn, so at least there is something to strive for other than getting good enough to beat everyone else at the game.

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The overall presentation is solid with nifty special effects for flipping cards and watching them vanish from the playing field after they have been won by a player. Sadly the standard dice are pretty blasé, and the ones you can purchase via IAP don’t look much better. I also think that in their attempt to make a subtle interface they might have gone a bit too far with the button for the main menu, which is often hard to see. The sound effects suit the game rather well, and I would have like to have heard more of a variety than just the occasional laugh for noises that represented the individual players. I really like the music, which has sort of a parlor or Wild West saloon vibe to it.

I really like this game. It’s easy to play, an individual game doesn’t take too long to complete, and it’s something I feel comfortable sharing and enjoying with my family. I’d just like to see it offer a bit more variety than it currently does. And, if that never comes, at least give me the opportunity to save a local game if I need to switch over to an online one when it is my turn. I don’t know if Roll For It has quite the same polish to it as Tsuro does, but it’s still a worthy addition to my collection.

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App Summary
Title: Roll For It! Developer: Thunderbox Entertainment Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req:  Android OS 4.0.3
Price: $1.99 App Size: 59MB
  • Easy to play
  • Family friendly
  • Nice presentation
  • No variety to game play
  • Can’t save local games

Get it on Google Play

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