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– by Fox Troilo

Roll for Adventure by KOSMOS
Price: ~$35.00
Players: 
2 to 4
Playtime: 
30 minutes
Perfect for: 
Families and groups who enjoy heavily cooperative strategic dice drafting.

Roll for Adventure is a game where the team’s dice rolling and placement determines their fate. The band of adventurers must thoughtfully work together, choosing their actions carefully in order to ward off monsters and procure the treasure. Before talking about the gameplay and mechanics, here’s a bit more background on the theme from the publisher, KOSMOS:

The old kingdom is in danger. Enemy armies are attacking from all directions thanks to the Dark Lord, who seeks to bring eternal darkness across the land.

The only chance the players have in Roll for Adventure is to band forces to collect the fabled power stones to complete the magical amulet. If they succeed, they’ll save the empire and win the game. However, should even one area fall under the control of the Dark Lord, the players lose the game immediately.

To begin Roll for Adventure, all players select a character which will grant them a special power for the duration of the game (more on that below) as well as their pool of dice. On a turn, a player rolls all of their dice and can choose one set (for example, all of the “3’s” rolled) to place on the board in designated areas. Once a particular area is filled, usually by multiple players positioning dice over a few turns, the section unlocks a power stone. Once placement is complete, a player concludes their turn by revealing a monster. Monsters in turn hinder progress towards collecting power stones by sending placed dice into the “Oblivion of Destruction” or damaging areas when there are no dice currently there. Of note, players can choose to spend their dice to fight monsters or “rescue” dice that’s been cast off. The game ends either when the monsters destroy a particular area, or the adventurers successfully collect all of the power stones.

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What works in Roll for Adventure is the rewarding nature of engaging collaboration and cooperation between players. This is nurtured further by the power each person possesses as it naturally makes them fill a particular role on the team. For example, The Warrior is able to dispatch foes with a total dice value of four or more, when typically six is the minimum, making them an obvious candidate for monster slayer. Even beyond this, the core mechanic leads to a great deal of conversation and collective cheering when the dice rolls come out positively for the team. Roll for Adventure is great for teaching players about basic dice drafting systems and working together strategically. Finally, the board comes with reversible sides giving players a few options for gameplay style and ways to increase the difficulty.

Players who don’t like a heavy dose of luck in their games may not enjoy Roll for Adventure as much as others. While there is certainly some decision-making, the majority of the game is predicated on probability, both in terms of the dice and which monsters spawn in what order from the deck. Players looking for more complexity and control over actions during a game might feel that Roll for Adventure is too random for their tastes.

Roll for Adventure is solid introductory dice drafting game for groups. Families, in particular, might consider adding Roll for Adventure to their collection especially if they have gamers of all ages. While the foundation of the game may have little bit too much luck to it, there’s no denying that when someone rolls a success, there is an immense amount of satisfaction and fun.

Recommended if you like: Roll for the Galaxy, Sagrada, Forbidden Island

Final Grade: A-

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Fox serves as an entertainment journalist in the Washington, D.C. When not covering cinematic news for LRM, he critiques films as a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Fox also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Strategy from Indiana University Bloomington.