(From what I can tell, Qwixx is what really got the ball rolling but games like Roll Through the Ages and the Catan Dice Game and Zooloretto the Dice Game proved the market was out there many years earlier. I will also admit that games like SteamRollers are showing how R&W can be have serious depth and meat)
Honestly, I like R&W a lot. Heck, I even enjoy the odd game of Yahtzee now and then. However, I have this problem going out and buying R&W games: There are enough good free ones I can make myself that I almost never feel like buying one. Shucks, add some sort of plastic protector and some dry erase markers and you have a copy that you can use indefinitely.
Off hand and focusing on games that are free, legal, fun and suitable for multiple players, I would recommend Knizia’s Decathlon, Bento Blocks, Welcome to DinoWorld, Recycling Route and 30 Rails to anyone who is interested in Roll and Write. If I were to open it up to games that are exclusively solitaire, the list would explode. And that’s without trying hard.
I am a lazy PnP guy, with a big focus on micro card games that don’t require a lot of work. But R&W Games are the ultimate lazy PnP. You just need a printer, some dice and some pencils. And some of them really are very good.
Let’s face it. Nobody can play every game that’s out there. What we end up playing has to be part of a balance of time and money and personal tastes (both your own and those of the folks you are playing with) For me at least, PnP games balance those elements very well and the ones I’ve mentioned strike me as ones that will do the same for other folks.
At the same time, I have to be fair. It seems like published R&W games are becoming not just more and more polished but also more and more complex. In the case of games like Welcome To, going beyond the PnP may prove very much worth it.
(Also, to be fair, I will and have bought PnP files for R&W games. I like making PnP games)