I know that as soon as I’ve published this list I’ll play another Roll & Write game that should have made my Top Ten list. But… at this moment in time, I’m committing. These are my Top Ten Roll & Write games.

Full Disclosure: I create a lot of Roll & Write games because they are a fabulous format for family games. I have added a couple of my own games to this list. But – I have held myself back from awarding either of them the top spot! 

Watch the video for the full explanation, but the Top Ten are also listed below.

Number 10: Qwinto – The Card Game

Description from Board Game Geek:

Qwinto: Das Kartenspiel is a card game version of the dice game Qwinto. As in the original game, players each have an individual score sheet, and they’re trying to use numbers (1-18) to fill in the empty spaces in three rows, which are colored orange, yellow and purple. Within a row, lower numbers must be placed to the left of higher numbers, and no number can be repeated. In the two- and three-space columns formed by the rows, no number can be repeated, but numbers can be in any order.

Aside from the score sheet, the game includes 32 cards, with the cards numbered 0-6 and -2 in four colors (yellow, orange, purple, gray). Each player starts with a random hand of three cards, then four cards are laid in a 2×2 square. On a turn, a player lays a card from their and onto one of the cards in the square, then sums that card and the two adjacent cards, stating this number and the color of all non-grey cards out loud, e.g., “13 in purple and yellow”. Each player can then write a 13 in either the purple or yellow row on their score sheet. If the number is less than 1 or all the cards are grey, then no one can write anything; if the active player can’t write anything on their score sheet, then they must mark a penalty box instead.

If a player has two cards with the same number, they can lay down one of them, then the matching number in an adjacent space, thus possibly changing the sum drastically. A player refills their hand to three cards to end their turn.

When a player has completely filled two rows with numbers or all four penalty spaces on their score sheet, the game ends. Each player tallies the points for each of their rows: 1 point per number if spaces are empty, or as many points as the rightmost number if the row is full. For each three-space column, if all spaces are filled, then the player scores points equal to the number in the pentagon. For each penalty point, the player loses 5 points. Whoever has the highest sum wins!

Number 9: Rolling Ranch

Description from Board Game Geek:

It’s 5 o’clock in the morning. You wake up as you do every day and get ready to get out of bed… Wait, the sun is already rising? Weird… The clock already shows 8:00 a.m.! What the hell happened to the rooster? You leave your house to check, but as soon as you step out you had it figured out: A hurricane destroyed all the fences in the area and the animals fled! However, they should not be that far and after fixing the fences it’s your mission to recover them in the woods.

In Rolling Ranch, all players use the same result from the dice to rescue animals and improve their ranch, with each player working on their own ranch sheet. Each player attempts to place the animals in their ranch the best way possible, and to construct buildings and receive bonuses that will help them achieve the highest score. Everyone plays at the same time! Who will be the most successful ranch to rescue their animals?

Number 8: Bank or Bust

Available from The Dark Imp as a Notepad Game or as a Print & Play Game

You headed west to make your fortune, but the situation is volatile. You’ve got to keep pushing your luck to improve your advantage and claim the bounty. But go too far and you may end up with nothing! Will you play it safe or risk it all on a big win?

Play is simultaneous. The game occurs over several rounds. On each round, one player rolls a single die multiple times. Players track the numbers rolled on the path around the edge of their scoresheet. Each time the die is rolled, the number thrown is added to the previous total.

If a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 is thrown: After each throw, independently each player must decide whether to bank OR spend OR continue. If a 6 is thrown: Any player still in the round busts. When you bust, cross off a bust box. You may not bank or spend any money. If you run out of bust boxes, you are out of the game.

Points in the bank will count towards your end game score. Points spent will give you benefits later in the game. Maybe you’ll start higher up the track each turn, or score double on fives… The higher up the track you push, the greater the potential rewards, but the further you have to fall…

The winner is the player who banks the most by the end of the game. Any number of players can play the game. Bank or Bust is also ideal for playing online via videoconferencing.

Number 7: Qwixx

Description from Board Game Geek

Qwixx is a quick-playing dice game in which everyone participates, no matter whose turn it is. Each player has a scoresheet with the numbers 2-12 in rows of red and yellow and the numbers 12-2 in rows of green and blue. To score points you want to mark off as many numbers as possible, but you can mark off a number only if it’s to the right of all marked-off numbers in the same row.

On a turn, the active player rolls six dice: two white and one of each of the four colors listed above. Each player can choose to mark off the sum of the two white dice on one of their four rows, then the active player can choose to mark off the sum of one colored die and one white die in the row that’s the same color as the die. The more marks you can make in a row, the higher your score for that row. Fail to cross off a number when you’re the active player, however, and you must mark one of four penalty boxes on your scoresheet. If you mark off the 2 or 12 in a row and have at least five numbers marked in that row, you get to also mark off the padlock symbol in that row, locking everyone else out of this color.

When either a player has four penalty boxes marked or a second color is locked, the game ends immediately. Players then tally their points for each color, sum these values, then subtract five points for each marked penalty box. Whoever has the highest score wins.

