Roar and Write is a new roll & write game from Galactic Raptor Games and a spiritual successor to the absolutely fantastic and completely gorgeous Animal Kingdoms. While the original was a great hand management/area majority game, Roar and Write trades in the cards for dice and gives each player their own kingdom scorepad to keep track of. The goal is still the same – be the player with the most points at the end to win the game and be named the new ruler, but can Roar and Write keep up with its predecessor? Let’s find out!
We got a prototype of Roar and Write for this article, with the option to request a finished copy of the game. We weren’t otherwise compensated.
Well, to answer the question, let’s get into the mechanics of Roar and Write. Each player starts with their own kingdom sheet, where they will track their efforts to gain favor in the council. Each game, a different selection of 5 different council representative cards, each one displaying a unique scoring mechanism.
Then, players get to rolling. One player will roll all 6 dice and then each player separately decides how to use this shared dice pool to influence the council or grow their kingdom (more on that in a sec), choosing to record anywhere from 0 to 6 of the current roll into their sheet for that Age (round). The dice rolling process is repeated 2 more times, after which players will have (probably) added 6 values to their Sheet.
Aside from the council representatives, there are a few other ways to score in Roar and Write. First of all, the miniature kingdom map at the top provides 5 more set collection mechanics, as each segment can be filled in using dice not assigned to council. You also score bonuses for working with a diverse set of council reps over the course of the game, as well as individual hidden personal agendas which are dealt out at the start of the game.
After 5 Ages, players will reveal their hidden agendas, add up their points, score their bonuses, and a winner declared!
To illustrate the point, If there is a council rep who wants, say, 4 of a kind in order to score, and your first roll of the age looks something like this…
Well, that pretty much decides how everyone at the table will play for that roll. This, of course, is a natural consequence of having shared dice and scoring mechanisms, but it would be eased a bit if the hidden, personal scoring goals were a little more valuable, because then you might be tempted away from the obvious point gain of satisfying the council. But generally speaking, there is little to deter this effect, and in our experience, a lot of ages went by with our scores being nearly identical because which dice to take and how best to score them were simply pretty obvious.
We were (and are) huge fans of Animal Kingdoms, so Roar and Write did have some pretty big pawprints to fill. Though it might not meet the excellently-machined mechanisms of its progenitor, it stands on its own, bringing tight, quick gameplay in a perfectly portable package that’s a blast to break out anytime you’re looking for a little dice-chucking action!