Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Why I need minimalist R&Ws

While I have a binder of Solitaire Roll and Writes where I have a couple dozen different games  (and I should go through it and either update or start a new binder) but I also have a half-side clipboard of  few Roll and Write games. Quick games with minimal setup requirements so I can play them in under five minutes.

I love living in a world where a clipboard like that can exist.

Anyway, all the games only use one to two dice and no rerolls. That way, I can use a dice roller on my phone or even my watch. 

Currently, I have 13 Sheep, Wurfel Bingo, Criss Criss and Blankout. And I honestly would say that 13 Sheep, Wurfel Bubgo and Criss Cross are top games in their niche. (Blankout is just for nervous fidgeting. And, yes, it gets used)

And Dice Spray, a game from the 12th Roll and Write Contest looks like a game I can add to the clipboard.

It’s a grid that you fill in. When you play solitaire, roll two dice. One serves as the shape and the other is the row or column. Your score is based on how many squares you fill in ten rounds.

The clever bits: the shape is determined by the pip formation with the three and five letting you make diagonal shape. You do get three rerolls but that’s manageable. And, what actually pushes the game over into worth playing, each pip is on a different square (there are multiples board layouts) Those squares much be covered with their matching pip shape.

While I look at every game in every Roll and Write Contest, what I really look for are either innovative games that push the boundaries of what you can do with Roll ans Write and quick and easy games that I can find the time to play. Dice Spray is firmly in the later category.

(I still hold that Fast Train to Mayajima from the fourth contest is a gem of that kind of game that deserves more noticed)

Dice Spray doesn’t do anything original. It has a couple touches that allow for actual choices. (The multi-player rules have dice drafting which honestly make for a better game than the solitaire version) But Dice Spray looks like it does its thing consistently and in a small space and time.

Yes, Dice Spray has earned more play by being as minimalist as possible. It’s not it’s only virtue but it is the deciding virtue.

Sometimes, you look for games that will let you do new things. And sometimes you look for games that will work in small spaces when you have no time.

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