It seems like it should be a simple game.
Rolling America, published by Gamewright, isn’t necessarily so simple, though.The concept might be, but the game itself isn’t easy, based on what happens as the game moves on.
Roll some dice and use them, based on colors, to put the numbers throughout the United States. You use that number in different spots, based on what other numbers are written down. The biggest kicker is neighboring states can’t be more than a difference of once (so if a 3 is in New York, you’d have to put a 2 or a 4 in Pennsylvania).
Basically, when playing with others, it’s a solitaire game played with multiple players as you also write the numbers others roll. I’ve only played it solo and I like that it’s challenging and it makes you think a little. You have to think of everything before you put a number down as it can have consequences on your future choices – or lack thereof. For example, if you put a 3 in a central state, you might have issues if you don’t roll a lot of 3s or 4s in the colors you need.
That means there is some strategy, but at the same time you are relying on the luck of the roll. Also, there are seven colors in the bag (the six that are in the states, and a clear – which is a wild and can be used for any color). So there’s a chance you don’t pull, say, a green the whole time and if you used the clear for something else.
You must use all the dice in one way or another, unless you have that color already filled. Then you just ignore it, unless you have one of your three “change color” saves, allowing you to make one color another.
There are a couple of ways to save yourself over the course of the game, but if you don’t have any of those left, you have to put an “X” somewhere if you can’t use one of the dice. For a solo game, you are just trying to get as few Xs as possible on the map.
It’s not easy!
This is a quick and pretty light game that plays well solo. I like the idea behind it and it really does make you think a bit. There are times a roll or two after you made a tough decision that you just want to erase what you did and change things. Alas, you can’t.
Without a doubt, it’s a game of chance, especially with the rolling of the dice and only getting six of seven colors drawn each round. On the flip of that, you have to really think things through as you want to try and avoid boxing yourself in to a situation where you might have to write down a lot of Xs. It’s a fun game, for sure, and one I’ll definitely play many more times solo. It’s the type of game that you can get your quench of gaming in without having to dedicate several hours.
If you like solo gaming, this is worth a look. You can get it for less than $10 on Amazon, it doesn’t take long to learn and you can be playing in no time.
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