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Roll for Adventure

Defend the kingdom from the Master of Shadows and protect the territories as you fight enemies, go on quests, and collect stones of power to complete your adventure!

Roll for Adventure is a cooperative dice game full of fantasy, monsters, and (of course) adventure. Players will be faced with tough decisions as they scramble to accomplish their mission before the Master of Shadows destroys the kingdom.

Gameplay

The four territory boards are placed in the center of the table. Each player takes a hero and the five hero dice that match their hero's color, and an adventure board is selected and placed near one of the corners. The deck of monster cards (with the Master of Shadows card shuffled into the middle) is shuffled and placed near another corner. The Vortex of Resurrection board and the storage chest (which holds unearned power stones) are placed near the remaining corners.

In order to win the game, players must collect power stones equal to the number of power stone slots shown on the adventure board. On your turn, you roll all your dice. You must then place one or more dice of the same number on any single territory, enemy card, or on the Vortex of Resurrection. You must then roll all your dice again, using the same system to place them. You keep doing this until you have no dice remaining.

Three of the territories have different ways to earn power stones. On each side of the board the tasks are different (side A, which is the easier version, is described here). In the desert territory, players must place three dice in a column, each showing a value of one. After this is done, one of the dice is then moved to a second column and the other two returned to their players. Players must do this three times. After the third time, they earn one power stone; all dice are returned to their respective players, except for one which remains in the desert for the rest of the game.

For the fortress territory, there are three sets of spaces for four dice of the same number (twos, threes, and fours). Once a set is filled, a magical barrier is removed and the dice in that set are returned to the players. Each time all the barriers are removed, players earn a power stone, and the barriers are put back in place.

The forest territory shows a path of nine spaces. When the game begins, a marker is placed at the sixth space. Players can place dice showing fives or sixes in the spaces on the path. When they place a die in the sixth space, they earn a power stone and all dice are removed from the territory and returned to their respective players. However, the barrier is moved back one space each time you earn a power stone in the forest, meaning that it will always take one extra die each time to earn additional power stones.

In the fourth and final territory, the ice cave, there are six spaces, one for each die number. You can place dice in any order on the ice cave. Once you have four dice there, you can remove them to give one bonus die to each player who had a die there (bonus dice are used one time and then returned to the ice cave). If you wait until there are five dice in the cave you can defeat one enemy card in addition to the bonus die, and if you wait until there are six you also fully heal any one territory.

At the end of your turn, you draw an enemy card. You check the number on it and on all other enemy cards currently on the table. All enemies with a number lower than the new enemy immediately attack. Then the new enemy is placed at a territory according to its color and attacks. Most enemies will force dice to be removed from the territory and moved to the Vortex of Oblivion at the center of the board. If there are no dice eligible to be removed, the territory suffers one point of damage.

Enemies are defeated when dice of a total value of six or more are placed on it. Dice are returned from the Vortex of Oblivion when dice with a total value of ten or more are placed on the Vortex of Resurrection (these dice are returned as well). However, a player's turn immediately ends once he places dice in the vortex of resurrection.

When the Master of Shadows card is drawn, all enemies currently on the table attack, and then you roll the territory die for the Master of Shadows. The results can include: damaging a territory for two points, damaging each territory for one, or damaging no territories. The Master of Shadows card is then shuffled back into the enemy deck.

If any territory is ever destroyed by damage points, or all players run out of dice, they lose the game.

Roll for Adventure Components

Review

Roll for Adventure is a highly challenging and deeply satisfying cooperative experience. There is a great sense of escalation as you go, since the Master of Shadows keeps being shuffled into an ever shrinking draw pile, causing him to appear more and more frequently.

Enemies are powerful, since higher leveled monsters will activate those with lower numbers, so it’s always suspenseful when you draw a new enemy. You also have to think strategically when deciding which enemies to attack, keeping in mind their number value, how many enemies are already present at each territory, and how much damage each territory has already taken.

Roll for Adventure also includes many ways to customize the game. Each of the ten heroes has a unique special ability, and while we have described the side A of each territory board, each one can also be flipped over to a side B, which has different rules for dice placement and earning power stones. There are also four different adventure boards which require different numbers of power stones as well as special monsters which can be shuffled into the deck to make the game more challenging.

For the most part, the components are of high quality. The dice are gorgeous and fun to roll and the territories lock in together nicely. The little skulls to track damage in each territory are also fantastically produced, and each one is painted a little bit different than the others. However, we also have some small gripes: the reference cards are unattractive and provide information as a wall of text rather than a graphical format — we wish more effort were put into these for better readability and visual appeal. Also, the four smaller boards are oddly shaped and don't seem to fit visually with the main board — we would have preferred that they attach or at least align better at the corners.

Roll for Adventure is a great blend of dice game and cooperation. Its flaws are minor, and the game itself is engaging, challenging, and versatile — while also being relatively quick and easy to teach. Games tend to come down to the wire, making your victories all the more satisfying.

Pros: Challenging gameplay, customizable for different levels of difficulty, great sense of escalation

Cons: Reference cards are poorly designed, smaller boards do not align with the main board

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.