Number 6: Ganz Schön Clever

Description from Board Game Geek

Choose your dice well in Ganz schön clever to enter them into the matching colored area, put together tricky chain-scoring opportunities, and rack up the points. The dice you don’t use are as important as what you do because every die that’s smaller than the chosen one can be used by the other players, keeping everyone in the game at all times.

Number 5: Railroad Ink

Description from Board Game Geek

In the multiplayer puzzle game Railroad Ink, your goal is to connect as many exits on your board as possible. Each round, a set of dice are rolled in the middle of the table, determining which kind of road and railway routes are available to all players. You have to draw these routes on your erasable boards to create transport lines and connect your exits, trying to optimize the available symbols better than your opponents.

The more exits you connect, the more points you score at the end of the game, but you lose points for each incomplete route, so plan carefully! Will you press your luck and try to stretch your transportation network to the next exit, or will you play it safe and start a new, simpler to manage route?

Railroad Ink comes in two versions, each one including two expansions with additional dice sets that add new special rules to your games. The Deep Blue Edition includes the Rivers and Lakes expansions. Increase the difficulty by adding the River route into the mix, or use the Lakes to connect your networks by ferry. These special rules can spice up things and make each game play and feel different. Each box allows you to play from 1 to 6 players, and if you combine more boxes, you can play with up to 12 players (or more). The only limit to the number of players is the number of boards you have!

Number 4: Trails of Tucana

Description from Board Game Geek

Trails of Tucana is a flip-and-write game from the creators of Avenue and Doodle City that is quick and easy to play, but has enough depth to entertain gamers.

Each player is given a map of the island Tucana, showing its villages and important sights. The positions of the villages are randomized for each player, so every game will provide a unique puzzle.

Each turn, one player flips over two terrain cards. Each player must draw — on their own map — a trail between two neighboring spaces of the shown terrains. Gradually, the trails will grow into a network of roads. Players score points by connecting matching harbors, and by connecting sights to harbors. Being the first to connect a pair of harbors provides bonus points.

To add depth to the game, there are varying distribution of the different terrain cards. Mountain cards are for instance rarer than desert cards, so it would be harder to build a trail through a mountain range or over water than through desert or forest. Players need to take this into account when planning their routes. And they should maximize the probability that they will be able to make use of any combination of terrain cards that may come up.

Number 3: Restaurantrepreneur

Available from The Dark Imp as a print & play game

Your life-long dream of opening your own restaurant will soon become a reality. But first you must work on the menu, hire some staff, find a location, choose some fixtures and fittings and get the word out across the town. You have money in three different accounts at the bank. Use them wisely, or you may run out of money before you’re ready to open.

Play is simultaneous. On each turn, one player rolls all three dice and each player chooses how to the dice rolls on their own scoresheet. 1 die shows which numbered mini game you are playing this turn. If you choose a six for this die, you may pick any of the five games. 1 die shows what number you will use within that mini game and the third die shows the account you will spend money from in the bank.

The five different mini games all work in different ways… In game 1 you are creating your menu – by adding elements to plates. In game 2 you are interviewing and hiring staff to work in your cafe. Game 3 enables you to choose the location of your restaurant. In game 4, you’re able to select the best fixtures and fittings and create your own personal style, while game 5 helps you to get the word out to potential customers in the area.

Completing milestones within each games triggers bonuses – giving you extra turns and possibly creating a cascade of chaining actions. Players can also earn rosettes which give extra points at the end of the game. Total up each of your mini games and add your rosette bonus to give your final score. Most points wins.

Number 2: Cartographers

Description from Board Game Geek

Queen Gimnax has ordered the reclamation of the northern lands. As a cartographer in her service, you are sent to map this territory, claiming it for the Kingdom of Nalos. Through official edicts, the queen announces which lands she prizes most, and you will increase your reputation by meeting her demands. But you are not alone in this wilderness. The Dragul contest your claims with their outposts, so you must draw your lines carefully to reduce their influence. Reclaim the greatest share of the queen’s desired lands and you will be declared the greatest cartographer in the kingdom.

In Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, players compete to earn the most reputation stars by the time four seasons have passed. Each season, players draw on their map sheets and earn reputation by carrying out the queen’s edicts before the season is over. The player with the most reputation stars at the end of winter wins!

Number 1: Welcome To…

Description from Board Game Geek

As an architect in Welcome To…, you want to build the best new town in the United States of the 1950s by adding resources to a pool, hiring employees, and more.

Welcome To… plays like a roll-and-write dice game in which you mark results on a score-sheet…but without dice. Instead you flip cards from three piles to make three different action sets with both a house number and a corresponding action from which everyone chooses one. You use the number to fill in a house on your street in numerical order. Then you take the action to increase the point value of estates you build or score points at the end for building parks and pools. Players also have the option of taking actions to alter or duplicate their house numbers. And everyone is racing to be the first to complete public goals. There’s lots to do and many paths to becoming the best suburban architect in Welcome To…!

Because of the communal actions, game play is simultaneous and thus supports large groups of players. With many varying strategies and completely randomized action sets, no two games will feel the same!