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Roll in One

Build the hole and then take a swing! Choose your golf clubs (dice) carefully and hope for a little bit of luck, to reach the green before your opponents.

Currently on Kickstarter, Roll in One is a push-your-luck dice game in which each round a different player uses the game tiles to build the hole, before everyone plays it.

Gameplay

At the start of the game each player is dealt two caddie cards and a golfer card. Each golfer comes with a unique ability such as being able to ignore certain terrain effects or being able to move his ball one space before rolling. Caddie cards can be played for special abilities, as well, such as allowing you to reroll a die or letting you move your die equal to the number of your roll and then end your turn. You may play caddie cards at any point on your turn and they are then discarded. Players get a new caddie card dealt to them between each hole.

Players take turns designing the hole. The game ends once everyone has designed one hole (or in a two player game after each player has designed two). When designing a hole you first start with the tee tile and then add two-to-four more tiles, connecting them in whichever way you choose. Each tile is made up of multiple hexagonal spaces. Once you’ve built the hole, you place the green token on any space (preferably some distance from the tee tile). The goal is to get your golf ball from the start space on the tee tile to the green token.

Spaces come in one of five different terrain types. If your ball starts your turn on a sand space, you ignore your first roll. Trees stop you when you roll a triangle, water earns you a penalty token if you land there, fairways move your ball an extra space if you land on one, and a rough space has no effect.

Roll in One game

On your turn, you start by pointing your ball in a direction to move and selecting a die to roll this turn. Each die represents a different type of golf club and ranges from four-sided to twenty-sided. You roll the die and move your golf ball forward one space. You then roll again. If the number is greater than your previous roll, you move your ball forward another space. You keep rolling and moving until you fail to beat your previous roll and your ball lands on whatever space it currently is on and your turn ends.

Certain dice can roll a few additional results other than simply numbers. If you roll a triangle, your ball moves forward one space (unless it is on a tree space, in which case it lands there). You roll again, but must beat the previous number you rolled (the triangle does not reset the number you are trying to beat). You can roll dots, in which case you move your ball forward the number of dots shown and then it lands and you stop rolling. You can also roll an arrow, which means you must change your ball’s direction, choosing to move it either forward-left or forward-right. One of the arrows you can roll will also force the ball to land after you have moved in this new direction.

If your ball would ever go off the edge of the tiles, you stop at the edge and instead take a penalty token. If you were ever to end your turn on the same space as another player’s ball, you land your ball in that space and your opponent’s ball is pushed forward one space (unless this would push their ball off the map, in which case your ball is pushed back one space instead).

The round ends once a player’s ball lands on the green. Each player then earns a point for each penalty token they earned and for each player who is closer to the green than they are. A new round then begins. The player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins.

Roll in One components

Review

Roll in One nicely balances pushing your luck with plenty of player choice. The game provides players with reference cards that clearly show exactly what each die can roll, meaning you can easily make informed decisions, while the rolls still have plenty of that element of luck that is enjoyable in dice games.

We liked the choices the game presents you with. Which path do you want to take to reach the green? This one might be a straighter line but it’s over more risky terrain. This other path is going to take more turns, but maybe the dice you’d be rolling will be more reliable. You also don’t want to risk hitting the edge too often, as every penalty token is going to add to your score. We really enjoyed having to consider all of these aspects, and once you’ve played several rounds you also start to figure out better ways to build the holes.

The rulebook does show a few potential holes you could build, but we would have liked a few more examples, as well. It would be neat to include a full nine or eighteen hole course to play (perhaps more courses could become available as future downloads or expansions). However, the building process is fun in itself, especially as you become more familiar with the game and can set out to make tricky courses. We liked that the building process was simple and quick, without a lot of rules attached.

You can also adjust the game a little for your gaming group. You can leave the golfer abilities out if you want to make it easier to learn, or deal out two at the start of the game and have their abilities apply to everyone to bring a little more variety to the rules. Additionally, if you want to add a take-that element to the game, you can even allow caddie cards to be played against other players on their turns.

Even if you’re not a huge golf fan, we found the game still felt accessible and engaging. There’s some fun artwork in the game, with all the golfers being drawn as animals, which fits well with the game’s colorful style and light gameplay.

Roll in One is a creative dice game that casual gamers will very much enjoy. There’s plenty of luck of the roll, but players are also given some control. The game is thematic and simple to learn, turns are fast, and the game doesn’t run too long. Swing over to Kickstarter and check it out. We had fun with it.

Pros: Blend of player choice and push your luck, building the holes, reference cards are well done

Cons: Could use some additional hole examples

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.