Designer: Michel de Wit
Artists: Misha Jovanovic
Publisher: Hot Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 1-4
Playing Time: 10-15 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
From the Publisher:
Rollecate is about a historic steam locomotive, built in 1967 by a famous Dutch engineer. It’s been sitting in storage for the past five years and is eager to get rolling again — and the players of this game will make that happen!
In this smart and innovative tile-laying game, players build new tracks for Rollecate to ride on. But Rollecate is very eager and can’t wait to roll, turning this game into an exciting race against the clock. Causing Rollecate to derail is costly, so players have to try to avoid that.
This game combines tile laying, press-your-luck dice rolling, and tactical set building mechanisms into a swift game that is fun to play for all kinds of players.
The game consists of 55 playing cards, four custom dice, and a wooden train figure. The Kickstarter edition instead contains a scale 1:87 white metal miniature locomotive.
Rollecate – Good value for money children game – 6/10
Rollecate is a Card placement game in which you take turns placing cards to let the old Locomotive advance. Purpose is to keep the locomotive on the rails and build the track faster than the train advance. Its a good and easy to learn game to play with family.
Long Story Long
The game as such
Rollecate plays in multiplayer up to 4 players or in Solo.
Rollecate is a card based and turned based game. Each turn you’ll be playing one or more cards in order to build the track in front of the Locomotive. The unidirectional locomotive will then travel on the track depending on a dice roll. If the track is long enough for the locomotive to travel on it without reaching the end, you’re safe. If not you’ll need to take penalty cards from the rear of the track on for all the moves the Locomotive can’t perform.
Each track card is marked with a number the track is to associate those number correctly to get rid of as much as them as possible.
Taking penalty cards at the right moment if you placed them correctly is detrimental to get to victory.
Whenever you are unable or unwilling to play a card you may pass, allowing you to get a larger hand but forcing you to advance on the track. With more cards in hand comes also the chance that you’ll draw a joker that will help you eliminate the penalty cards you have already.
At the end of the game the player with the fewest points on their penalty cards wins.
Additionally, the game has 3 different Solo modes :
Beat your score, where playing alone cards makes it fairly easy to get to a perfect score
Automa, playing against a funny girl , fair and square
Beat your score, where you can’t let the train ever get off the track which is quite hard and depends highly on the dice roll
The game is fairly simple being able to anticipate the move of your adversaries and choosing the right suit of numbers is key. Though the game depends heavily on luck concerning the cards you draw, the dice you roll and the amount of joker cards you get.
To Beat your score, of course, its detrimental to be able to place 2 cards with the same number one after the other to eliminate them, which can be obtained quite easily making good use of the pass mechanic.
Advantages – Downsizes
Rollecate has simplistic art and is easy to learn. It’s a good game to let younger children develop their logic skills and plan in advance, while still having fun with them. It can also serve as a good introduction for them to Solo play which can reduce their screen-time for example.
Although the one track mechanic and the use of cards to do nearly everything from start to finish is something I like, I felt betrayed when I realized that the game cards could be replaced by a card displaying the number only. Allow me to clarify : the fact that the tracks turn to the right, to the left or that the track goes straight on the cards does close to nothing. The rear end of the track disappears with time (because you take penalty cards) which means that you get rid of the possible obstacle and have in fact sort of a long straight line in which you’ll always be able to place the cards you got in hand. Which is not the way its advertised in the rulebook.
I don’t recommend the game for « adult-only » tables has its fairly simple and relies on chance quite heavily. But talking about numbered card games, its easier than love letter for children to get on with.
Long story Short
Rollecate is a card suit game that relies quite heavily on chance, that’s really suitable for a younger audience to learn planning in game and be initiated to solo tabletop play. It’s fun and easy to play with children or elderly without too much pressure. But not one that would get to an « all-adult » table, certainly not to be played as a fast solo play by adults.
Some Numbers !
TableTopia Mod* : 5/10, I regret the lack of script or encoring points. Art style is simplistic and depending on the edition the locomotive is quite different.
Multiplayer : 5/10 Good with children but won’t keep you occupied the whole afternoon
Soloplay: 4/10, After a few plays you should be done with all its aspects (disclaimer, I’m not a child).
Strategy: 6/10, good manner to teach some types of strategy basics and probabilities to children
General: 6/10. It’s good and you can have fun with it but doesn’t have the best replay-ability there is, but taking into account the value for money and the age that is targeted you might want to get it.
*No material review this time.
It’s all about the money money money …
MRSP : 14,95€ (18$)
Found without difficulties used at : 8€ (10$)
What I feel its worth : 15€ (18$)
Conclusion : I feel it’s a really good value for money ! Certainly if you find the first version with the metallic train at charity or something. When my little cousins birthday will come, I’ll definitely consider buying this !
QuelqunQui (literally Someone who in French) is an eclectic who can’t stop doing more than one thing at a time.. Quelqunqui is a harpsichordist and gamer at heart that doesn’t abide by rules he doesn’t believe in. When not playing he’s traveling the world for the Belgian Air force.