Week of July 17, 2020 - Everything Dice & Ink

Jason Tagmire

It's New Game Friday! David Wiley (Cardboard Clash) is here to tell us about the new games.

Here’s what is new this week:

It's the entire Dice & Ink Roll and Write collection. 10 games, from 11 designers, with all profits going to our New Heroes Scholarship:

    • Celestial Stories
    • Coral Reef
    • Dust & Void
    • Flowers Over Towers
    • Icy Dice
    • Islands of Atlantis
    • Little Island Gift Shops
    • Lost At Sea
    • PenSylvania
    • Scrapyard Rollbot

    This week's new games are all available at

    Scrapyard Rollbot

    Build a better Rollbot than your rival Rick to win the science fair tomorrow! While you are out looking for parts, your rival won’t sit still! Make sure you get better parts than Rick before the scrapyard inevitably runs out of usable parts. Each part is worth points equal to its quality value, end up with more points than Rick at the end of the game to win!

    Challenge yourself against an AI opponent who steals spaces from the grid, gaining points as you try to maximize your own values. You roll a good number of dice each turn, and it is up to you to figure out which to use for coordinates, which ones to use for value, and which goes to Rick. A clever solo puzzle of a game.


    Built on the edge of the forest is the little town of Sylvania where you live. Head into the forest in search of lumber to build up the town, construct pastures for your sheep, or to sell down the river, while leaving yourself enough time to join in the town’s big bonfire! Make the most of your time to earn the respect of your town. The winner will be the player who earns the most points from various accomplishments.

    For 1-4 players, you’ll be using dice to cut, move, or sell wood around the area, make fences, buy items, and construct buildings in your little town. The most clever thing here is the active player rolls 5 dice and takes either the 2 highest values or the 3 lowest values to use, and the remaining players get the dice not chosen to use. This quick little game has a lot of thinky decisions available for players.

    Lost at Sea

    11-year-old Asha has been shipwrecked and is now stranded upon an island of floating trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The conditions are filthy, fresh water is scarce, there is no food or shelter, and her health is dwindling. The only way off is by building a Raft on which Asha can sail away. However, to reach that goal, you will have to scavenge for resources, keep your Health and Hygiene up by making sure you have food and clean drinking water, and build items to make this task easier. The game ends when either Asha’s Health drops to 0, or at the end of the 14th day. If you haven’t built the Raft by the end of the 14th day, Asha will succumb to her fate and you lose. You may end the game at the start of any day if you have built the Raft. At the end of the game, you will compare your score to see how well you have done.

    A beat-your-score solo game with a defined win/loss condition? That is music to my ears. Managing resources and tracking information on a character sheet while striving toward an objective? This is my kind of solo game, and hopefully it is yours, too. I’ll be checking this one out!

    Little Island Gift Shops

    On Little Island, everyone needs to make their own living, but sharing is an important part of their community; very little goes to waste, and no one likes seeing their neighbors struggle. Everybody takes turns going out to sea to dive for ocean goods to sell in their island shops; the longer they’re gone, the more goods they find, but not all of it goes to their own shop. Some of the goods they find will go to the island spirits to get their blessings, and some of what they find will go to their neighbors to help stock their shelves. A community is only as strong as its weakest members, so everyone lends a hand to a neighbor in need. Be careful how you organize your shop displays, make use of gifts, and never be afraid to lend a hand!

    A cooperative roll-and-write? Is that even a possible thing? Yes, friends, the Little Island Gift Shops will turn things upside down for what you think is possible in this genre. Dive in the ocean for goods and sell them in your shop - but be wary...the lower score among your team is the final score for all players in this really fascinating game design using polyhedral dice and time management.

    Islands of Atlantis

    Raise the fabled Islands of Atlantis. Aim for islands with as many different land types and unique relics as possible for the most points. Try to maximize the number of islands to score, but push your luck too far and spell disaster: the game ends as soon as a player is unable to add to their islands.

    Mechanically simple but full of meaty decisions, this game for 1-6 has players building and populating islands within a defined space. Try to grow the island too big, and it may end up unable to be completed via populating and score you nothing. Wait too long, and the game might trigger its end before you are ready. This one is sure to be an easy game to open up a game night, or even to continue to play virtually on something like Zoom with friends.

    Icy Dice

    Welcome to Selain, a small planet with few inhabitants. Those who do live here inhabit the two islands on the bright side of the planet; one very fertile with a wide variety of delicious crops, and another with less diverse crops, but has plentiful amounts of medicinal herbs, roots, and minerals.

