Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Stating the obvious about Railroad Ink

 As someone who enjoys both railway games and Roll and Writes, I’ve had Railroad Ink on my radar for a while. I finally bought the app so o could try it out. 

In Railway Ink, you draw paths on a grid to make connections! 

Yeah, I’ve lost track of the Roll and Writes I’ve played that have that basic framework. To be fair, one of the first games I ever picked up was Metro, which is the same exact idea with tiles.

So, what makes Railway Ink special? 

Well, quite frankly, the actual dice make a big difference. 

Most, if not all, the connection R&W games I’ve seen use a single chart to determine paths. By having multiple types of dice, Railroad Ink increases the number of path options. Well, you could have multiple tables but having specialized dice makes it a lot easier.

And almost every other connection game that I can think of has you fill in one square at a time. Railroad Ink has you fill in four at a time. Heck, five if you use one of the bonus ‘faces’.

So, by using multiple specialized dice, Railroad Ink becomes more accessible with a greater decision tree.

Oh and before you even add in any expansions, you have two different types of paths to manage. Which isn’t breaking any new ground (Rivers, Roads & Rails did it with three kinds of paths in a very simple way back in the 1960s) but it does help make the decisions interesting. (I haven’t tried any expansions yet but I am curious.)

What makes people like the Railroad Ink family? What makes it any good? Railroad Ink works by being very accessible without dumbing down the choices a connection game has you make. 

(Yes, if drawing lines on a grid is a deal breaker, Railroad Ink will never work for you)

Yes, I’m having fun with Railroad Ink. Yes, I’m thinking of getting a physical copy. Yes, I’m thinking of getting expansions.

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