The land is covered in shadow. Our band of adventurers strikes out into the darkness to save our world, armed with…dice?
Roll For Adventure is a cooperative dice rolling game themed after a D&D style dungeon crawl. Roll well and choose wisely to protect your lands from the forces of the Dark Lord (not that one, another one. Lot of Dark Lords about lately.)
Roll for Adventure plays with 2-4 players in about 30 mins. It plays best with 4.
You and your fellow adventurers are tasked with unlocking enough power stones to unlock the magic artifact picked at the beginning of the game before the Master of Shadows and its minions can ravage the lands. The game takes about thirty minutes to play no matter how many players, though it lengthens a bit if you play higher difficulties. Each player is randomly given one of ten hero boards, which give a unique once-per-turn power to that player.
On your turn, you will roll half of your available dice, rounded up. Then you’ll select all the dice showing a single facing and apply them to one of the four lands. All zones require dice of a specific facing, so, for instance, you need 1s in the desert zone. On the desert zone A side, once the third 1 is placed in the first column of the desert zone, one of those dice progresses to the second column and the other two are returned to their owners. If a third die is added in this second column, then you return all dice and unlock a power stone. Each zone has a similar mechanism on it, except the ice zone which is more about unlocking extra dice for players and automatically slaying monsters and does not directly unlock power stones.
After you have placed your dice, you will roll your remaining available dice and place a single facing of dice on the board as above, repeating this process until you are out of dice.
Once you are out of dice, a monster attacks! You draw a monster card from their deck, with monsters having a zone that they attack, as well as a rank. Place the monster in its zone, then remove dice that are in that zone per the instructions on the monster. If you cannot remove any dice, the monster instead deals one damage to the zone.
Additionally, newly drawn monsters will cause all lower-ranking monsters to strike again, so players want to prioritize taking them out so they do not strike over and over again. They do this by assigning dice to monsters, which always die when the dice on them total 6+. Any dice lost to a monster attack go to the Vortex Of Oblivion. Dice are trapped in the vortex until players voluntarily send dice to the Vortex of Resurrection with a total of 10+, at which point they are immediately released.
Players win if they unlock the power stone, monsters win if they destroy a zone.
I generally shy away from dice based games, but Roll for Adventure had a cute hook. Coupled with the ability to decide where dice go from turn to turn, this is more about thinking out good placement rather than hoping for good rolls. There may be a few clutch seconds as lands near completion for stones, but in general, puzzling out what to place where and when is the name of the game. Monster arrivals are still random, but you’ll get to decide which is more advantageous to take out and when, much like a dungeoneering party would.
I played with two groups, 2 players and 4 players. With 2 it was fine, but I found we’d do our rolls and place dice without much consultation. With 4, input came from every corner, mostly because it felt like monsters were attacking harder and faster. (To be fair this was entirely perception. It just felt like attacks happened more because you had less control while you waited for your turn again, and so as a player, you start contributing more.) The co-operation with a larger group is more evident.
The rulebook is well laid out and easy to parse, but the art is somewhat lackluster. It feels generically fantasy and instead of being drawn further into the dungeon crawler experience, I wound up wondering if any theme could be used with the same mechanics. The components themselves are nice—I spent a lot of time juggling the tiny skull markers.
Roll for Adventure was a cooperative dice roller with some thinky puzzle solving that takes the edge off dice randomness. Larger groups will turn this into the rollicking, chatting co-op game it should be to mimic evoke the theme of a band of stalwart adventurers. The art and graphics in Roll for Adventure could use a boost to really make the theme sing though.
Final Score: 3.5 Stars – With the right sized group and a few good rolls, you may get the heroic adventure you’re looking for.
• Table talk at max player count brings the co-operation to a head
• Players looking for a good intro to dice drafting would really enjoy this
• Two players with good strategy skills may make quick work of this
• Theme isn’t necessary