    Every year, Selain’s moon Derris passes between the planet and its sun, casting an extended darkness and causing the acidic ocean between the two islands to freeze. The Selainiacs can then cross the sea from their home on the fertile island to their harvest on the plentiful island, loading their sleds and filling their silos for the coming year. You are supervising a team responsible for ensuring your village is prepared for the next year - don’t let your people down.

    This little game for 1-2 players involves distributing your workers to tasks as efficiently as possible, and the dice you roll are the workers and the value is how productive they are this turn. Intrigued yet? That right there is all the hook I needed to sit up and pay attention to this one - and it has a full page at the end covering a solo variant that sounds promising as well. Give this fun little game a spin and see for yourself what it is like on Selain.

    Flowers Over Towers

    Humanity has long since left the earth, and it is time for Nature to reclaim the now abandoned cities. Players take the role of different flowers, taking back the abandoned towers of a once vibrant city. Each player will try to fill each tower with their flowers, as players score points when they have a majority in the tower when it is filled. Players can also decide to crumble the towers, which But all this is for naught if the rivers flood and everything is washed away; players can fill the river, which means that only the majority in the largest tower is scored when all river spaces are filled. The game ends when a player has scored enough points, or when the river floods.

    It’s a race to fill towers with your flowers, but all is not as easy as it might seem. This one has you roll three dice to start, of which you choose two to use and then the next player rolls the two you used but is stuck with the value of the one you didn’t roll. I loved that mechanic in Six Sons of the Sultan, and it is sure to be just as good here in allowing players to consider ways to mess with what their opponent is trying to accomplish.

    Dust and Void

    The last humans lie past the edge of the solar system, frozen in Cathedral, an interstellar spacecraft designed to travel to another star. Cathedral can not be completed in a generation, so her architects founded The Pale Crescent, an order tasked only with completing construction. Two hundred years later, the pilots who scour empty space for materials don’t remember Earth. They only know that if they don’t meet their quota, they may lose their craft, and live out their days on construction duty.

    A solitaire game experience, this one is about exploration and management of resources. I love it when I find games that sound like they were designed for me. There’s a risk-reward of flying into unexplored hexes, as it could be really damaging. There’s a lot of space to think through the options based on die rolls, optimizing how to allocate the numbers along each track and task. In short, I fully expect to love this and you might, too.

    Coral Relief

    In the deep sea, players assume the role of a coral reef. Grow and mature your coral to be able to attract various species of sea life. However, the dreaded coral-eating Crown-of-Thorns starfish looms, ready to bleach your reef’s coral to disastrous effect. Attract sea life to control this thorny threat as well as help change your dice rolls. The game ends when a player has attracted enough different species, after which the player with the most points from collected species, mature coral, and awards wins the game.

    Watch me coral grow. While it may not be as easy for us to witness as grass growing, it is still an interesting theme for a game. There are special actions used by your higher dice, and growth of coral by lower dice values, along with the infestation of starfish to balance. Easily one of the more colorful entries in the series, this one has a lot of room for meaningful decisions but does required colorful dice and pens in order to be played properly.

    Celestial Stories

    Players work together to tell the story of the stars, first mapping them onto their individual star boards before then taking turns to interpret their constellations and add them to the sky.

    If you are looking for a unique approach to the roll-and-write genre, then look no further than Celestial Stories. You are making constellations, with each player adding a new star to the board during a timed round and making connections at the end of that round. Then players put those constellations in the center (sky) and tell stories to interpret their constellations. Sound like your kind of game? Definitely check it out, because I haven’t seen anything quite like this before.

    Check out all of the new games here:

    Game of the Week: The Final Flicktier

    The Final Flicktier is a 4X style space game with dice flicking at its core. Players will take on the role of unique factions all vying for control of the galaxy. They’ll flick their spaceships (dice) around the board in order to explore new planets, build structures, harvest resources, and attack other factions. The player with the most victory points at the end wins.

    Check out Game of the Week here:


    We launched the Prototype Zone a few weeks ago,. If you are interested in trying some upcoming games and giving feedback to the designers, check it out.

    Check out all of the new protoypes here:


    Also, reminder of our New Heroes Scholarship - intended to recognize a standout member of the board game community who is among an underrepresented group.

    For full details, including how to enter/nominate someone, check out our page at:

    See you next week with more information on our newest print and play games!


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