Roll and write games are starting to gain in popularity it seems, as more and more games with that type of mechanic are released like Dice Stars, La Granja No Siesta, and even OctoDice. So Flatlined Games is trying their hand at it by creating a roll and write, pick up and deliver train game called SteamRollers. Like the mechanic name suggests, the active player will roll dice, and on your turn you draft a die to use the value to mark something on your board. The different options include drawing track, delivering a good from the central board, increasing the power of your engine, or taking an action tile. Where these things can happen and what you can draw are determined by the dice that you roll, the white dice giving you numbers and the black die a track shape. The action tiles you acquire give you different options to further manipulate the dice, mess with your opponents by taking dice from them, or giving you an additional action. Delivering goods gets you points, connecting towns gets you points, upgrading your engine gets you points, and action tiles you have may give or take away points. At the end the person with the most points is the winner.
This game seeks to bring a fresh take on roll and write by bringing it into the pick up and deliver train game genre, and I think they accomplish that. The art, while sparse, looks good and has a clean design to it that makes things easy to read. If you want to know more about the game, or back for your own copy, head on over to their Kickstarter page.
Flatlined Games has announced an experiment for this year’s Essen Fair in October 2015. This year, they will be selling limited print runs of two new titles through pre-order for pick up at Essen. Flatlined states “These games may see a larger, industrially produced print run in the future”, but this is not guaranteed. Depending on gamer interest, this could be the only opportunity to get these games.
The games are:
- Steamrollers, a dice-drafting train game designed by Mark Gerrits for 2-5 players. Players draft dice from a common pool to build a rail network, upgrade equipment, acquire special powers and deliver goods to score VPs. Each player used pen or pencil to track their growing network on a personal map. The player with the most VPs wins. The game is designed to play in 30 minutes.
- Otter Nonsense, a card game designed by Eric Hanuise for 2-6 players. Using cards with illustrations of otters drawn by Elisabeth Hanchir, player play cards to three pile in the turn, following the direction and characteristic of the previous card. Inability to play a card forces the player to give a point to the previous player who blocked them. Emptying your hand earns bonus points. The first player to seven points wins. The game plays in 15 minutes.
Flatlined also has two other events scheduled for Essen:
- Kwanchai Moriya will be signing games containing his artwork, particularly Rumble and Twin Tin Bots
- Flatlined’s latest Kickstarter game Argo will be available for demos at Essen
Finally, Flatlined will have a few copies Dragon Rage, Rumble and Robin available at Essen. Details from Flatlined can be found here.