June was another good month for me for learning Roll and Writes. As a format, they are ideal limited time and space.
Cat Nap from the 7th R&W contest was a happy little game. It uses the tried-and-true draw-Tetris-shapes-on-a-grid formula with just enough little touches to keep it from being boring. It’s on my list of free games I’d recommend to folks looking for games that easy fun and easy to teach.
On the other hand, Please Remain Calm from the first R&W contest fell flat for me. It’s themed around getting people out a cloned dinosaur park before the T-Rex eats them. In practice, you are actually filling in rows, trying to fill in rows yourself before the T-Rex does.
Please Remain Calm felt like it was two thirds of the way there. I felt like the core mechanic had promise but there needed to be more. The graphic design was clean and nice, though.
I continued my exploration of Chris Anderson’s Tempus games with Tempus Quest Episode 0. Since it was designed to teach the basics of the Tempus system and I already knew them, it wasn’t very interesting but the later games in the series look promising.
And finally, I tried out Roll Pirates in my gradual learning of Radoslaw Ignatow’s R&W games. I quite liked and I think it has solid replay value. I’m starting to wonder if the first two games I tried, Some Kind of Genius and Mixture, are actually his weakest games.
I am fascinated at how, when I really got into PnP, I didn’t care much for R&W but I have come to really dig it. Of course, when I started, actually making stuff was a big part of the appeal. Printing a page off and maybe laminating it or sticking it a file protector wasn’t very interesting.
However, as the playing has become more important, R&W has become more appealing. There is a difference between a PnP experience and a published experience as much as I do enjoy PnP. That said (and I’m not the first to say this), there is much less of a gap between punished and PnP with R&W.