Roll for the Galaxy is a dice game of building space empires for 2-5 players. Your dice represent your populace, whom you direct to develop new technologies, settle worlds, and ship goods. The player who best manages his workers and builds the most prosperous empire wins!
This dice version of Race for the Galaxy takes players on a new journey through the Galaxy, but with the feel of the original game.
While the game is based around dice, which adds a sense of randomness, the game is deeply engaging and proper strategy is what will lead you to victory!
Being a Dice based game, Roll for the Galaxy obviously has a high emphasis on luck, however players do have a surprising amount of control when it comes to what they can do with their dice. Every colour of dice has a different set of faces so the dice you have in your citizenry will help dictate what you can do with your roll. There is another element of luck involved though, as players coordinate and activate differnet sectors behind a screen, if you have dice behind an inactive action, they have become useless for this round and must return to the cup, however activating the same action as another player yields you no bonus, so there is only one guarantee of what you will be able to do on your turn.
A lot of the strategy applied to a players game is strongly dictated by their starting home world and faction. These are distributed randomly at the start of the game and while you are not required to utilise there abilities and advantages it is most certainly beneficial to do so. You will also need to pay close attention to what your opponents are doing to best utilise your dice. Perhaps you notice one player has Produced last turn and will most certainly be shipping this turn, throw any dice needed behind shipping without activating it and you find yourself screaming past them towards victory!
The game has quite a bit of depth but don't mistake that for overly complex. Roll for the Galaxy takes the core concept of its predecessor Race for the Galaxy and simplifies it with the introduction of dice as apposed to cards. Once players have become accustomed to the mechanics at play turns can go quite fast and that really brings the feeling of a race through the stars competing to colonise worlds and build amazing technology. The screen used to hide selections also comes with a small yet sufficient rules codex to remind players of what they are able to do on their turn.
Games of Roll for the Galaxy are always unique and exciting. Between the randomness of the dice, and the distribution of tiles the game is never the same. While some could say having different means of victory could enhance the game, I like to look at is similar to a game of Mario Kart, there is only one way to win, and while someone that plays it a lot may have the upper hand, anything can happen -cough- Blue Shell -cough-.
The dice in this game are gorgeous, the bright colours lend themselves wonderfully to the cosmic theme and each one is lovingly crafted. They are also the perfect size for rolling, especially when your fleet begins to become unruly. The game also comes with other nice touches that just make this game a delight to play. The thick cardboard tiles, the matching dice cups and the beautifully embossed screen, if you want a pretty game, buy Roll for the Galaxy!
After a full play though of Roll for the Galaxy, most players should be well aware of its intricacies, however a common issue when teaching new players is them not understanding the concept of activating. I have had many games where I have tried to explain this concept only to have players either activating nothing, or 2-3 things. It's best for a seasoned player to take a back seat when showing new players or have an initial learning round that has no impact on the game before moving ahead.
Roll for the Galaxy's theme is funny, it can be totally missed if people are too heavily involved in the competitiveness of the game play, however if you take time to asses where you have gone in your journey, you will be pleasantly surprised how much love and care has gone into the world building in the game. I would suggest players to take a moment at the start of the game to announce who they are and really dive head deep into the lore.
The game does quite well scaling from 3-5 players, and while there is a 2 player variant, it simply employs the use of a phantom player which would ultimately be better served with a real human being at the helm. Some would suggest that the game gets too predictable at 5 players, suggesting that all 5 actions would be live in any one round, but if proper gamesmanship is employed, a whole new meta game can exist.
This game is beautiful to say the least, from the outside of the box to the dice themselves, Rio Grand Games has really delivered a stellar project. But thats only the beginning, the game itself is a wonderful race to see who can manoeuvre their way to the end of the galaxy. If you are looking for an amazing dice rolling game, pick this one up today!
Have you played Roll for the Galaxy? Do you agree with our review? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and please like us on Facebook and Instagram!