At a Glance: Rolling America provides a sudoku-like challenge, spiced up with some unpredictability and spatial judgment.
Rolling America is a roll-and-write dice game for 1+ players where you write numbers in a group of boxes shaped like the United States. The map on the scoresheet is separated into 6 colored regions. On each turn, 2 random dice are pulled out of the bag and rolled, and players place those numbers in the corresponding colored regions. The one rule on placement is that no 2 adjacent numbers can have a difference of more than 1 (i.e, a 4 cannot be placed next to a 2). A clear wild die is included that can be used for any of the regions. 6 total dice are pulled out each round and the game ends after 8 rounds. If at any point you cannot legally place a number you must put an “X” in a box. The winner is the player with the least amount of X’s.
To combat some of the luck factor, there are 3 types of special actions you can perform, and you get 3 each of these: Guard, Dupe, and Color Change. Guarding a number lets you place a number anywhere that would normally be illegal. To signify this you circle that number. Duping lets you write a particular number in 2 different boxes instead of 1. This is especially useful when using the wild die. Then a Color Change means that you can change the color of a number rolled so you can place it in a different region. These actions balance out the game just enough, while retaining the challenge. Knowing when to use them is crucial, because any that you don’t use in a game is simply lost at the end. Since there are 7 total dice but only 6 drawn each round, you are never quite sure that a certain color is going to be rolled. I like this added uncertainty. All this adds up so well. I like the spatial aspect, the puzzly nature that feels sorta like sudoku, and the fact that the unpredictable & lucky part of it is balanced out with the margin of control that you have.
This game was actually based on a Japanese game called Rolling Japan, but that version is much harder to find in the USA for a good price. However, I would actually recommend the America version anyway because they added those special actions. The production quality is identical to Qwixx, which is another Gamewright-published dice game. These dice are very well-made and look great. There are plenty of scoring sheets, double-sided, and it comes with a little bag. This is such a good dice game and really, you can play with as many people as you want, since there is no player interaction needed—almost like Bingo in that regard. I highly recommend this one!
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